In-Flight Assessment of Workload Using Instrument Scan
DIGITAL ANALYSIS CORP RESTON VA
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During instrument flight, the pilot obtains information concerning aircraft state by cross-checking or scanning the flight instruments. The exact method of scanning the instrument panal varies from pilot to pilot but there are some basic features common to a good scan pattern. Indeed, it was early study by Fitts and his associates identifying the most common instrument transitions which led to the familiar T arrangement of the major flight instrument. The method discussed here may be considered a candidate for workload studies with piloting tasks which will invoke a regular visual scan spatialtemporal pattern of eye movements during instrument flight. When instrument scan is in use, it may be postulated that external factors such as noise, interruptions, fatigue, etc which interfere with the piloting task may produce measurable changes in the scanning behavior. Such measures would be particularly attractive for quantifying workload since they would be both non-invasive and objective. It is important to point out that instrument scan by itself is not a complete indicator of workload nor is task attention necessarily associated with where the pilot happens to be looking at a particular instant. However, whenever instrument scan is required in a piloting task, analysis of scanning behavior may yield important direct or indirect information concerning workload.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Anatomy and Physiology