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Pilot interaction with cockpit automation 2: An experimental study of pilots' model and awareness of the Flight Management SystemTechnological developments have made it possible to automate more and more functions on the commercial aviation flight deck and in other dynamic high-consequence domains. This increase in the degrees of freedom in design has shifted questions away from narrow technological feasibility. Many concerned groups, from designers and operators to regulators and researchers, have begun to ask questions about how we should use the possibilities afforded by technology skillfully to support and expand human performance. In this article, we report on an experimental study that addressed these questions by examining pilot interaction with the current generation of flight deck automation. Previous results on pilot-automation interaction derived from pilot surveys, incident reports, and training observations have produced a corpus of features and contexts in which human-machine coordination is likely to break down (e.g., automation surprises). We used these data to design a simulated flight scenario that contained a variety of probes designed to reveal pilots' mental model of one major component of flight deck automation: the Flight Management System (FMS). The events within the scenario were also designed to probe pilots' ability to apply their knowledge and understanding in specific flight contexts and to examine their ability to track the status and behavior of the automated system (mode awareness). Although pilots were able to 'make the system work' in standard situations, the results reveal a variety of latent problems in pilot-FMS interaction that can affect pilot performance in nonnormal time critical situations.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Sarter, Nadine B. (Ohio State University Columbus, OH, United States)
Woods, David D. (Ohio State University Columbus, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: International Journal of Aviation Psychology
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1050-8414
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
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