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An Assessment of Reduced Crew and Single Pilot Operations in Commercial Transport Aircraft OperationsFuture reduced crew operations or even single pilot operations for commercial airline and on-demand mobility applications are an active area of research. These changes would reduce the human element and thus, threaten the precept that "a well-trained and well-qualified pilot is the critical center point of aircraft systems safety and an integral safety component of the entire commercial aviation system." NASA recently completed a pilot-in-the-loop high fidelity motion simulation study in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) attempting to quantify the pilot's contribution to flight safety during normal flight and in response to aircraft system failures. Crew complement was used as the experiment independent variable in a between-subjects design. These data show significant increases in workload for single pilot operations, compared to two-crew, with subjective assessments of safety and performance being significantly degraded as well. Nonetheless, in all cases, the pilots were able to overcome the failure mode effects in all crew configurations. These data reflect current-day flight deck equipage and help identify the technologies that may improve two-crew operations and/or possibly enable future reduced crew and/or single pilot operations.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bailey, Randall E.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Kramer, Lynda J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Kennedy, Kellie D.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Stephens, Chad L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Etherington, Timothy J.
(Rockwell Collins, Inc. Warrenton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
October 5, 2017
Publication Date
September 17, 2017
Subject Category
Air Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC''17)
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: September 17, 2017
End Date: September 21, 2017
Sponsors: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 031102.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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