Pilots challenged by monitoring automated systems

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jul 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Airline pilots spend nearly all their time monitoring automated cockpit systems rather than "hand-flying" planes, but their brains aren't wired to continually pay close attention to instruments that rarely fail or show discrepancies.

    As a result, pilots may see but not register signs of trouble, a problem that is showing up repeatedly in accidents and may have been a factor in the recent crash landing of a South Korean airliner in San Francisco, industry and government experts say.

    Teaching pilots how to effectively monitor instruments has become as important as teaching them basic "stick-and-rudder" flying skills, a panel of experts told an annual safety conference of the Air Line Pilots Association, the world's largest pilots union, on Wednesday.

    "The human brain just isn't very well designed to monitor for an event that very rarely happens," said Key Dismukes, a top NASA human factors scientist.

    While people "do very well" at actively controlling a plane, "we're not well designed to monitor for a little alphanumeric (a combination of alphabet letters and numbers) on the panel even if that alphanumeric tells us something important," he said. "We can't just sit there and stare at the instruments."

    Read More: http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/pilots-challenged-monitoring-automated-systems-6C10669671

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