Beyond the black box: talk-in-interaction in the airline cockpit

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Ashgate, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 245 pages
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This is the first and only micro-analytic study of the interaction between pilots in the cockpit of commercial aircraft. It examines, in close detail, the communication that pilots engage in with one another and with other parties, such as traffic controllers, as they perform the routine tasks involved in flying an aircraft. It also makes an important contribution to literature on work and language by addressing one of the most highly technological settings there is: the aircraft cockpit.Using data taken from audio and video recordings of pilots talking in aircraft cockpits on actual scheduled passenger flights, it draws on the analytical approaches of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to analyse their task-related communications. It shows that although the tasks performed by pilots may be 'routine', the communications in and through which they are managed are artful accomplishments. Through the shaping of their talk, the pilots manage its indexical and situated properties in effective and skilled ways. In so doing they accomplish in their moment-by-moment interaction the required features of the pilot's work in the cockpit.

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