I was looking back 50 years when I first started flying, and contemplated all the times that I advocated for aviation safety. One common theme seems to be present in memory: the most difficult battle was not figuring out the physics, human factors or aerodynamics of a newer, safer procedure. No, the most difficult part of change was convincing the mind(s) of people in authoritative positions to embrace change for the better, most especially when it was to the safety advantage of everyone concerned.
Funny in a way, that out-thinking a person was more fundamental to enacting improvements, than was the actual figuring out of improved human factors, aerodynamics or physics?
So my message to those who might study and advocate for change is this: be prepared for a two phased challenge, where Phase One is the improvement that you will put down in writing, and Phase Two is successfully convincing the current procedure owner to accept and embrace your advocacy for the improvement.
Phase One is usually based on physics and human factors and aerodynamics and Phase Two is usually based on politics, economics and flat out convincing logic and debate.
To be successful however, you have to believe in yourself and be prepared for both phases of battle. If you do believe and you are prepared, then persevere and you will succeed, as has been my experience in the many safety advocasy cases in these past 50 odd years.
Aviation Safety Consulting
Capt. Paul Miller