Aiding the Pilot in Flight Control Fault Detection

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Chiecchio, Jerome Jose Andres
Pritchett, Amy R.
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Three flight simulator experiments examined how a health monitoring system may aid pilots in detecting flight control faults. The first experiment introduced an unexpected fault in the flight control system during an approach to a fictitious airport. The second experiment used a factorial design of (1) presence ?? notof a Fault Meter display and (2) presence ?? not ?? an Alerting System, which could have one or two phased alerts. In half the runs, a fault was triggered at some point, and pilot response was recorded. The next experiment comprised one flight in which pilots were given a false alarm by these systems, testing for automation bias. No consistent pilot response was found to the faults, with pilots sometimes successfully landing the aircraft, sometimes immediately or eventually initiating a go-around, and sometimes loosing aircraft control and crashing. The pilots were not able to identify the fault in 11% of the cases. Tunnel tracking error increased following the faults and the false alarm, suggesting it may be both a manifestation of attempts to diagnose a fault and a cue to pilots of a problem. Finally, the triggering of a false alarm showed the existence of automation bias induced after a small number of interactions with the HMS.
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