Single-Pilot Workload Management in Entry-Level Jets

Researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Flight Cognition Lab and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA’s) Flight Deck Human Factors Research Laboratory at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) examined task and workload management by single pilots in Very Light Jets (VLJs), also called Entry-Level Jets (ELJs). Fourteen certificated Cessna Citation Mustang (C510-S) pilots flew an experimental flight with two legs involving high workload management under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in a Cessna Citation Mustang ELJ level 5 flight training device at CAMI. Eight of the pilots were Mustang owner-operators, and the other six flew the Citation Mustang as part of their jobs as professional pilots. In addition to the Cessna Citation Mustang simulator, data collection included instantaneous self-assessment of perceived workload, NASA Task Load Index (TLX) workload measures, researcher observations, final debriefing interviews, and three questionnaires: Cockpit Set-up Preferences, Demographics, and Automation Experiences and Perceptions. To facilitate analysis, the major high workload tasks during the cruise portion of flight were grouped into four events. Approximately two-thirds of the tasks within the four events were accomplished by the participants with no difficulties. Though all participants committed a variety of errors during all four high workload events (e.g., readback error, airspeed violation), most errors were not directly related to overall task success. A significant effect on task performance success related to hours of experience was found only for the first event. Some type of error using the G1000 avionics was at the root of the problem for most participants who had difficulty accomplishing one or more of the tasks. Implications of the findings are discussed, and techniques demonstrated by the participants that are characterized as “best practices” have been identified. Recommended strategies for automation use and countermeasures to task overload and workload breakdowns have also been provided.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Ames Research Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Moffett Field, CA  United States  94035

    San Jose State University

    San Jose, CA  United States  95112

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, P.O. Box 25082
    Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73125

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Office of Aerospace Medicine, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • Burian, Barbara K
    • Pruchnicki, Shawn
    • Rogers, Jason
    • Christopher, Bonny
    • Williams, Kevin
    • Silverman, Evan
    • Drechsler, Gena
    • Mead, Andy
    • Hackworth, Carla
    • Runnels, Barry
  • Publication Date: 2013-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 78p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01494589
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FAA/AM-13/17
  • Contract Numbers: AM-HRR-521
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 26 2013 9:08AM