Pilot feedback for an automated planning aid system in the cockpit


It is the primary responsibility of the airline pilot to safely complete a flight plan and safely land the airplane. This task can become very difficult in the face of an onboard emergency. One of the challenging tasks faced by the pilots in case of an emergency is the determination of an appropriate landing site as well as the development of a safe trajectory to reach that site. An Automated Planning Aid (APA) can assist the pilot with the tasks of selecting a landing site and developing a suitable trajectory to land. In order to evaluate such an APA, a survey of airline pilots was conducted during the late summer of 2008. The participants were presented with several questions related to the task of planning a path during a performance altering emergency, a non-performance altering emergency and an unforeseen emergency. Participants were also presented with questions about how they would prefer to interact with an APA in the cockpit and the circumstances under which such a device might be most useful. The results of the survey showed that time was the most important criterion to consider, however the methods pilots use to complete the landing site selection and trajectory development tasks vary with the type of emergency and the pilot's familiarity with the circumstances. The results of the survey are used to understand the mental processes currently used by the pilots to complete the path planning task as well as to provide insights to how an APA could be most useful during an onboard emergency.

12 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@article{Watts2009PilotFF, title={Pilot feedback for an automated planning aid system in the cockpit}, author={Robert T. Watts and Panagiotis Tsiotras and Eric N. Johnson}, journal={2009 IEEE/AIAA 28th Digital Avionics Systems Conference}, year={2009}, pages={5.B.2-1-5.B.2-13} }