On the wave of aviation themed posts, I add one more about the coordination and workload split between pilots. I have no direct experience nor reports, so my considerations are more around the mental model than actual practice or official guidelines.
Here are my sources for this post: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_flying – itself sourcing https://www.skybrary.aero/articles/pilot-flying-pf-and-pilot-monitoring-pm – and a few posts from https://aviation.stackexchange.com/ .
My summary is as follows: there is no way for a pilot alone to fly the plane while keeping track of everything and also communicating (not even during emergencies and especially not during emergencies), which implies that there is no way for a pilot alone to bear the responsibility about the flight. That responsibility is then shared in the form of an agreement of division of labor: one is the Pilot Flying (airplane controls) and the other is the Pilot Monitoring (monitor the flight management and aircraft control actions of the Pilot Flying and carry out support duties such as communications and check-list reading). That’s an effective way to handle the sum of tasks – even if the roles could not be swapped.
What makes the model really great for me is that it clearly sets the modes of switching between the two roles, based on the skills equivalence of the two pilots. First of all it removes ambiguity, so that there is no risk of any “oh I thought you were on this”, which would clearly lead to life-threatening situations for a flying airplane (and is the main, probably only, reason that this protocol has been developed). Of course I see that in other situations there is no equivalent damage to avoid – but still, I value the clarity of the model in more ordinary settings, even only to remove extra effort of fixing things or catching up.
I have been often in the situation where tasks had to be distributed among people, but much less often in the situation that roles were swapped with a clean handover like the one described in the PF/PM procedures. I’m getting close to this at work right now and the ultimate joy is not so much that it is happening, but that is explicit and agreed upon.
By Naddsy – https://www.flickr.com/photos/83823904@N00/64156219/, CC BY 2.0, Link