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Issues Related to Recommendations from the FAA HF Team
Overview

This page presents some of the flight deck automation issues identified in our study that are related to the recommendations of the FAA Human Factors Team in their report on The Interfaces Between Flightcrews and Modern Flight Deck Systems (1996). Each issue is linked to a page containing its complete issue statement and further links to evidence related to the issue.

Measurement of and Incentives for Safety

Recommendation Measures-1: 

The FAA should:
  • Lead the aviation community to use accident precursors increasingly and consistently as an additional measure of aviation safety;
  • Work with industry to establish systems/processes for collecting precursor data and for tracking the influence of system changes (e.g., design changes, training changes) on safety; and
  • Work with industry to investigate other means of assessing or communicating safety (e.g., ways of measuring errors intercepted, incidents or accidents prevented).
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Measures-2: 

In accident/incident investigations where human error is considered a potential factor, the FAA and the National Transportation Board should thoroughly investigate the factors that contributed to the error, including design, training, operational procedures, the airspace system, or other factors. The FAA should encourage other organizations (both domestic and foreign) conducting accident/incident investigations to do the same. This recommendation should apply to all accident/incident investigations involving human error, regardless of whether the error is associated with a pilot, mechanic, air traffic controller, dispatcher, or other participant in the aviation system.
All issues apply. Consult one of the other taxonomies:
  issues arranged alphabetically
  issues organized by focus

Recommendation Measures-3: 

The FAA should explore means to create additional incentives to improve safety through appropriate design, training, or operational improvements.
All issues apply. Consult one of the other taxonomies:
  issues arranged alphabetically
  issues organized by focus

Flightcrew Management and Direction of Automation

Recommendation AutomationMgt-1: 

The FAA should ensure that a uniform set of information regarding the manufacturers’ and operators’ automation philosophies is explicitly conveyed to flightcrews.
Applicable issues:
  human-centered design philosophy may be lacking (issue100)
  automation use philosophy may be lacking (issue101)

Recommendation AutomationMgt-2: 

The FAA should require operators’ manuals and initial/recurrent qualification programs to provide clear and concise guidance on:
  • Examples of circumstances in which the autopilot should be engaged, disengaged, or used in a mode with greater or lesser authority;
Applicable issues:
  protections may be lost though pilots continue to rely on them (issue015)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  automation information in manuals may be inadequate (issue140)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  pilots may under-rely on automation (issue146)
  • The conditions under which the autopilot or autothrottle will or will not engage, will disengage, or will revert to another mode; and
Applicable issues:
  pilots have responsibility but may lack authority (issue012)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  inadvertent autopilot disengagement may be too easy (issue123)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  • Appropriate combinations of automatic and manual flight path control (e.g., autothrottle engaged with the autopilot off).
Applicable issues:
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)

Recommendation AutomationMgt-3: 

The FAA should initiate a review of the autopilots on all transport category airplanes to identify the potential for producing hazardous energy states, excessive pitch or bank angles, subtle departures from the intended flight path, slow-overs, or other undesirable maneuvers. Results of this review should be the basis for initiating appropriate actions, such as design improvements, flight manual revisions, additional operating limitations, or changes in training programs or operational procedures.
Applicable issues:
  pilots have responsibility but may lack authority (issue012)
  protections may be lost though pilots continue to rely on them (issue015)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)

Recommendation AutomationMgt-4: 

The FAA should assure that analyses are conducted to better understand why flightcrews deviate from procedures, especially when the procedural deviation contributes to causing or preventing an accident or incident.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  pilots may lack confidence in automation (issue046)
  deficiencies in basic aircraft training may exist (issue063)
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  false alarms may be frequent (issue070)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  crew coordination problems may occur (issue084)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  pilot control authority may be diffused (issue104)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  workarounds may be necessary (issue107)
  data entry and programming may be difficult and time consuming (issue112)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  older pilots may be less accepting of automation (issue132)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  automation skills may be lost (issue137)
  inter-pilot communication may be reduced (issue139)
  procedures may assume automation (issue151)
  company automation policies and procedures may be inappropriate or inadequate (issue166)

