Airmanship is considered important for aviators. Kern describes a model that provides a theoretical structure of airmanship, based on research conducted in the USA. Kern states that the fundamental principles of airmanship are: "skill, proficiency and the discipline to apply them in a safe and efficient manner". In addition, there are six areas of critical expertise, which are shown as pillars of knowledge: self, team, aircraft, environment, risk and mission. According to Kern it is the combination of the basic principles with expert knowledge that enables an aviator to maintain situational awareness and exercise good judgement in decision making, and thus display good airmanship. Ebbage and Spencer present a simplified model of airmanship with three main factors: discipline, control and judgement. Discipline includes self-improvement, vigilance, co-operation and confidence. Judgement covers situational awareness, problem solving, mental workload and foresight, while control refers to flying skills, automation skills, information management, navigation and communication skills. This model specifies broader skill sets than the Kern model. Both models have a similar emphasis on discipline. Ebbage and Spencer consider the foundations of airmanship to be the underlying knowledge, skills and attitudes and that these should be included in any flight training program. The current research addresses whether Australian aviators consider airmanship to include similar concepts to Kern's model and whether there are any additional themes specific to the Australian industry.
Managing Safety - Maximising Performance: 9th International Symposium of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association, Managing Safety - Maximising Performance: Symposium Proceedings (Brighton Beach 18-22 April, 2010) p. 24-27