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The impact of physical and mental tasks on pilot mental workoadSeven instrument-rated pilots with a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels flew four different scenarios on a fixed-base simulator. The Baseline scenario was the simplest of the four and had few mental and physical tasks. An activity scenario had many physical but few mental tasks. The Planning scenario had few physical and many mental taks. A Combined scenario had high mental and physical task loads. The magnitude of each pilot's altitude and airspeed deviations was measured, subjective workload ratings were recorded, and the degree of pilot compliance with assigned memory/planning tasks was noted. Mental and physical performance was a strong function of the manual activity level, but not influenced by the mental task load. High manual task loads resulted in a large percentage of mental errors even under low mental task loads. Although all the pilots gave similar subjective ratings when the manual task load was high, subjective ratings showed greater individual differences with high mental task loads. Altitude or airspeed deviations and subjective ratings were most correlated when the total task load was very high. Although airspeed deviations, altitude deviations, and subjective workload ratings were similar for both low experience and high experience pilots, at very high total task loads, mental performance was much lower for the low experience pilots.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Berg, S. L.
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Sheridan, T. B.
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Research Center, 21st Annual Conference on Manual Control
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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