A former commercial pilot with a passion for understanding the
'human factors' of aviation safety has been awarded the 2016 Jilly
Murphy Memorial Scholarship for Aviation Safety.
Kate Cook now works in the operational safety team of Airways
New Zealand in Christchurch, and is currently completing a Bachelor
of Aviation Management degree through Massey University. She will
use the $5000 scholarship - jointly offered by Christchurch
International Airport Ltd and Airways New Zealand in memory of the
late Christchurch air traffic controller Jilly Murphy - to help
fund her post-graduate study in human factors, including areas like
fatigue, distraction or impaired reasoning that can impact on human
Jilly Murphy was a controller at Christchurch control
tower and died in central Christchurch during the earthquake
of 22 February 2011. Aviation safety was very important to Jilly,
so in her honour, scholarship applicants are required to
demonstrate a tangible benefit to aviation safety.
Kate says her experience as a commercial pilot set her on a path
to learn more about the impact human behaviours can have on safety
in the aviation sector.
"I find it a fascinating subject. During my time as a pilot, I
found that talking with more experienced pilots and reading
accident reports was a great way to learn and understand where
improvements could be made in this area," Kate says.
Airways Chief Executive Ed Sims says he and fellow judges John
Murphy (Jilly Murphy's father) and Christchurch Airport Manager of
Quality and Security, Ford Robertson felt that Kate stood out as a
truly dedicated aviation safety professional.
"We were also struck by her emphasis on the 'mana' of winning
the scholarship over and above any financial gain. She shares the
same unwavering commitment to aviation safety as Jilly, and that
makes her a very deserving winner," says Mr Sims.