GEOGRAPHIC ORIENTATION IN AIRCRAFT PILOTS: CHART SCALE AND PILOT PERFORMANCE.
HUMAN FACTORS RESEARCH INC LOS ANGELES CALIF
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An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the Sectional Aeronautical Chart could be reduced in scale without detrimental effect on geographic orientation performance. Using a cinema method to simulate the visual aspects of low-altitude navigation, pilot orientation performances were measured under different chart conditions. Under one condition the pilots used a standard 1500,000 scale Sectional and under the other condition they used the same chart reduced to a 11,000,000 scale. The results did not support the hypotheses, but showed that chart scale had a significant effect on orientation performance. However, the direction of the effect depended upon the particular route flown. Orientation performance was better with the reduced scale on one route, but better with the standard scale on another route. A theoretical explanation of the complex results was offered, based on orientation strategies adopted by the pilots under different conditions of flight. The implications of the orientationstrategy model for the design of aeronautical charts and navigation displays were discussed. Author