Recommendation AutomationMgt-5: 

The FAA should request industry to take the lead in developing design guidelines for the next generation of flight management systems.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  information integration may be required (issue009)
  automation integration may be poor (issue011)
  pilots have responsibility but may lack authority (issue012)
  information overload may exist (issue014)
  protections may be lost though pilots continue to rely on them (issue015)
  communication between computers may be unsupervised (issue022)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure modes may be unanticipated by designers (issue024)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  scan pattern may change (issue038)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  data access may be difficult (issue047)
  data re-entry may be required (issue049)
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)
  false alarms may be frequent (issue070)
  data entry errors on keyboards may occur (issue071)
  cross checking may be difficult (issue072)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  data presentation may be too abstract (issue087)
  new tasks and errors may exist (issue089)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  insufficient information may be displayed (issue099)
  human-centered design philosophy may be lacking (issue100)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  workarounds may be necessary (issue107)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may lack reasonable functionality (issue109)
  database may be erroneous or incomplete (issue110)
  data entry and programming may be difficult and time consuming (issue112)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  testing may be inadequate (issue115)
  function allocation may be difficult (issue117)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  inadvertent autopilot disengagement may be too easy (issue123)
  automation performance may be limited (issue126)
  complex automation may have overly simplistic interface (issue128)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase training requirements (issue129)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase errors (issue130)
  software versions may proliferate (issue134)
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  pilot's role may be changed (issue144)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  similarity may be superficial (issue149)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)
  non-automated pilot tasks may not be integrated (issue153)
  automation requirements may conflict (issue160)
  automation use may slow pilot responses (issue161)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Flightcrew Situation Awareness

Recommendation SA-1: 

The FAA should require operators to increase flightcrews’ understanding of and sensitivity to maintaining situation awareness, particularly:
  • Mode and airplane energy awareness issues associated with autoflight systems (i.e., autopilot, autothrottles, flight management system, and fly-by-wire flight control systems);
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)
  • Position awareness with respect to the intended flight path and proximity to terrain, obstacles, or traffic; and
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)
  false alarms may be frequent (issue070)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  • Potential causes, flightcrew detection, and recovery from hazardous pitch or bank angle upsets while under autopilot control (e.g., wake vortex, subtle autopilot failures, engine failure in cruise, atmospheric turbulence).
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  pilots may under-rely on automation (issue146)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)

Recommendation SA-2: 

The FAA should require operators’ initial and recurrent training programs as well as appropriate operating manuals to:
  • Explicitly address autoflight mode and airplane energy awareness hazards;
Applicable issues:
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  deficiencies in basic aircraft training may exist (issue063)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  • Provide information on the characteristics and principles of the autoflight system’s design and have operational safety consequences; and 
Applicable issues:
  pilots have responsibility but may lack authority (issue012)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may lack reasonable functionality (issue109)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  automation performance may be limited (issue126)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)
  • Provide training to proficiency of the flight management system capabilities to be used in operations.
Applicable issues:
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)

Recommendation SA-3: 

The FAA should encourage the aviation industry to develop and implement new concepts to provide better terrain awareness.
Applicable issues:
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)

Recommendation SA-4: 

The FAA and the aviation industry should develop and implement a plan to transition to standardized instrument approaches using lateral navigation (LNAV) and vertical navigation (VNAV) path guidance for three-dimensional approaches. The use of approaches that lack of vertical path guidance should be minimized and eventually eliminated.
Applicable issues:
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)

Recommendation SA-5: 

The FAA should encourage the exploration, development, and testing of new ideas and approaches for providing effective feedback to the flightcrew to support error detection and improved situation awareness.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  information overload may exist (issue014)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  data presentation may be too abstract (issue087)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  insufficient information may be displayed (issue099)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)

