Handbook of Aviation Human Factors

By Daniel J. Garland; John A. Wise et al. | Go to book overview
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some of that sophistication will be represented on the flight deck. Its effects are not uniformly positive, so the match between human and the computer in the air must be explored more intensively.

Another recommendation based on the literature review is that results achieved in the simulator should be validated in the air. Simulators have become highly realistic, but they may well lack certain features that can be found only in flight. The frequency with which part-task simulators and laboratories are used in aviation HF research makes one wonder whether precisely the same effects will be found in flight. It is true that there is in behavioral research as a whole little validation in the operational context of effects found in the laboratory, but flight represents a critically distinct environment from that in which most aviation behavioral studies are conducted.

A similar recommendation refers to test subjects. Although it is true that the majority of subjects in the studies reviewed were pilots, it is somewhat disturbing to see the large number of nonflying personnel who are used for this purpose. True, almost all nonpilots were used as subjects in nonflight studies, such as studies of displays, but if one believes that the experience of piloting is a distinctive one, it is possible that that experience generalizes to and subtly modifies nonpiloting activities. In any event, this matter should be looked into.

Finally, we note that the highest percentage of studies dealt with flight variables, and this is quite appropriate. The comparative indifference to other aviation aspects is somewhat disturbing, however. There has been in recent years increasing attention in aviation research to ground maintenance, but proportionately this area, although critical to flight safety, is underrepresented. By comparison, air traffic control (ATC) receives more attention, probably because of the immediacy of the relationships between ATC personnel and pilots. We would recommend a more intensive examination of how well ground maintainers function and the factors that affect that efficiency. A little more attention to passengers, too, would not be be amiss. The role of the passenger in flight is a very passive one, but on long-distance flights particularly the constraints involved in being a passenger are very evident.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. (1992). Guide to human performance measurement (Rep. No. BSR/AIAA, G-035-1992). New York: Author.

Aretz A. J. ( 1991). The design of electronic map displays. Human Factors, 33, 85-101.

Armstrong G. C. ( 1985). Computer-aided analysis of in-flight physiological measurement. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 17, 183-185.

Barthelemy K. K., Reising J. M., & Hartsock D. C. ( 1991, September). Target designation in a perspective view, 3-D map using a joystick, hand tracker, or voice. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Engineering Society (pp. 97-101). San Francisco, CA.

Battiste V., & Delzell S. ( 1991, June). Visual cues to geographical orientation during low-level flight. Proceedings of the Symposium on Aviation Psychology (pp. 566-571). Columbus, OH: Ohio State University.

Berger I. R. ( 1977, March). Flight performance and pilot workload in helicopter flight under simulated IMC employing a forward looking sensor (Rep. No. AGARD-CP-240). Proceedings of the Guidance and Control Design Considerations for Low-Altitude and Terminal-Area Flight. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France: AGARD.

Bowers C., Salas, E., C. Prince, & Brannick M. ( 1992). Games teams play: A method for investigating team coordination and performance. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 24, 503-506.

Brictson C. A. ( 1969, November). Operational measures of pilot performance during final approach to carrier landing (Rep. No. AGARD-CP-56). Proceedings of the Measurement of Aircrew Performance--The Flight Deck Workload and its Relation to Pilot Performance. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France: AGARD.


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