Title

Mid Morning Concurrent Sessions: Human Factors: Human Error and Cockpit Automation: Presentation: Exploring Pilots' Experiences of Integrating Technologically Advanced Aircraft Within General Aviation

Location

San Marcos Ballroom B

Topic Area

GENERAL AVIATION

Other Topic Area

Human Factors

Abstract

A prevalent misconception is that technologically advanced aircraft (TAA) –those with so-called glass cockpits– improved general aviation safety; consequently, scientific research proved that TAA have not improved aviation safety. A significant problem with integrating TAA in general aviation was the lack of a systematic approach for integrating TAA that addressed the impact on current system designs, processes, and regulations (Garibay & Young, 2013; Pritchett, 2009; Robertson, 2010). This qualitative single descriptive case study explored the experiences of general aviation pilots on the integration of TAA in general aviation to determine how the automation of TAA can be used to increase aviation safety and improve pilots’ decision-making skills. Purposeful and snowball sampling were used to recruit 35 general aviation pilots from Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. The participants were interviewed to gain insight on the integration of TAA, which resulted in the discovery of seven themes. The themes were (a) training, (b) safety, (c) proficiency, competency, and familiarization, (d) transformative and challenging transition, (e) situation awareness, (f) decision-making, single pilot resource management and aeronautical decision-making, and (g) regulatory. The themes, findings, and implications centered on the aftereffects of integrating TAA, which adversely impacted aviation safety and pilots’ decision-making abilities. The aftereffects are (a) outdated flight training modules, (b) dubious transition from conventional aircraft, (c) lack of regulatory oversight, and (d) failure to improve aviation safety and pilots’ decision-making skills. The following recommendations were proposed to combat the aftereffects of integrating TAA (a) to continue strategic efforts amongst those in the aviation industry to improve flight training, (b) to leverage research to justify advanced flight training, (c) to evaluate TAA accidents to determine the technological impacts, and (d) encourage pilots to capitalize on free government-sponsored education and training. Suggestions for future research include exploring the impact of Federal Aviation Administration and Industry Training Standards (FITS), to examine the non-regulatory approach in general aviation, and to investigate a systematic process to implement technology that will have minimal aftereffects on pilot safety and decision-making.

Start Date

16-1-2016 9:30 AM

End Date

16-1-2016 10:45 AM

Chair/Note/Host

Co-Chairs: Clint Balog, ERAU-WW; Erin Bowen, ERAU-PC

Keywords

Aviation, Glass cockpit, technologically advanced aircraft, human factors, general aviation, transition training, transformative, cognitive, cognition, non-regulatory, technological determinism, aviation safety, technology, flight training, fatalities, non-conventional aircraft, automation, non-regulatory, FITS, Advanced Aircraft, Aircraft, Pilot Experience, Technologically Advanced Aircraft

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Jan 16th, 9:30 AM Jan 16th, 10:45 AM

Mid Morning Concurrent Sessions: Human Factors: Human Error and Cockpit Automation: Presentation: Exploring Pilots' Experiences of Integrating Technologically Advanced Aircraft Within General Aviation

San Marcos Ballroom B

A prevalent misconception is that technologically advanced aircraft (TAA) –those with so-called glass cockpits– improved general aviation safety; consequently, scientific research proved that TAA have not improved aviation safety. A significant problem with integrating TAA in general aviation was the lack of a systematic approach for integrating TAA that addressed the impact on current system designs, processes, and regulations (Garibay & Young, 2013; Pritchett, 2009; Robertson, 2010). This qualitative single descriptive case study explored the experiences of general aviation pilots on the integration of TAA in general aviation to determine how the automation of TAA can be used to increase aviation safety and improve pilots’ decision-making skills. Purposeful and snowball sampling were used to recruit 35 general aviation pilots from Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. The participants were interviewed to gain insight on the integration of TAA, which resulted in the discovery of seven themes. The themes were (a) training, (b) safety, (c) proficiency, competency, and familiarization, (d) transformative and challenging transition, (e) situation awareness, (f) decision-making, single pilot resource management and aeronautical decision-making, and (g) regulatory. The themes, findings, and implications centered on the aftereffects of integrating TAA, which adversely impacted aviation safety and pilots’ decision-making abilities. The aftereffects are (a) outdated flight training modules, (b) dubious transition from conventional aircraft, (c) lack of regulatory oversight, and (d) failure to improve aviation safety and pilots’ decision-making skills. The following recommendations were proposed to combat the aftereffects of integrating TAA (a) to continue strategic efforts amongst those in the aviation industry to improve flight training, (b) to leverage research to justify advanced flight training, (c) to evaluate TAA accidents to determine the technological impacts, and (d) encourage pilots to capitalize on free government-sponsored education and training. Suggestions for future research include exploring the impact of Federal Aviation Administration and Industry Training Standards (FITS), to examine the non-regulatory approach in general aviation, and to investigate a systematic process to implement technology that will have minimal aftereffects on pilot safety and decision-making.