Pilot Interaction With Cockpit Automation II: An Experimental Study of Pilots’ Model and Awareness of the Flight Management System
Technological developments have made it possible to automate more and more functions on the commercial aviation flight deck and in other dynamic high-consequence domains. This increase in the degrees of freedom in design has shifted questions away from narrow technological feasibility. This chapter reports on an experimental study that addressed these questions by examining pilot interaction with the current generation of flight deck automation. The Flight Management System (FMS) supports pilots in a variety of tasks, such as flight planning, navigation, performance management, and monitoring of flight progress. The chapter outlines the experimental scenario to address predefined phenomena of interest. Major differences in performance between line-experienced and transitioning pilots were seen only with respect to three of the tasks within the scenario. A survey of pilots' self-reports of their operational experiences with the FMS and observations of transition training from a conventional to a glass-cockpit aircraft were used to gather a corpus of problems with FMS operation.