Data link air traffic control and flight deck environments: Experiment in flight crew performanceThis report describes an experiment undertaken in a full mission simulation environment to investigate the performance impact of, and human/system response to, data-linked Air Traffic Control (ATC) and automated flight deck operations. Subjects were twenty pilots (ten crews) from a major United States air carrier. Crews flew the Advanced Concepts Flight Simulator (ACFS), a generic 'glass cockpit' simulator at NASA Ames. The method of data link used was similar to the data link implementation plans for a next-generation aircraft, and included the capability to review ATC messages and directly enter ATC clearance information into the aircraft systems. Each crew flew experimental scenarios, in which data reflecting communication timing, errors and clarifications, and procedures were collected. Results for errors and clarifications revealed an interaction between communication modality (voice v. data link) and communication type (air/ground v. intracrew). Results also revealed that voice crews initiated ATC contact significantly more than data link crews. It was also found that data link crews performed significantly more extraneous activities during the communication task than voice crews. Descriptive data from the use of the review menu indicate the pilot-not-flying accessing the review menu most often, and also suggest diffulty in accessing the target message within the review menu structure. The overall impact of communication modality upon air/ground communication and crew procedures is discussed.
Lozito, Sandy (San Jose State Univ. San Jose, CA, US, United States)
Mcgann, Alison (Sterling Software US, United States)
Corker, Kevin (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, US, United States)