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Evidence from Resource 1 piece of evidence from this resource.

Sarter, N.B. & Woods, D.D. (1995). How in the World Did We Ever Get into That Mode? Mode Error and Awareness in Supervisory Control. Human Factors, 37(1), 5-19.

  2. Evidence Type: Excerpt from Observational Study
    Evidence: "An example of such an inadvertent mode activation contributed to a major recent accident in the aviation domain (the Bangalore crash; e.g., Lenorovitz, 1990). In that case, the pilot put the automation into a mode called OPEN DESCENT during an approach without realizing it. In this mode, airspeed is controlled by pitch rather than thrust, i.e., throttles go to idle. In the desirable mode for this phase of flight, i.e. in SPEED mode, airspeed is controlled by thrust. As a consequence of going into OPEN DESCENT, the aircraft could not sustain the glidepath and maintain the pilot-selected target speed at the same time. The flight director bars commanded the pilot to fly the aircraft well below the required profile to try to maintain airspeed. It was not until 10 seconds before impact that the crew discovered what had happened; too late for them to recover with engines at idle. How could this happen? One contributing factor in this accident may have been that there are at least five different ways of activating the OPEN DESCENT mode." (page 5-6)
    Issue: automation may be too complex (Issue #40) See Issue details
    Strength: +3
    Aircraft: A320
    Equipment: autoflight
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