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(searched for: doi:10.1080/10508414.2016.1234936)
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Beth Blickensderfer, Jacqueline McSorley, Nicolas Defillipis, Jayde M. King, Yolanda Ortiz, Thomas A. Guinn, Robert Thomas
Journal of Air Transportation, Volume 29, pp 153-159; https://doi.org/10.2514/1.d0242

Abstract:
Current literature indicates that a lack of weather knowledge and poor product interpretability may be contributing to the high probability of fatalities in general aviation weather-related accidents. Eight hundred and thirty-seven general aviation pilots completed an online aviation weather product interpretation test that asked pilots to apply information gleaned from weather hazard products for fight planning. Participants were divided into five categories of certificate/ratings. A total of 118 questions were divided into five separate tests and randomly distributed to the participants. A series of analyses were conducted to assess the impact of weather product and pilot certification on interpretation scores. Overall, certified private pilots scored significantly lower than certificated commercial pilots, flight instructors, and airline transport pilots. Private with instrument rating pilots scored significantly lower than certificated flight instructors and air transport pilots. Further analysis revealed that pilots scored lowest on ceiling visibility analysis, satellite, station plots, and surface prognostic products. Highest scores were associated with winds aloft, graphical turbulence, and pilot reports. The results have implications for both weather display design and pilot training.
Sweta Parmar,
Published: 16 December 2020
Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.566780

Abstract:
We argue that providing cumulative risk as an estimate of the uncertainty in dynamically changing risky environments can help decision-makers meet mission-critical goals. Specifically, we constructed a simplified aviation-like weather decision-making task incorporating Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD) images of convective weather. NEXRAD radar images provide information about geographically referenced precipitation. NEXRAD radar images are used by both pilots and laypeople to support decision-making about the level of risk posed by future weather-hazard movements. Using NEXRAD, people and professionals have to infer the uncertainty in the meteorological information to understand current hazards and extrapolate future conditions. Recent advancements in meteorology modeling afford the possibility of providing uncertainty information concerning hazardous weather for the current flight. Although there are systematic biases that plague people’s use of uncertainty information, there is evidence that presenting forecast uncertainty can improve weather-related decision-making. The current study augments NEXRAD by providing flight-path risk, referred to as the Risk Situational Awareness Tool (RSAT). RSAT provides the probability that a route will come within 20 NMI radius (FAA recommended safety distance) of hazardous weather within the next 45 min of flight. The study evaluates four NEXRAD displays integrated with RSAT, providing varying levels of support. The “no” support condition has no RSAT (the NEXRAD only condition). The “baseline” support condition employs an RSAT whose accuracy is consistent with current capability in meteorological modeling. The “moderate” support condition applies an RSAT whose accuracy is likely at the top of what is achievable in meteorology in the near future. The “high” support condition provides a level of support that is likely unachievable in an aviation weather decision-making context without considerable technological innovation. The results indicate that the operators relied on the RSAT and improved their performance as a consequence. We discuss the implications of the findings for the safe introduction of probabilistic tools in future general aviation cockpits and other dynamic decision-making contexts. Moreover, we discuss how the results contribute to research in the fields of dynamic risk and uncertainty, risk situation awareness, cumulative risk, and risk communication.
Yolanda Ortiz, Beth Blickensderfer, Ian Johnson, Chris Johnson, Barrett Caldwell, Dennis Beringer
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, Volume 61, pp 58-61; https://doi.org/10.1177/1541931213601480

Abstract:
Weather-related incidents account for the majority of general aviation accidents. Fortunately, a body of on-going, human factors research exists aimed at understanding and addressing this problem. The purpose of this session is to highlight that research. Topics will include the adequacy of pilots’ aviation weather knowledge and skills, weather information presentation, and use of technology to assess pilot performance and to improve pilot training. The session is designed to lead a discussion about the complexity of aviation weather, the dangers of weather in GA flight and the research underway to minimize the hazards and improve air safety.
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