Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems


The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects that analog instrument display versus primary flight display (PFD) had on pilot performance. Pilot performance was evaluated by: (a) time, and (b) number of errors. There were twenty subjects with a minimum of a private pilot license selected from the Aeronautical Science department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Three flight conditions (spoiler problem, engine problem, and flap failure) acting as a control group was given to the flight students while flying a traffic pattern. A Silicon Graphics® flight simulation software program and a video camera were used as the data gathering instruments. The results indicated that no significant difference existed between time under the primary flight display and under the analog instrument display (p = 0.872); however, the number of errors under the primary flight display was significantly less than the analog instrument display (p = 0.008).