FDAI logo   ::  Site Map  ::   
Home  |  About This Website  |  Contact Us
Home » ... » Evidence for an Issue

Evidence for an Issue 4 pieces of evidence for this issue.

information processing load may be increased (Issue #119) - Information about the mode (state) and behavior of the automation itself may add to the pilot's information processing load, possibly resulting in increased workload and opportunities for error.

  1.  
  2. Evidence Type: Excerpt from Incident Study
    Evidence: "4.1.2.5 Multiple FMC Page Monitoring Requirements The organization of information within the FMC/CDU appears to be an issue for some pilots. Monitoring the overall status and performance of the aircraft includes being aware of fuel status, lateral path, position, vertical path, and so on. To adequately monitor aircraft status by means of the FMC, the crew must review the information that is presented on a number of different pages which are accessed by means of a number of mode and/or line select keys. Extensive monitoring of the FMC/CDU diminishes the crew's ability to monitor the data in the mode control panel at the same time, thus creating the possibility for missing important information about the status of the aircraft. [ASRS incident report #119836] 'Approach DEN from the east on J80 the captain (pilot flying) asked copilot (pilot not flying) to request FL390 due to building thunderstorms over the Rocky Mountains. I (copilot) put FL390 in the right FMS computer to check aircraft capability for FL390. After entering and executing FL390 in 1 L on FMS, I verified that the altitude window on the mode control panel was at 35,000 feet and that the autothrottles did not add power for the climb. At this point, the mode control panel altitude window was holding the aircraft at current cruise altitude of 35,000 feet. This has been an accepted procedure in this situation. After checking altitude capability in the FMC, I mentioned to the captain that we could make FL390 and would save approximately one percent of fuel with the climb. This whole check took probably less than 20-30 seconds. I then called DEN ATC and was advised to expect FL390 in approximately two minutes due to traffic. Anticipating the higher altitude, I left FL390 in the FMC active cruise page, once again checking to make sure the window read 35,000 feet. I continued to prepare the ACARS position report to be transmitted over DEN. We were approximately three minutes east of DEN. I remember checking the ETA for SLC and entering the fuel over DEN as 22.5. Since I was preparing the position report I changed from the Cruise page in view with the FL390 Cruise active page on it. During the minute or minute and a half of preparing the ACARS position report and waiting for the ATC clearance to FL390 the captain (pilot flying) changed the mode control panel altitude window to 39,000 feet, anticipating the climb. Of course, the FMC not being constrained at 35,000 feet any longer started to slow climb to FL390. The captain also began a passenger announcement to the passengers about DEN and the turbulence, and that we expected to climb to a higher altitude shortly. The center called, 'Maintain FL350.' Without even hesitating, I responded 'Roger maintain 350.' By this time the captain (pilot flying) had already started a push-over. The aircraft had reached an altitude of approximately FL357. After the aircraft was returned to FL350, I checked the mode control panel altitude window and was surprised to see 39,000 feet. We returned to 35,000 feet, our cleared altitude. Within a few minutes, Center cleared to FL390. Crew coordination and lack of communication may have contributed to the altitude excursion and conflict. The mode control panel window is, in my judgment, the last step in the altitude change process, to be changed after the clearance has been received. The autoflight system will not depart the mode control panel altitude, even it the FMC is programmed for a different altitude.' This example provides a feel for the number of information sources the crew must monitor. ... Monitoring a number of pages through the FMC/CDU can contribute to substantial cognitive workload in that the pilot must remember what page is appropriate for finding the desired information and how to access that page, either through mode select or line select keys." (page 4.12-4.14)
    Strength: +1
    Aircraft: unspecified
    Equipment: automation
    Source: Eldredge, D., Mangold, S., & Dodd, R.S. (1992). A Review and Discussion of Flight Management System Incidents Reported to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. Final Report DOT/FAA/RD-92/2. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. See Resource details

  3.  
  4. Evidence Type: Excerpt from Survey
    Evidence: 16 of the 30 (53%) respondents reported a 4 (= agree) or 5 (= strongly agree) with pc119 information processing load may be increased
    Strength: +3
    Aircraft: unspecified
    Equipment: automation
    Source: Lyall, E., Niemczyk, M. & Lyall, R. (1996). Evidence for flightdeck automation problems: A survey of experts. See Resource details

  5.  
  6. Evidence Type: Excerpt from Survey
    Evidence: 8 of the 30 (27%) respondents reported a 1 (=strongly disagree) or a 2 (=disagree) with pc119 information processing load may be increased
    Strength: -2
    Aircraft: unspecified
    Equipment: automation
    Source: Lyall, E., Niemczyk, M. & Lyall, R. (1996). Evidence for flightdeck automation problems: A survey of experts. See Resource details

  7.  
  8. Evidence Type: Excerpt from resource
    Evidence: "Seven pilots commented on the effects of changes in the nature of feedback on their monitoring performance. They think that some new glass cockpit displays (in particular the speed and altitude tape instruments) require pilots to focus on and “read” available information instead of allowing them to pick it up at a glance. Checkreading, a highly efficient ‘monitoring strategy that was supported by conventional round-dial gauges, is no longer possible on these more advanced flight decks." (page 562)
    Strength: +1
    Aircraft: A-320
    Equipment: automation:displays
    Source: Sherry, L. & Polson, P.G. (1999). Shared models of flight management system vertical guidance. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 9(2), 139-153. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. See Resource details
Flight Deck Automation Issues Website  
© 1997-2013 Research Integrations, Inc.