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Resource Details

Source: Beringer, D.B. (1997). Automation Effects in General Aviation: Pilot Responses to Autopilot Failures and Alarms. In R.S. Jensen & L. Rakovan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.
Source Type:   Experiment
Synopsis: "This study examined four malfunctions of the autopilot; two relatively obvious (runway pitch-trim down, runaway roll servo) and two comparatively subtle (failed attitude indicator, pitch sensor drift down), and the effect of an auditory warning. ... The study ... was intended to explore some of the more serious and more subtle malfunctions that did have a moderate probability of causing the termination of the flight. ... Pilots were obtained from the local area who were instrument rated and had experience with complex aircraft and autopilot systems. ... the sample contained 22 men and 2 women. ... Data were collected in the Advanced General Aviation Research Simulator (AGARS), configured as a Piper Malibu was simulated Bendix/King avionics (KAP-150 autopilot), in the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute Human Factors Research Laboratory. Simulation software, running on Silicon Graphics platforms, approximated the behavior of the Malibu. ... Pilots participated in an experimental session lasting between 2.5 and 3 hours.The first hours consisted of experiment-related paperwork and fmilarization trining activities ... The second half of the session was used to collect performance data for the four malfunction conditions. A round-robin instrument clearance was flown in the Oklahoma city (OKC) area in IFR conditions between textured cloud layers. ... Pilots were required to interact with ATC, fly vectors, track inbound to two VOR stations, and fly a fully-coupled ILS approach, flying as much of the course on autopilot as possible. ... The session concluded with an autopilot experience questionnaire and interview."
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