HindSight 34: Handling Surprises (Tales of the Unexpected) is out now

HindSight is a magazine on human and organisational factors in operations. HindSight magazine is free and published twice a year, reaching tens of thousands of readers in aviation and other sectors worldwide. Published in December 2022, HindSight 34 focused on the theme of Handling Surprises: Tales of the Unexpected. You can download the full issue, and individual articles on SKYbrary. You will find an introduction to this Issue below, along with links to the magazine and the individual articles.

Welcome to issue 34 of EUROCONTROL’s HindSight magazine, the magazine on human and organisational factors in operations, in air traffic management and beyond.

This issue is on the theme of Handling Surprises: Tales of the Unexpected. You will find a diverse selection of articles from front-line staff, senior managers, and specialists in operations, human factors, safety, and resilience engineering in the context of aviation, healthcare, maritime, and web operations. The articles reflect surprise handling by individuals, teams and organisations from the perspectives of personal experience, theory, research, and training.

HindSight magazine emphasises the value of multiple perspectives, and there is often a tension between these. In this zone of tension, we can find much insight as well as reasons for different understandings. There are differences in perspectives within and between researchers, specialists, senior managers and front-line staff. What is surprise and how does it differ from startle, or simply ‘the unexpected’? How do surprises emerge? How can we be prepared to be surprised at individual, team, and organisational levels? How should we respond after surprises? There is rarely one correct answer, and the topic itself is surprising.

In this packed issue, including the online supplement articles, leading voices from the ground and air, and from academia and other industries, share perspectives on these questions. I hope that the articles help you to prepare to be surprised. It is also recommended to review issue 15 of HindSight on Emergency and Unusual Situations in the Air.

Special thanks are extended to the authors and the operational reviewers, who help to ensure that HindSight magazine is relevant, interesting and useful. While the primary readers are operational staff, especially those involved in aviation, it is read much more widely, by different people in different sectors.

We hope that the articles trigger conversations between you and others. Do your operational and non-operational colleagues know about HindSight? Please let them know. Search ‘SKYbrary HindSight’ for all issues, covering a wide variety of themes.

HindSight 34 Articles



From Research to Practice

Views from the Ground 

Views from the Air

Views from Elsewhere

And Now for Something Completely Different

Human Performance in the Spotlight

Diversity and Inclusion

The Long Read 

The Lighter Side 

See all editions of HindSight magazine


Follow this link to subscribe to HindSight

Author: stevenshorrock

This blog is written by Dr Steven Shorrock. I am interdisciplinary humanistic, systems and design practitioner interested in human work from multiple perspectives. My main interest is human and system behaviour, mostly in the context of safety-related organisations. I am a Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist with the CIEHF and a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. I currently work as a human factors and safety specialist in air traffic control in Europe. I am also Adjunct Associate Professor at University of the Sunshine Coast, Centre for Human Factors & Sociotechnical Systems. I blog in a personal capacity. Views expressed here are mine and not those of any affiliated organisation, unless stated otherwise. You can find me on twitter at @stevenshorrock or email contact[at]humanisticsystems[dot]com.

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