Reactions of Air Transport Flight Crews to Displays of Weather During Simulated Flight
- Anderson, Brittany
- January 31, 2005.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Fallon, Corey, Bailey, William R., III, Bustamante, Ernesto, and Bliss, James P.
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Display of information in the cockpit has long been a challenge for aircraft designers. Given the limited space in which to present information, designers have had to be extremely selective about the types and amount of flight related information to present to pilots. The general goal of cockpit display design and implementation is to ensure that displays present information that is timely, useful, and helpful. This suggests that displays should facilitate the management of perceived workload, and should allow maximal situation awareness. The formatting of current and projected weather displays represents a unique challenge. As technologies have been developed to increase the variety and capabilities of weather information available to flight crews, factors such as conflicting weather representations and increased decision importance have increased the likelihood for errors. However, if formatted optimally, it is possible that next generation weather displays could allow for clearer indications of weather trends such as developing or decaying weather patterns. Important issues to address include the integration of weather information sources, flight crew trust of displayed weather information, and the teamed reactivity of flight crews to displays of weather. Past studies of weather display reactivity and formatting have not adequately addressed these issues; in part because experimental stimuli have not approximated the complexity of modern weather displays, and in part because they have not used realistic experimental tasks or participants. The goal of the research reported here was to investigate the influence of onboard and NEXRAD agreement, range to the simulated potential weather event, and the pilot flying on flight crew deviation decisions, perceived workload, and perceived situation awareness. Fifteen pilot-copilot teams were required to fly a simulated route while reacting to weather events presented in two graphical formats on a separate visual display. Measures of flight crew reactions included performance-based measures such as deviation decision accuracy, and judgment-based measures such as perceived decision confidence, workload, situation awareness, and display trust. Results demonstrated that pilots adopted a conservative reaction strategy, often choosing to deviate from weather rather than ride through it. When onboard and NEXRAD displays did not agree, flight crews reacted in a complex manner, trusting the onboard system more but using the NEXRAD system to augment their situation awareness. Distance to weather reduced situation awareness and heightened workload levels. Overall, flight crews tended to adopt a participative leadership style marked by open communication. These results suggest that future weather displays should exploit the existing benefits of NEXRAD presentation for situation awareness while retaining the display structure and logic inherent in the onboard system.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050110297.
- No Copyright.
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