PRELIMINARY IDENTIFICATION OF FACTORS CAUSING PILOTS TO DISCONNECT THE FLIGHT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN GLASS COCKPITS

Research in cockpit automation has indicated that pilots sometimes have difficulty understanding and operating cockpit automation systems. Problems with operating automated systems or the need to reprogram systems has the potential to keep pilots looking inside the cockpit during critical phases of flight when, in fact, they should be looking outside the cockpit. An alternative to reprogramming the automation, particularly, the flight management system, is either to turn the automation completely off or to reduce the level of automation to the basic autopilot. Observations indicate, however, that pilots often do not turn off the automation when lengthy reprogramming is required. The identification of specific conditions under which pilots disconnect cockpit automation was made to determine whether they disconnect it when it is appropriate to do so. Examination and analysis of a field study of automation use from a major air carrier data base containing observational activities of crews were conducted. Second, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Aviation Safety Reporting System data base was queried. Third, pilots from major car carriers were surveyed to ascertain their decisions to disconnect the automated systems during flight and the circumstances affecting those decisions. Several common factors were found to affect pilots' decisions to disconnect automated systems. These multiple factors were pilot experience, work load, rapid air traffic control-issued changes, automation performance, weather, equipment failures, and congested airspace. These factors support prior automation research findings by others investigating various automation issues.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 17-24
  • Monograph Title: Public-Sector Aviation Issues. Graduate Research Award Papers 1993-1994
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00712969
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061180
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 10 1995 12:00AM