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Resource Details

Source: Sarter, N.B. & Woods, D.D. (1992). Pilot interaction with cockpit automation: Operational experiences with the Flight Management System. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 2(4), 303-321. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Source Type:   Observation
Synopsis: "To complement the data gathered through pilot reports, we observed the behavior of experienced pilots who were in the process of transitioning to the B-737-300 aircraft. This transition training involves classroom, computer-based training (CBT), LOS (line-oriented simulation) sessions on a fixed-base trainer, and LOFT (line-oriented flight training) sessions on full-mission simulators. At the end of training, pilots take a 4-hr simulator check-ride in which they have to demonstrate that they are proficient in the following autoflight systems operations: Active Data Base Check, FMS and Performance Initialization, Flight Plan Entry, Direct To/Intercept Leg To, Holding Pattern, Installing an Approach, Closing a Route Discontinuity, and MCP (Mode Control Panel) Speed Interventions. We observed 10 pilot crews during fifteen LOS sessions with 6 different scenarios during transition on a fixed-base B-737-300 trainer ... Each of the observed LOS sessions requires 3 hours to complete. As in line operations, one of the pilots is assigned the role of pilot-flying, the other carries out the tasks of the pilot-not-flying. From time to time, the simulation is interrupted by the instructors to ask questions or discuss the flight situation with the pilots. The simulation scenarios consist of a complete flight, including cockpit setup, takeoff and landing, and they are designed to cover predefined sets of objectives emphasizing FMS operations. Abnormal and increasingly difficult situations such as system failures are introduced at the later stages of training. Throughout each LOS session, an observer was present (the first author) who was knowledgeable about both the scenarios and the FMS procedures and activities required to handle each scenario. The observer collected two types of data. First, she encoded crew-FMS interactions - the methods used to carry out given tasks and errors or difficulties that occurred. A second source of data was the discussion between the instructor and the crew which occurred during the scenario and after the scenario was completed."
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