Recommendation SA-6:

The FAA should encourage standardization, as appropriate, of automation interface features, such as: 
  • The location, shape, and direction of movement for takeoff/go-around and autothrottle quick disconnect switches;
  • Autoflight system mode selectors and selector panel layout;
  • Autoflight system modes, display symbology, and nomenclature; and
  • Flight management system interfaces, data entry conventions, and nomenclature.
Applicable issues:
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  information integration may be required (issue009)
  information overload may exist (issue014)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  data re-entry may be required (issue049)
  data entry errors on keyboards may occur (issue071)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  data presentation may be too abstract (issue087)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  insufficient information may be displayed (issue099)
  human-centered design philosophy may be lacking (issue100)
  data entry and programming may be difficult and time consuming (issue112)
  operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
  inadvertent autopilot disengagement may be too easy (issue123)
  complex automation may have overly simplistic interface (issue128)
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  similarity may be superficial (issue149)

Recommendation SA-7: 

The FAA and the aviation industry should update or develop new standards and evaluation criteria for information presented to the flightcrew by flight deck displays and aural advisories (e.g., primary flight displays, navigation/communication displays, synoptics showing system states).
Applicable issues:
  information integration may be required
  information overload may exist (issue014)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  scan pattern may change (issue038)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  data presentation may be too abstract (issue087)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  insufficient information may be displayed (issue099)
  human-centered design philosophy may be lacking (issue100)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  complex automation may have overly simplistic interface (issue128)
  similarity may be superficial (issue149)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation SA-8: 

The FAA should ensure that flightcrews are educated about hazardous states of awareness and the need for counter measures to maintain vigilance. The FAA should encourage operators to:
  • Develop operational procedures and strategies to foster attentional management skills with the objective of avoiding hazardous states of awareness; and 
  • Develop techniques to apply during training to identify and minimize hazardous states of awareness.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  cross checking may be difficult (issue072)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)

Recommendation SA-9: 

The FAA should sponsor research, or assure that research is accomplished, to develop improved methods for:
  • Evaluating designs for susceptibility to hazardous states of awareness (e.g., underload, complacency, absorption); and
  • Training to minimize hazardous states of awareness.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  information integration may be required (issue009)
  information overload may exist (issue014)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)
  cross checking may be difficult (issue072)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  insufficient information may be displayed (issue099)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  pilots may under-rely on automation (issue146)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)

Communication and Coordination

Recommendation Comm/Coord-1: 

The FAA should identify existing air traffic procedures that are incompatible with highly automated airplanes. These incompatible procedures should be discontinued or modified as soon as feasible.
Applicable issues:
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  traffic coordination requirements may increase (issue148)

Recommendation Comm/Coord-2: 

The FAA should task an existing advisory group or, if necessary, establish a new forum to ensure coordination between the design of air traffic procedures and the design and operation of highly automated airplanes.
Applicable issues:
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  traffic coordination requirements may increase (issue148)
  automation use may slow pilot responses (issue161)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Comm/Coord-3: 

The FAA should lead an industry-wide effort to share safety information obtained from in-service data and from difficulties encountered in training. This effort should be capable of assisting in the identification and resolution of problems attributed to flightcrew error.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Comm/Coord-4: 

The FAA should require operators to have an appropriate process, with demonstrated effectiveness, for informing flightcrews about relevant accident, incidents, in-service problems, and problems encountered in training that could affect safety.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Comm/Coord-5:

The FAA should encourage the redesign and modernization of the information provided to the flightcrew in notices to airmen (NOTAMs), charts, approach plates, instrument procedures, meteorological data, etc. The information should be prioritized and highlighted in terms of urgency and importance, and presented in a clear, well-organized, easy-to-understand format suitable for use with current and future airplanes.
Applicable issues:
  database may be erroneous or incomplete (issue110)
  automation information in manuals may be inadequate (issue140)

