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Portable Weather Applications for General Aviation Pilots

Ahlstrom, Ulf and Ohneiser, Oliver and Caddigan, Eamon (2016) Portable Weather Applications for General Aviation Pilots. Human Factors. SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/0018720816641783 ISSN 0018-7208

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Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the potential benefits and impact on pilot behavior from the use of portable weather applications. Method: Seventy general aviation (GA) pilots participated in the study. Each pilot was randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group and flew a simulated single-engine GA aircraft, initially under visual meteorological conditions (VMC). The experimental group was equipped with a portable weather application during flight. We recorded measures for weather situation awareness (WSA), decision making, cognitive engagement, and distance from the aircraft to hazardous weather. Results: We found positive effects from the use of the portable weather application, with an increased WSA for the experimental group, which resulted in credibly larger route deviations and credibly greater distances to hazardous weather (≥30 dBZ cells) compared with the control group. Nevertheless, both groups flew less than 20 statute miles from hazardous weather cells, thus failing to follow current weather-avoidance guidelines. We also found a credibly higher cognitive engagement (prefrontal oxygenation levels) for the experimental group, possibly reflecting increased flight planning and decision making on the part of the pilots. Conclusion: Overall, the study outcome supports our hypothesis that portable weather displays can be used without degrading pilot performance on safety-related flight tasks, actions, and decisions as measured within the constraints of the present study. However, it also shows that an increased WSA does not automatically translate to enhanced flight behavior. Application: The study outcome contributes to our knowledge of the effect of portable weather applications on pilot behavior and decision making.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/104083/
Document Type:Article
Title:Portable Weather Applications for General Aviation Pilots
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Ahlstrom, UlfUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ohneiser, OliverOliver.Ohneiser (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5411-691X
Caddigan, EamonUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:20 April 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Human Factors
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1177/0018720816641783
Editors:
EditorsEmail
De Lucia, Patricia R.UNSPECIFIED
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0018-7208
Status:Published
Keywords:Decision making Flight displays Mobile devices Navigation Situation awareness
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Efficient Flight Guidance
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Control > Controller Assistance
Deposited By: Ohneiser, Oliver
Deposited On:30 Aug 2016 13:24
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:19

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