Examining the Perception and Effectiveness of a System Awareness Briefing During Cruise Flight

Scott R. Winter, Mattie N. Milner, Emily C. Anania, Stephen Rice, Nathan W. Walters, Diego Garcia, Bradley S. Baugh


Automation has increased the safety of air transportation by assisting pilots during periods of high workload and during critical phases of flight. However, an unintended consequence of automation proliferation has been the reduction in attention resulting from its use. Prior research has shown that during periods of high automation and low workload, pilots’ minds begin to wander and occupy themselves with thoughts other than the current task at hand. This research involved conducting four separate studies addressing the following research questions: 1) Would the use of a system awareness briefing result in the general public being more willing to fly on commercial airlines? 2) Do student pilots support the use of a system awareness briefing? and 3) Does a system awareness briefing actually improve pilot awareness of automation and aircraft parameters during cruise flight? The results from Studies 1 and 2 indicated participants preferred flying with a pilot who was using the system awareness briefing compared to a pilot not using the briefing. The findings from Study 3 did not reveal any significant differences between pilots who used the system awareness briefing versus those that did not. In Study 4, pilots who used the system awareness briefing were more accurate in reporting current heading, fuel flow, and electrical volts, compared to pilots who did not use the briefing. They also reported that they felt more situational awareness compared to the control group.

Keywords: system awareness briefing; experimental research; automation; training

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22488/okstate.19.100201


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