President and Principal Consultant

John Dutcher received a scholarship from the Canadian government to study at The University of Newcastle (Australia) where he received a Bachelor of Science (Aviation) specialising in Human Factors His undergraduate research involved an evaluation of Human Factors training programmes delivered by Transport Canada and the Canadian Department of National Defence at a para-military flight training school over a five year period.  This project was supervised by Ms Kirstie Carrick of The University of Newcastle (Australia) and co-supervised by Dr Steven M. Smith of the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary's University (SMU) in Halifax, Canada; where John worked collecting data. 

John has a Canadian Flight Dispatcher Licence, Glider, and Private Pilot Licences.  In Australia, he has a Commercial Pilot Licence (frozen), and has completed Australian Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) ground school, as well as flight planning for the B727-200, B1900D, and SA227. 

John has taught and guest lectured in meteorology, Human Factors, risk management, and accident investigation for airlines, insurance companies, maintenance organisations, and governments around the world. He has published several academic and operational papers, reports, and articles on topics ranging from Weather Risk Management, methods to improve safety leadership, safety culture maturity, and the use of behavioural based safety (BBS) in the oil and gas industry,  Flight Data Monitoring (FDM)/ Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) for a B737 Operator, Human Factors training evaluation, attitudes to flight safety, expertise and decision making in complex environments (i.e., pilots, meteorologists), techniques for the analysis of weather in aircraft accident investigation, system management systems (SMS), and risk assessment using Bow-Tie and other methodologies.

In addition to consulting, John is an Instructor within the Master of Aviation Management (MAvM) programme at The University of Newcastle (Australia) teaching the upcoming course "Applied Aviation Meteorology". John is also a Human Factors instructor for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) - Training and Development Institute.

Human Factors, Safety, and Applied Psychology

John has considerable experience with the development and facilitation of Human Factors training; including "Train-the-Trainer."  He has taught Human Factors and Risk Management to Accident Investigators of the South African Civil Aviation Authority in Johannesburg.  He has taught Human Factors in aircraft maintenance and ramp operations to personnel from Northern Air Cargo, Northern Air Aviation Services, the Medallion Foundation, and Conco-Phillips in Anchorage, Alaska for the Southern California Safety Institute (SCSI).  Using knowledge elicitation techniques, he also developed and taught a customised course in Human Performance in Maintenance for maintenance technicians from Honeywell Aerospace - Aftermarket Aviation Services.  He has taught Human Factors to meteorologists of the South African Weather Service (SAWS) in Pretoria.  In addition, John has taught Human Factors for the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), and instructor pilots for Transport Canada.

John has consulted in research methodology and questionnaire design for a baseline needs analysis for Crew Resource Management (CRM) training.  This work was used for CRM training development in the United States Navy's (USN) VQ Community (Fleet Air Reconnaissance).  John has also been involved in a preliminary project to develop behavioural markers for the evaluation of non-technical skills in flight dispatchers for a large Canadian airline (i.e., a LOSA type programme).

Besides consulting, John has worked as a Human Factors researcher in the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada with Drs Steven M. Smith and Mark Fleming.  Here, he has worked on projects in Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), safety culture, and health care.  John also developed a project with the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) - Meteorological Workstation Development Team exploring decision making and forecasting processes of expert weather forecasters.  This project utilised Cognitive Task Analysis techniques and was positioned to aid the MSC in the development of the new meteorological workstation (NinJo) and improve the future training of weather forecasters. NinJo is a meteorological workstation to support forecasting operations collaboratively developed by the German public weather service (Deutscherwetterdienst), the German military weather service (Bundeswehr Geophysical Service), the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), MeteoSwiss (MCH) and the MSC.  This project was unique in that it brought together expertise in both Human Factors/Applied Psychology and meteorology – with John ‘operating’ in both fields.


Following his degree, John mentored under meteorologist Martin Babakhan of The University of Newcastle (Australia) for three years.  He completed training in weather forecasting (i.e., marine, aviation) in both hemispheres, aviation meteorology for long-haul international and regional flights, short-term mesoscale forecasting, applied satellite and radar meteorology, and the use of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models.   

John has authored the Weather Investigation section in the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Aircraft Accident Investigation Manual – Part III (in press).  With Martin Babakhan, John developed and taught the Meteorology in Aircraft Accident Investigation (METI) course for SCSI - participants included personnel from Southwest Airlines and KLM City Hopper. He has taught meteorology for regional airline pilots for QBE Insurance Group (Aviation) in Australia.  John has also taught meteorology to pilots of COPA, CASARA in Halifax, Canada, instructor pilots for Transport Canada, and Accident Investigators of the South African Civil Aviation Authority in Johannesburg. John also developed and taught a 2 week Advanced Forensic Aviation Meteorology course incorporating interviewing techniques to enhance memory recall, decision making, and Weather Risk Management for senior meteorologists of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in charge of developing and providing oversight of aviation meteorology services provided in Nigeria.

In addition to instructing, John has completed operational meteorology research with Martin Babakhan.  This research has included such projects as mesoscale forecasting for vineyards in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia,  fog modeling at Sydney Kingsford Smith airport (YSSY) for Qantas Airways, and an analysis of high-altitude ice crystal icing events in the Australasian region for Boeing. 


Decision Making in various domains including aviation, weather forecasting, military
Weather Risk Control Systems (Wx-RCS), Weather Risk Management
Expertise and Knowledge elicitation using Cognitive Task Analysis
Adult Learning and Instructional Systems Design (ISD) customised using knowledge elicitation
Enhancing memory recall using the Cognitive Interview

Local Weather Knowledge
Low-level Wind Shear
Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)
Weather analysis and forecasting processes in meteorologists and during pilot self-briefings




© Dutcher Safety and Meteorology Services (2003-2009)
Last Updated: 01 Sep 09