Date of Award

Fall 2001

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

S. M. Doherty, Ph.D.

Committee Member

B. D. Aumack, Professor

Committee Member

J. W. Williams, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of cockpit noise on aircraft pilot psychomotor performance on a simulated tracking task. The performance of thirty-two participants was measured on a vertical and horizontal tracking task. In the control group, eight participants were used in a quiet condition. In the experimental group, eight participants were exposed to low intensity cockpit noise (50 dBA), eight participants were exposed to medium intensity cockpit noise (60 dBA) and eight participants were expose to high intensity cockpit noise (70 dBA). The performance of the control and experimental groups was measured in an advanced simulator flight-tracking task for 60 minutes with no rest periods. The results confirmed that noise does have an effect on pilot performance in the cockpit. Results also supported the contention that advanced flight simulators create meaningful aircraft environments for aircraft pilots. Noise affected the performance of the pilots on several performance measures (vertical and horizontal control inputs during straight and level flight).