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Flying the Needles: Flight Deck Automation Erodes Fine-Motor Flying Skills Among Airline Pilots

Haslbeck, Andreas and Hörmann, Hans-Jürgen (2016) Flying the Needles: Flight Deck Automation Erodes Fine-Motor Flying Skills Among Airline Pilots. Human Factors, 58 (4), pp. 533-545. SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/0018720816640394 ISSN 0018-7208

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of practice and training on fine-motor flying skills during a manual instrument landing system (ILS) approach. Background: There is an ongoing debate that manual flying skills of long-haul crews suffer from a lack of flight practice due to conducting only a few flights per month and the intensive use of automation. However, objective evidence is rare. Method: One hundred twenty-six randomly selected airline pilots had to perform a manual flight scenario with a raw data precision approach. Pilots were assigned to four equal groups according to their level of practice and training by fleet (short-haul, longhaul) and rank (first officer, captain). Results: Average ILS deviation scores differed significantly in relation to the group assignments. The strongest predictor variable was fleet, indicating degraded performance among long-haul pilots. Conclusion: Manual flying skills are subject to erosion due to a lack of practice on long-haul fleets: All results support the conclusion that recent flight practice is a significantly stronger predictor for fine-motor flying performance than the time period since flight school or even the total or type-specific flight experience. Application: Long-haul crews have to be supported in a timely manner by adequate training tailored to address manual skills or by operational provisions like mixed-fleet flying or more frequent transitions between short-haul and long-haul operation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/104258/
Document Type:Article
Title:Flying the Needles: Flight Deck Automation Erodes Fine-Motor Flying Skills Among Airline Pilots
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Haslbeck, AndreasTechnische Univesität München, Institute of ErgonomicsUNSPECIFIED
Hörmann, Hans-Jürgenhans.hoermann (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6358-7027
Date:June 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Human Factors
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:58
DOI :10.1177/0018720816640394
Page Range:pp. 533-545
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0018-7208
Status:Published
Keywords:skilled performance, automation, perceptual-motor performance, manual controls, information processing
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 - Human factors and safety in Aeronautics
Location: Hamburg
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Aviation and Space Psychology
Deposited By: Hörmann, Dr.phil. Hans-Jürgen
Deposited On:23 May 2016 14:49
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:19

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