IMCR wrote:MikeE also came up on here recently as a PhD student who was independent of this process, or so it was said. MikeE was good enough to "defend" his involvement as I though an independent researcher. Perhaps he or someone would be good enough to now explain how these roles are compatible and how you come to sit on this committee. On the face of it I have to say it seems at odds.
Happy to explain further. My research is entirely independent of the CAA, and indeed everything and everyone else, as I explained earlier. One of the things about PhD level research is that it cannot be conducted in a silo. It is important to obtain as wide and as deep an understanding as possible from as many sources as possible. So my research includes interviews of pilots who have infringed. It also includes discussions with other bodies and individuals. And it includes a role in the sub-group who prepare the report.
As the introduction to the report says, the group is independent of the CAA. I am not employed by the CAA and I receive no pay from them. Our work is entirely voluntary but, naturally, is subject to a non-disclosure agreement. We have access to MORs but cannot in any circumstances discuss the contents outside the context of preparing the report. The benefit to me, and why I give my time voluntarily, is because it provides that wider picture that otherwise I might miss. This is important in research, to leave no stone unturned.
Likewise my research. Everything is confidential and anonymous. No data from my interviews connects to my work on the report or goes back to the CAA. If my interviews revealed a startling insight into pilot error or infringements, would I seek to include it in the report? Of course I would, and I would advertise it through all the media I could. That is the purpose of the research, to provide insights into why pilots make errors and to find ways of helping pilots avoid them. That is why people have volunteered to take part, to help understand what happened to them with a view to helping others, but in a confidential and completely anonymised environment.
But that is entirely different to providing details of people I have spoken to or their stories to the CAA or anyone else - that would be a gross breach of confidentiality,
And, importantly, I make no secret of my voluntary work on the group. The research has approval from the UCL ethics committee and I am required to follow certain procedures, and would do so even if it wasn't required.
Firstly, I make my role on the committee clear to everyone I interview before the interview takes place and made sure they are content with that. Everyone.
Secondly, I have never made a secret of my role on the group and have mentioned it several times. Indeed, in response to a question from you on my original request for research participants (25 October 2019), I said"I have entirely voluntarily undertaken analyses of some of these because of my interest in this area, but am subject to the same confidentiality requirements as the CAA as data processor and therefore cannot discuss or use in any other way any personal information they contain."
Hope that helps reassure you that my role as a researcher and my voluntary role analysing infringement returns are in fact complementary and compatible and there is no attempt whatsoever to confuse or mislead anyone. Happy to provide any further assurances anyone needs. This is because it is important that any doubts are dispelled so people can feel confident in research methods and outcomes .