Date of Award

11-2012

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics

Department

Applied Aviation Sciences

Committee Chair

Guy M. Smith, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Nickolas Macchiarella, Ph.D.

Abstract

Auditory alerts are widely used in today's daily routine. Unlike their visual counterparts, auditory alerts can be used to capture someone's attention, even though the user is not within visual range. As beneficial as auditory alerts can be, it is possible to become habituated to alerts. Habituation is the elimination of a response as a result of continuous exposure to a stimulus. In this small-scale study, methods to reduce pilot habituation to the 'landing gear unsafe' auditory alert were investigated. Ten subjects executed eight non-precision instrument approaches that exposed the subjects to the 'landing gear unsafe' auditory alert for a prolonged period of time. Subjects were exposed to four different landing gear auditory alerts: (a) a constant alert over time (control), (b) an alert that changed in pitch over time, (c), an alert that changed in loudness over time, and (d) an alert that changed in duration over time. During the study, the researcher tracked whether the subjects complied with all required procedures; afterwards, subjects completed a questionnaire about their perceptions of the alerts. The results showed the alert that changed in pitch over time yielded the most accurate procedures. The questionnaire data also favored the alert that changed in pitch over time.

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