Recommendation Comm/Coord-6: 

The FAA should improve and increase interaction between the Flight Standards and Aircraft Certification Services.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Comm/Coord-7: 

The FAA and industry should improve the coordination and distribution of tasks undertaken by federal advisory committees and industry technical committees to reduce overlap and avoid duplication of effort. 
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Comm/Coord-8: 

The FAA should improve communication about research programs, research results, and advances in technology to appropriate FAA personnel.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Comm/Coord-9: 

The FAA should hold research funding sponsors and researchers accountable for supporting the transfer of research results.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Comm/Coord-10: 

The FAA should assure strategic leadership and support establishment of a coordinated research portfolio in aviation human factors on the national and international levels. 
No issues directly apply.

Processes for Design, Regulatory, and Training Activities

Recommendation Processes-1: 

The FAA should task an aviation industry working group to produce a set of guiding principles for designers to use as a recommended practice in designing and integrating human-centered flight deck automation.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  manual skills may not be acquired (issue007)
  information integration may be required (issue009)
  automation integration may be poor (issue011)
  pilots have responsibility but may lack authority (issue012)
  job satisfaction may be reduced (issue013)
  information overload may exist (issue014)
  protections may be lost though pilots continue to rely on them (issue015)
  communication between computers may be unsupervised (issue022)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure modes may be unanticipated by designers (issue024)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  scan pattern may change (issue038)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  pilots may lack confidence in automation (issue046)
  data access may be difficult (issue047)
  data re-entry may be required (issue049)
  vertical profile visualization may be difficult (issue053)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  false alarms may be frequent (issue070)
  data entry errors on keyboards may occur (issue071)
  cross checking may be difficult (issue072)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  crew coordination problems may occur (issue084)
  data presentation may be too abstract (issue087)
  new tasks and errors may exist (issue089)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  insufficient information may be displayed (issue099)
  human-centered design philosophy may be lacking (issue100)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  pilot control authority may be diffused (issue104)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  workarounds may be necessary (issue107)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may lack reasonable functionality (issue109)
  data entry and programming may be difficult and time consuming (issue112)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  testing may be inadequate (issue115)
  automation may be over-emphasized in pilot evaluation (issue116)
  function allocation may be difficult (issue117)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
  automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
  inadvertent autopilot disengagement may be too easy (issue123)
  automation performance may be limited (issue126)
  complex automation may have overly simplistic interface (issue128)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase errors (issue130)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  older pilots may be less accepting of automation (issue132)
  software versions may proliferate (issue134)
  pilot selection may be more difficult (issue136)
  automation skills may be lost (issue137)
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  inter-pilot communication may be reduced (issue139)
  pilot's role may be changed (issue144)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  pilots may under-rely on automation (issue146)
  traffic coordination requirements may increase (issue148)
  similarity may be superficial (issue149)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  state prediction may be lacking (issue152)
  non-automated pilot tasks may not be integrated (issue153)
  fatigue may be induced (issue156)
  automation requirements may conflict (issue160)
  automation use may slow pilot responses (issue161)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Processes-2:

The FAA should establish regulatory and associated advisory material to require the use of a flight deck certification review process that addresses human performance considerations.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  manual skills may not be acquired (issue007)
  job satisfaction may be reduced (issue013)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  scan pattern may change (issue038)
  pilots may lack confidence in automation (issue046)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  false alarms may be frequent (issue070)
  cross checking may be difficult (issue072)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  crew coordination problems may occur (issue084)
  new tasks and errors may exist (issue089)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  pilot control authority may be diffused (issue104)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may be over-emphasized in pilot evaluation (issue116)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase errors (issue130)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  older pilots may be less accepting of automation (issue132)
  pilot selection may be more difficult (issue136)
  automation skills may be lost (issue137)
  inter-pilot communication may be reduced (issue139)
  pilot's role may be changed (issue144)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  pilots may under-rely on automation (issue146)
  fatigue may be induced (issue156)
  planning requirements may be increased (issue158)
  automation use may slow pilot responses (issue161)

