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Title:A comparison of methods for promoting geographic knowledge in simulated aircraft navigation
Author(s):Williams, Henry Phillip
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wickens, Christopher D.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Geographic disorientation is a potentially dangerous problem for all types of pilots under all types of flight conditions. The problem is even more serious for helicopter pilots who often fly at low altitudes and who must be precisely aware of their location with respect to obstructions in their environment. Any pre-flight method which can increase a pilot's geographic knowledge of the flying environment should therefore offer potential benefits to safety.
In this experiment the traditional pre-flight navigation training method of map-study was compared to four versions of a relatively new method known as rehearsal flight. In the rehearsal flights pilots actively flew or passively watched either a high- or a low-detail version of a simulated flight through the target environment. Subjects then transferred to a second simulator where their navigation accuracy was assessed on the evaluation flight. The map-study subjects, rather than participating in a rehearsal flight, used the map to mentally rehearse the flight before transferring to the second simulator and flying the evaluation flight.
The results indicated that navigation accuracy was not affected by the rehearsal flight's level of scene detail. However, the subjects who actively controlled the rehearsal flight, as compared to those who passively watched it, navigated more accurately on the evaluation flight. But when the map-study group was compared to the rehearsal flight groups, no substantial differences in navigation accuracy were found. In fact, the map-study subjects showed an advantage on certain measures of their global knowledge of the layout of the environment (survey knowledge). These results indicate that at least for relatively simple missions, a structured map-study session may still be the most appropriate tool for preparing pilots for the navigational aspects of an upcoming flight.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Williams, Henry Phillip
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9411822
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9411822

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