Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research






Modern aircraft employ a wide variety of advanced flight instrument systems that have been designed to reduce pilot workload and promote safe, efficient flight operations. Research to date on advanced flight instrumentation has primarily focused on mode confusion or pilot misinterpretation of system information. A few studies have also identified pilot concern with a reduction in manual flight skills as a result of regular operation in automated modes. This paper addresses that concern in an attempt to identify factors useful to flight curriculum development. Study participants included 110 experienced airline, corporate, and military pilots who were surveyed before and after a training session in a transport category flight training device with round dial instrumentation. An experienced instructor rated participant flight skills during the simulator activity. Study findings suggest that pilots who are more likely to use automated modes of modern "glass cockpit" aircraft have a less effective crosscheck and reduced manual flight skills. Issues related to advanced flight deck operations and training are discussed.



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