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Mitigating the loss of navigational awareness while flying under VFR  (2006)
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An earlier study demonstrated how reliance on GPS and moving map displays can significantly degrade pilot navigational awareness when flying under VFR [Casner, 2005]. It was hypothesized that the drop in navigational awareness was due to the passive role assumed by pilots when using equipment that automates the navigation task. In this follow-up study, eight pilots used GPS and moving map displays to navigate between the same circuit of checkpoints used in Casner (2005) while performing one additional task: while en route between each pair of checkpoints, pilots were asked to choose and point out three geographical features. The research question was whether or not a greater involvement in the navigation task would result in better pilot performance on the same test of navigational awareness used in Casner [2005]. Using the data from Casner (2005) as a control, a significant advantage was indicated for pilots who pointed out geographical features while navigating using GPS and moving maps. This suggests that simple practices that place the pilot in a more active role can help mitigate the "out-of-the-loop" phenomenon associated with using GPS and moving maps.
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navigational awareness, VFR
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International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies 6 (1), 121-129
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019