Recommendation Processes-3: 

The FAA and the aviation industry should investigate the use of innovative training tools and methods to expand pertinent safety related knowledge of flightcrews on a continuing basis. The FAA and the aviation industry should explore incentives to encourage continued training and education beyond the minimum required by the current regulations.
Applicable issues:
  deficiencies in basic aircraft training may exist (issue063)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase training requirements (issue129)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  instructor training requirements may be inadequate (issue143)

Criteria, Regulatory Standards, Methods, and Tools for Design and Certification

Recommendation Criteria-1:

The FAA should require evaluation of flight deck designs for susceptibility to design-induced flightcrew errors and the consequences of those errors as part of the type certification process.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  manual skills may not be acquired (issue007)
  job satisfaction may be reduced (issue013)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  scan pattern may change (issue038)
  pilots may lack confidence in automation (issue046)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  false alarms may be frequent (issue070)
  cross checking may be difficult (issue072)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  crew coordination problems may occur (issue084)
  new tasks and errors may exist (issue089)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  pilot control authority may be diffused (issue104)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may be over-emphasized in pilot evaluation (issue116)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase errors (issue130)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  older pilots may be less accepting of automation (issue132)
  pilot selection may be more difficult (issue136)
  automation skills may be lost (issue137)
  inter-pilot communication may be reduced (issue139)
  pilot's role may be changed (issue144)
  mode selection may be incorrect (issue145)
  pilots may under-rely on automation (issue146)
  fatigue may be induced (issue156)
  planning requirements may be increased (issue158)
  automation use may slow pilot responses (issue161)

Recommendation Criteria-2: 

The FAA should prepare and distribute interim guidance material that updates current autopilot certification policy.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  automation integration may be poor (issue011)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may lack reasonable functionality (issue109)
  operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
  automation performance may be limited
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  automation information in manuals may be inadequate (issue140)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  company automation policies and procedures may be inappropriate or inadequate (issue166)

Recommendation Criteria-3: 

The FAA should task an appropriate Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee Harmonization Working Group (HWG) with updating the autopilot regulatory standards (14 CFR 25.1329). This HWG should include specialists knowledgeable in human factors methods and skills from both industry and the regulatory authorities. 
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  automation integration may be poor (issue011)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may lack reasonable functionality (issue109)
  operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
  automation performance may be limited (issue126)
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  automation information in manuals may be inadequate (issue140)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  company automation policies and procedures may be inappropriate or inadequate (issue166)

Recommendation Criteria-4: 

The FAA should revise/update the following specific FARs and associated advisory material:
§ 25.1322 Warning, caution, and advisory lights: Revise to reflect the current and anticipated design practices for modern transport category airplanes.
Applicable issues:
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
§ 25.1335 Flight Director: Revise to reflect the current and anticipated design practices for modern transport category airplanes.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  automation integration may be poor (issue011)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  controls of automation may be poorly designed (issue037)
  interface may be poorly designed (issue039)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  manual operation may be difficult after transition from automated control (issue055)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  displays (visual and aural) may be poorly designed (issue092)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation may demand attention (issue102)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)
  automation may lack reasonable functionality (issue109)
  operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
  automation performance may be limited (issue126)
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  automation information in manuals may be inadequate (issue140)
  automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)
  company automation policies and procedures may be inappropriate or inadequate (issue166)
§ 121.703 Mechanical reliability reports: Revise the requirements to also include reporting of significant flight deck automation failures and/or anomalies that adversely affect safe flight path management. Reinforce the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) activity in this area.
Applicable issues:
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  failure modes may be unanticipated by designers (issue024)
  failure assessment may be difficult (issue025)
  automation may be too complex (issue040)
  mode transitions may be uncommanded (issue044)
  automation behavior may be unexpected and unexplained (issue108)

