MEASURES OF PILOT PERFORMANCE: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF DAY AND NIGHT CARRIER RECOVERIES.
DUNLAP AND ASSOCIATES INC SANTA MONICA CALIF WESTERN DIV
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The research purpose was to explore the psychophysical differences implied by a daynight carrier landing accident ratio of 14. The approach required a valid and reliable in-flight measure of pilot landing performance to a determine quantitative differences between day and night landings, and b differentiate the influence of day and night visual information performance. An attempt to quantify and define daynight pilot landing performance was the subject of a field experiment in which landing performance was recorded for 21 Navy F4 pilots during day and night carrier landing operations. Altitude and lateral error were the principal measures of pilot performance. Results Generally, pilots tended to approach slower and higher, and land harder and shorter by day than by night. Significant differences were found between day and night pilot altitude performance at 14 mile .01 and 18 mile .05 from touchdown with night altitude error variability at least twice that recorded during the day. By day, pilot approaches were consistently above glide slope while approximately 14 of all night landings were below glide slope. Pilot perceptual ability and experience factors resulted in significant multiple correlations for predicting day lateral error performance. It was concluded that an empirical criterion of pilot landing performance was necessary to gain insight into the radically different visual and perceptual environments encountered in day and night carrier landings. Author