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Aiding Vertical Guidance Understanding.  (1998)
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A two-part study was conducted to evaluate modern flight deck automation and interfaces. In the first part, a survey was performed to validate the existence of automation surprises with current pilots. Results indicated that pilots were often surprised by the behavior of the automation. There were several surprises that were reported more frequently than others. An experimental study was then performed to evaluate (1) the reduction of automation surprises through training specifically for the vertical guidance logic, and (2) a new display that describes the flight guidance in terms of aircraft behaviors instead of control modes. The study was performed in a simulator that was used to run a complete flight with actual airline pilots. Three groups were used to evaluate the guidance display and training. In the training condition, participants went through a training program for vertical guidance before flying the simulation. In the display condition, participants ran through the same training program and then flew the experimental scenario with the new Guidance�Flight Mode Annunciator (G-FMA). Results showed improved pilot performance when given training specifically for the vertical guidance logic and greater improvements when given the training and the new G-FMA. Using actual behavior of the avionics to design pilot training and FMA is feasible, and when the automated vertical guidance mode of the Flight Management System is engaged, the display of the guidance mode and targets yields improved pilot performance.
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Automation, Flight Management System, Vertical guidance
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Feary, M., McCrobie, D., Alkin, M., Sherry, L., Polson, P., Palmer, E. (1998). Aiding Vertical Guidance Understanding. NASA/TM-1998-112217. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA.
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Last Updated: August 15, 2019