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The role of Pilots' monitoring strategies in flight performance

Abstract : Since decades, the number of aircraft accidents is continuously decreasing thanks to support systems and the introduction of automation. However, a drawback of this trend is that crews tend to be “automation addict” due to pressure and fatigue, which mean that they practice less and less manual flying. Also, an over-confidence in the automation can promote the occurrence of a particularly prominent typology of error: the failure of the crew to properly monitor the flight instruments, which can be particularly hazardous during the final approach phase. This paper describes an experiment that was undertaken to study pilot’s monitoring strategies thanks to eye tracking technology during manual approaches. We examined the relationship between visual patterns and flight performance (to find out if the approach was stabilized or not). The results show that gaze allocation of pilots who failed to stabilize their approach was sub-optimal. An analysis of the visual dispersion shows that they did not divide efficiently their visual attention compared to reference crew. Also, these pilots did not sufficiently gaze primary flight instruments requested to fly the approach (the attitude indicator, the localizer and the glide deviation scales). We assume that eye tracking may be a useful tool to improve pilots' monitoring strategies, for example gaze-training based on video clip showing experts’ visual pattern could help novice pilots to adopt appropriate gaze strategies.
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https://hal-enac.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01405262
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Olivier Lefrancois, Nadine Matton, Yves Gourinat, Vsevolod Peysakhovich, Mickael Causse. The role of Pilots' monitoring strategies in flight performance. EAAP32, European Association for Aviation Psychology Conference, Sep 2016, Cascais, Portugal. ⟨hal-01405262⟩

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