A COMPARISON OF COCKPIT WARNING SYSTEMS.
AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LABS WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO
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The experiment was designed to compare three types of aircraft cockpit warning systems 1 Visual malfunctions simultaneously activated a master warning light and a specific malfunction indicator light. 2 Visual and tone malfunctions simultaneously activated an intermittent sweeping tone through earphones, a master warning light, and a specific malfunction indicator light. 3 Visual and voice malfunctions simultaneously activated a master warning light, a specific malfunction indicator light, and a voice recording which informed the operator through his earphones of the specific malfunction needing attention. Three groups of 11 university students served as subjects. While responding to a visual, visual-tone, or visual-voice warning system, each subject was also required to find and position, under cross hairs, a series of strategic targets on a strip of rear-projected aerial photographic imagery. No statistically significant differences among the three warning systems were found in the speed of reaction to the master warning light, reaction to the specific-indicator panel, total reaction time, or number of strategic targets found or missed. The results of the study suggest that the addition of either a tone or a voice warning to a visual, master plus specific, malfunction warning system is of questionable value in a heads-in cockpit situation where the visual system can be seen. The data from the experiment do not suggest that a voice warning system has any advantage over a simple aural signal for augmenting a visual system. Author
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems