RETENTION OF SIMULATED LUNAR LANDING MISSION SKILLS: A TEST OF PILOT RELIABILITY
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Four crews of three pilots were tested on a simulated 7-day lunar landing mission at intervals of 4, 8, 9, and 13 weeks, after original training. The 6 weeks of training culminated in real time performance of the mission but, for the skill retention test the mission was compressed into a single 13-hour workday by omitting less significant tasks and waiting periods. Following the test 1 or 3 days of additional training on selected mission phases was given all crews. The analysis of results focused attention on individual and crew performance at the end of training, in the skill retention test mission, and in the following retraining trials, as represented by 22 selected flight control parameters distributed over nine mission phases. Using novel analytic techniques the levels of performance observed were given as reliabilities, or probabilities of success in meeting hypothetical criteria for the parameters. Also, for greater sensitivity to changes in capability, test and retraining performances were alternatively given as probabilities of success in meeting the level of performance estimated achievable by each individual in 95 percent of his performances at the end of training. The obtained probabilities are taken to indicate 1 lack of direct practice of critical tasks over 8 weeks or more in space missions will result in unacceptable skill deterioration unless design and operational planning are remedied and 2 aerospace research pilots are capable of performing the type of mission used in this study, if extreme care is given to their training and individual performance reliability is demonstrated. Further research on skill retention is indicated and advantages of the analytic methodology used are stated.
- Manned Spacecraft