Knowledge and Skills or Designers, Pilots, Operators, Regulators, and Researchers

Recommendation Knowledge-1:

The FAA should encourage flight deck design organizations to:
  • Make human factors engineering a core discipline of the flight deck system design activity; and
  • Ensure that the design team has sufficient human factors and operational knowledge and expertise by:
    • Distributing guiding principles for flightcrew-centered design (as described in Recommendation Processes-1) to all design team members:
    • Including human factors expertise as part of the design team;
    • Assuring that each member of the team has at least a basic knowledge of human factors in order to understand and communicate human performance issues and human-centered design considerations at some appropriate level; and
    • Assuring the flight deck design team members have relevant operational knowledge.
         Applicable issues:
           human-centered design philosophy may be lacking (issue100)
           operational knowledge may be lacking in design process (issue121)
           automation may use different control strategies than pilots (issue122)
           automation may not work well under unusual conditions (issue150)

Recommendation Knowledge-2: 

The FAA should reassess the requirements that determine the content, length, and type of initial and recurrent flightcrew training. Ensure that the content appropriately includes:
  • Management and use of automation, including mental models of the automation and moving between levels of automation;
  • Flightcrew situation awareness, including mode and automation awareness;
  • Basic airmanship;
  • Crew Resource Management;
  • Decision making, including unanticipated event training;
  • Examples of specific difficulties encountered either in service or in training; and
  • Workload management (task management).
The FAA should work with industry to develop guiding principles and associated advisory material for training, operational procedures, and flightcrew qualification for the area listed above.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  monitoring requirements may be excessive (issue005)
  manual skills may not be acquired (issue007)
  pilots may lack confidence in automation (issue046)
  deficiencies in basic aircraft training may exist (issue063)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  transitioning between aircraft may increase training requirements (issue129)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  standardization may be lacking (issue138)
  instructor training requirements may be inadequate (issue143)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Knowledge-3: 

The FAA should strongly encourage or provide incentives to make advanced maneuvers training an integral part of the training curriculum, especially in recurrent training.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  manual skills may not be acquired (issue007)
  pilots have responsibility but may lack authority (issue012)
  protections may be lost though pilots continue to rely on them (issue015)
  failure recovery may be difficult (issue023)
  pilots may be reluctant to assume control (issue026)
  deficiencies in basic aircraft training may exist (issue063)
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  behavior of automation may not be apparent (issue083)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)

Recommendation Knowledge-4: 

The FAA should reassess recency requirements for flightcrews involved in long haul operations. Consider providing incentives and alternative methods for flightcrews to practice takeoffs and landings, and perhaps arrival and departure procedures that are infrequently used.
Applicable issues:
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)

Recommendation Knowledge-5: 

The FAA should reassess the airman certification criteria to ensure that pilots are released with a satisfactory level of skills for managing and using automation. Since current training is often oriented toward preparing pilots for checkrides, the airman certification criteria should be reassessed to ensure appropriate coverage of the topics listed in Recommendation Knowledge-2.
Applicable issues:
  pilots may be out of the loop (issue002)
  manual skills may not be acquired (issue007)
  pilots may lack confidence in automation (issue046)
  deficiencies in basic aircraft training may exist (issue063)
  manual skills may be lost (issue065)
  both pilots' attention simultaneously diverted by programming (issue075)
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  mode awareness may be lacking (issue095)
  automation level decisions may be difficult (issue103)
  understanding of automation may be inadequate (issue105)
  pilots may over-rely on automation (issue106)
  situation awareness may be reduced (issue114)
  automation may be over-emphasized in pilot evaluation (issue116)
  information processing load may be increased (issue119)
  pilots may be overconfident in automation (issue131)
  training may be inadequate (issue133)
  instructor training requirements may be inadequate (issue143)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Knowledge-6: 

Operators should ensure that flight safety and training managers are appropriately educated about human factors considerations, particularly with regard to automation. 
Applicable issues:
  instructor training requirements may be inadequate (issue143)

Recommendation Knowledge-7: 

The FAA should improve the education of Air Traffic Service personnel about the capabilities and limitation of highly automated airplanes.
Applicable issues:
  automation may adversely affect pilot workload (issue079)
  flightdeck automation may be incompatible with ATC system (issue082)

Recommendation Knowledge-8: 

The FAA should provide appropriate regulatory personnel with a guide or roadmap to current Federal Aviation Regulations, advisory material, policy memoranda, and other guidance material dealing with human performance related to the flightcrew-system interface. The FAA should ensure that this material is used in aircraft certification projects, airline qualification program assessments, and airman qualification.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Knowledge-9: 

The FAA should develop a systematic training program for appropriate Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards Services personnel to provide initial and recurrent training in the area of human factors as it relates to certifying new products and evaluation flightcrew performance. The training should include instruction on:
  • Insight into the relationship among the flight flightcrew, the flight deck design, and the operation environment;
  • Flightcrew information processing;
  • Workload, human error, and situation awareness;
  • Other flightcrew performance issues, including fatigue, CRM, and attention management;
  • Design and evaluation of flight deck displays;
  • Aircraft control laws and feedback systems;
  • Human-automation interaction;
  • Human-centered design principles and guidelines; and 
  • Ergonomics - fitting the design to the user.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Knowledge-10:

The FAA should appropriately staff the standards organizations and aircraft certification offices with human factors expertise and integrate personnel with such expertise into certification teams, participating and applying their expertise in the same manner as other certification team members (e.g., airframe, flight test, systems and equipment, propulsion).
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Knowledge-11: 

The FAA should increase Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards Services personnel’s knowledge about each other’s roles and responsibilities. In particular, increase certification pilots’ and engineers’ knowledge of line operations considerations, and Aircraft Evaluation Group personnel’s knowledge about airworthiness certification considerations.
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Knowledge-12: 

The FAA should improve the knowledge of personnel in Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards Services about processes for identifying and communicating requirements for research (either specific studies required of identification or areas of concern).
No issues directly apply.

Recommendation Knowledge-13: 

The FAA should encourage researchers to learn more about industry and FAA’s research needs and about operational considerations in aviation.
No issues directly apply.

Culture and Language Differences

Recommendation Culture-1: 

The FAA should ensure that research is conducted to characterize cultural effects and provide better methods to adapt design, training, publications, and operational procedures to different cultures. The results of the research should be used to identify significant vulnerabilities, if any, in existing flight deck designs, training, or operations, and how those vulnerabilities should be addressed.
Applicable issues:
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Culture-2: 

The FAA should encourage simplified flight deck messages, training, manuals, and procedures with clearer meaning to non-native English speakers. The FAA should encourage the use of internationally understood visual symbols and pictures where appropriate, rather than verbal descriptions or directions.
Applicable issues:
  automation information in manuals may be inadequate (issue140)
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Culture-3: 

The FAA should provide leadership to update ICAO phraseology standards and to encourage their use.
Applicable issues:
  cultural differences may not be considered (issue165)

Recommendation Culture-4: 

The FAA should promote timely and clear communications between flightcrews and Air Traffic Services through:
  • Accelerated efforts for transmission of information via datalink, as appropriate (e.g., Automated Terminal Information System (ATIS), weather, pre-departure clearances);
  • Assuring clear and intelligible transmission of ATIS and clearance information, where datalink is unavailable or unsuitable; and
  • Standard procedures and taxi routes.
No issues directly apply.



References

Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Team (1996). The Interfaces Between Flightcrews and Modern Flight Deck Systems. Washington, D.C.: Federal Aviation Administration.









  Last update: 4 June 2007 Flight Deck Automation Issues Website  
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