Information seeking in documents by pilots: Assessment of the reliability problems caused by the transition from paper to electronic

Information seeking is completely ignored in research on aviation psychology and more generally in issues of air transport safety. But information seeking occupies a central place in the pilots' work. And this activity is undergoing an important development: the transition from paper to electronic documents. A contribution to the assessment of this transition is presented here. The assessment is focused on deterioration of information access, understanding and exploitation, and their possible negative consequences in terms of reliability. The exploitation of the documentation by pilots, and particularly the information seeking activity, are described and linked to their contexts (i.e. the main tasks of flying that require information seeking). Then a users test is presented where some information-seeking tasks are evaluated in terms of cost and errors, by comparing electronic and paper documents. The results show that electronic documents provide new functions that seem useful but also that too many new functions generate difficulties. Then it seems that pilots need some time to learn how to use these new documents. Reducing attention needed to perform a task such as calculation is risky. Some aspects of information seeking by the pilots should be better analysed and evaluated.


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  • Accession Number: 01142795
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 18 2009 2:34PM