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Modern Flight Instrument Displays as a Major, Military Aviation Flight Safety Weakness,
BRITISH AEROSPACE PLC GODALMING (ENGLAND)
Consideration of the major causes of flying accidents over which the airframe and engine manufacturers can exert a powerful influence shows that following list Structural Failure Engine Failure Flying Control Failure Instrument Failure, and Pilot Error. With the first three of these causes - Structural, Engine and Flying Control failures - while mistakes do occur, the manufacturers have a reasonable record, there is no evidence of complacency, and in addition there is a large well established, government controlled, national bureaucracy offering valuable checks and advice on testing and airworthiness certification. Pilot error in different, but appropriate ways, also attracts much effort aimed at its reduction. Most importantly, so far as the purposes of this paper are concerned, the accident trends related to the first three causes, as well as those due to pilot error, do not appear to have changed fundamentally during the last decade. The same cannot be said of instrument display related accidents. Since the advent of Head Up and computed displays in general, and the operators real need to expand the non-visual manoeuvre envelope, there has been a marked increase in display related accidentsincidents in both operational and development flying. This note suggests that attempts at curing the problem have been based on a false assumption that has ignored the reality of the piloting task in modern high performance jet aircraft. Proposals are offered to improve the situation by both engineering and organizational changes. Author
This article is from the Proceedings of the Conference on Flight Mechanics and System Design Lessons from Operational Experience Held in Athens, Greece on 10-13 May 83, AD-A137 607, p21-1 - 22-3.