Pilot Interaction With Cockpit Automation: Operational Experiences With the Flight Management System
This chapter reports the results of two studies that provide converging, complementary data on pilots' difficulties with understanding and operating one of the core systems of cockpit automation, the Flight Management System (FMS). The major FMS controls in the cockpit are the Mode Control Panel and the multifunction keyboards of two control display units. The current training programs for pilots in transition to glass cockpits can provide pilots with the basic knowledge required to make the FMS work, especially in standard situations. Pilots reported that they are surprised by uncommanded mode transitions that occur on reaching a target state or for protection purposes. The corpus of reported and observed difficulties provides a picture of the kinds of complexities that can arise in pilot-automation interaction and the kinds of task contexts in which these complexities can affect performance.