Wanting to understand the 'human factors' of aviation safety has
led to a local woman being awarded the 2016 Jilly Murphy Memorial
Scholarship for Aviation Safety.
Kate Cook has been a commercial pilot, but now works in the
operational safety team of Airways New Zealand in Christchurch. She
is currently completing a Bachelor of Aviation Management degree
through Massey University, studying human factors, including areas
like fatigue, distraction or impaired reasoning that can impact on
The scholarship is offered by Christchurch International Airport
Ltd and Airways New Zealand in memory of the late Christchurch air
traffic controller Jilly Murphy, a controller at Christchurch
control tower who died in central Christchurch during the
earthquake of 22 February 2011.
Kate says the impact human behaviours can have on safety in the
aviation sector are fascinating.
"During my time as a pilot, I found 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.