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Source: Sarter, N.B. & Woods, D.D. (1994). Pilot interaction with cockpit automation II: An experimental study of pilot's model and awareness of the Flight Management System. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 4(1), 1-28. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Source Type:   Experiment
Synopsis: "The experimental scenario for this study was designed to address ... issues related to (a) pilots' proficiency in standard tasks, (b) pilots' mental model of the functional structure of the FMS and (c) their awareness of system state and behavior (mode awareness). In cooperation with a flight instructor, we identified tasks and events that would best serve to probe these phenomena. The basic flight context consisted of a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco which took approximately 60 minutes to complete. ... The participants in this study were 20 airline pilots who responded to postings or who were approached by the airline's training department. Participation was voluntary and pilots were paid a nominal compensation for their cooperation. The participating pilots either had a considerable amount of line experience on the B-737-300 (n=14), or they were about to finish their fixed-base transition training to the B-737-300 (n=6). ... Pilots were asked to fly individually a 60 minute scenario on a fixed-base B-737-300 part-task trainer. This simulator works based on an actual aircraft data base. It is equipped with all relevant cockpit instruments, and it allows for any operation except hand-flying the aircraft below 1,000 ft AGL. Upon arrival at the simulator, pilots were provided with the necessary paperwork (e.g. charts, approach plates, weather, weight manifest) as well as the LAX-ATIS and their clearance ... The participants were asked to take their seat in the cockpit, and to act as Pilot-Flying (PF) during this flight. They were given time to familiarize themselves with the cockpit set-up and the intended flight. The instructor told them that weather was not a consideration, no NOTAMSs existed for the flight, and all appropriate checklists would be completed during the flight. The instructor took care of the cockpit set-up for the participant. He occupied the empty seat and acted as Pilot-Not-Flying (PNF) and ATC throughout the flight. An observer was seated behind both pilots to collect behavioral and verbal data throughout the test run and to introduce scenario events through manipulation of the simulator (e.g., introduction of failures). ... At various points during the scenario, pilots were asked to perform or describe FMS-related tasks, or they were asked questions concerning their FMS-related knowledge. After completion of the flight, additional questions were asked concerning FMS logic and operations, and the pilots were given the chance to ask the instructor about tasks and events that occurred during the test run."
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