Pilot Performance: Assessing How Scan Patterns & Navigational Assessments Vary by Flight Expertise
Yang, Ji Hyun
Fricker, Ronald D., Jr.
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Introduction: Helicopter overland navigation is a cognitively complex task that requires continuous monitoring of system and environmental parameters and many hours of training to master. This study investigated the effect of expertise on pilots ’ gaze measurements, navigation accuracy, and subjective assessment of their navigation accuracy in overland navigation on easy and diffi cult routes. Methods: A simulated overland task was completed by 12 military offi cers who ranged in fl ight experience as measured by total fl ight hours (TFH). They fi rst studied a map of a route that included both easy and diffi cult route sections, and then had to ‘ fl y ’ this simulated route in a fi xed-base helicopter simulator. They also completed pre-task estimations and post-task assessments of the navigational diffi culty of the transit to each waypoint in the route. Their scan pattern was tracked via eye tracking systems, which captured both the subject ’ s out-the-window (OTW) and topographical map scan data. Results: TFH was not associated with navigation accuracy or root mean square (RMS) error for any route section. For the easy routes, experts spent less time scanning out the window ( r 5 2 0.61) and had shorter OTW dwell ( r 5 2 0.66). For the diffi cult routes, experts appeared to slow down their scan by spending as much time scanning out the window as the novices while also having fewer Map fi xations ( r 5 2 0.65) and shorter OTW dwell ( r 5 2 0.69). However, TFH was not signi fi cantly correlated with more accurate estimates of route diffi culty. Discussion: This study found that TFH did not predict navigation accuracy or subjective assessment, but was correlated with some gaze parameters.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.3357/ASEM.3372.2013
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