Scott Nutter

Dr. Paul Gay

Performance Engineer, Touch & Go Solutions

After earning his Ph.D. in Human Factors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Gay began his career in aviation, working as a Data Analyst for Delta Air Lines in 2003. Paul spent his career in Flight Operations in roles of increasing responsibility until retiring as the Manager of Training Data Systems in 2020. He joined Touch & Go Solutions in 2021, where he serves a broad range of aviation clients as a Performance Engineer.

Dr. Gay’s area of expertise include Skill Acquisition/Degradation, User-Centered Design, Turning Data into Insights, Human Factors, Instructor/Evaluator Calibration, and Experimental Design. His work was instrumental in the success of Delta Air Line’s SMS and the integration of training and safety systems. Paul was responsible for harmonizing the training data systems of Northwest and Delta Air Lines during what was, at the time, the largest airline merger in history. He was responsible for the system used to calibrate over 1,200 instructors and evaluators at the end-state airline.

As a respected researcher, Dr. Gay has supported a variety of industry working groups and projects including:

  • IATA work on the performance of pilots over age 60.
  • Simulation used in 757/767 Extended Envelope Training.
  • Level 7 FTD training effectiveness.
  • Skill degradation of long-haul pilots.

The Flywheel Effect - Turning Data Into Results

The “Virtuous Cycle” concept has been used in industry since the early 1900s. The idea that “a chain of events in which one desirable occurrence leads to another which further promotes the first occurrence and so on resulting in a continuous process of improvement” originated in manufacturing.

An industry-specific version of the virtuous cycle has been developed to help airline training professionals understand how they can use a systems approach to turning data into business results. The simple framework is easy to understand and does not require a high degree of data literacy. However, digging into the details of the model reveals decades of lessons learned and nuanced aspects of the process that data specialists and continuous improvement professionals will appreciate.

Actual airline scenarios will be used to illustrate how the model works. The presentation will focus on making Big Data easier to understand and apply in air carrier training.