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Source: Muthard, E.K. & Wickens, C.D. (August 2002). Factors That Mediate Flight Plan Monitoring and Errors in Plan Revision: An Examination of Planning Under Automated Conditions. Nasa Technical Report AFHD-02-11/NASA-02-8. Moffett Field, CA: NASA Ames Research Center.
Source Type:   Experiment
Synopsis: "The present experiment sought to explore the effects of automation on plan monitoring and errors in plan revision. Pilots were asked to select one of two flight paths that traversed through hazardous airspace with the aid of attention guidance automation, then monitor the safety of this plan by seeking and reporting changes in dynamic traffic aircraft and weather systems. In one-fourth of trials, an experimenter-induced change threatened the safety of the chosen flight path, and pilots should have optimally revised their plan as a result. In these trials, the automation always failed to highlight this hazard, despite its increase in both its importance to the planning task and its risk to the safety of the flight plan. A secondary loading task was added on all trials. Automation aided plan selection accuracy and secondary task performance. Pilots were poor at plan monitoring, detecting only 30.5% of changes, which is substantially less than that found in a similar, though less demanding version of this experiment. Changes that were relevant to the planning task were detected more quickly than irrelevant changes, and changes to highlighted hazards were more accurately detected than those to non-highlighted hazards. Pilots committed plan continuation errors on nearly one-third of trials, and were more likely to do so under the imperfect automation condition than with no aid present. A relationship between the likelihood of committing a plan continuation error and performance in detecting the change that threatened the safety of the flight path was also found, showing that, in those trials where pilots failed to properly revise a plan, detection of the safety-threatening change was also poorer."
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