The project will address this statement by investigating the following focus points. These points have been proposed as research areas by the initial knowledge and evidence from industry experience and analysis and will form the basis for the initial research in the project.
- Develop understanding of the underlying causes and contributory human factors in relation to unintended aircraft states in 4th generation commercial transport aircraft.
Examples of specific research areas that could be included in this research are:
- In monitoring a highly reliable system, pilots sometimes have difficulties with interpreting the situation, managing the flight-path and making decisions. Proposed research can investigate this tendency and the effects on the ability to maintain a safe aircraft state, reacting appropriately to unexpected events.
- Pilots can become accustomed to using a very limited set of instruments, parameters, and controls to manage the flight path flight guidance, flight management, auto throttle/auto thrust, electronic system monitoring. These narrow channels can lead to a loss of the “big picture”. Proposed research should investigate the extent to which this is true, and the effects on being able to reliably maintain a safe aircraft state when faced with unexpected events.
- From the analysis of available data, determine mitigation strategies to guide the future development of operations procedures, training and cockpit design with respect to 4th generation commercial transport aircraft.
- Whilst recognising the benefits of automated systems in 4th generation aircraft, the aim is to provide guidance solutions to assist the pilot, in preventing the loss of aircraft state awareness and where necessary therefore to enable potential rapid transition to assume full and effective manual aircraft control where necessary.
- Predict the validity effectiveness of mitigation strategies through development of trial programs and the collection of relevant operations and training data.
The management of serious events, which include elements of “startle”, unexpected or even unforeseen occurrences, whilst coping with stressful situations (including physiological and/or emotional responses) should also be investigated. Research should focus measuring the impact of these events on performance.