Pilots’ Gaze Strategies and Manual Control Performance Using Occlusion as a Measurement Technique During a Simulated Manual Flight Task

The aim of this study was to analyze pilots’ visual scanning under conditions visually restricted by the occlusion paradigm. During manual flight, pilots experienced interruptions in their panel scan due to concurring tasks and monitoring of distant displays. Eleven volunteer airline pilots performed several manual instrument landing system approaches in a fixed-base flight simulator. Some of these approaches were performed using the paradigm of occlusion with shutter glasses. Under occlusion, the gaze pattern analysis revealed that pilots demonstrated reduced mean glance durations, but did not reduce their attention to lesser information displays. The results also indicated that the attitude indicator (artificial horizon) as a preview instrument was less affected by occlusion compared to other areas of interest. A subsequent scanpath analysis revealed that vertical tracking was the predominant information acquisition strategy and corresponded to larger deviations on the glideslope. These results imply the need to optimize information even for short glances, and to be very cautious with adaptive layouts of free programmable or dynamic displays, and not to overburden the pilot flying with parallel tasks.


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  • Accession Number: 01605872
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2016 3:44PM