Flight deck automation issues (1998)


Title: Flight deck automation issues (1998)
Author(s): Beth Lyall and Ken Funk
Abstract: Hundreds of articles and presentations have addressed problems and concerns with flight deck automation. Many have raised general concerns about the approaches taken to automation use philosophies and automation design. Others have addressed specific problems or concerns identified with particular designs or implementations of automation. The first phase of our research identified 114 human factors problems and concerns with flight deck automation (Funk, Lyall, & Riley, 1995). In the second phase of our project we used a wide variety of sources to locate and record evidence related to these problems and concerns. Because an issue is “[a] point of discussion, debate, or dispute …” (Morris, 1969), we decided to change our terminology and refer to these problems and concerns as flight deck automation issues. This is what will be used for the remainder of this paper. The sources we reviewed for evidence included accident reports, documents describing incident report studies, and documents describing scientific experiments, surveys and other studies. We also conducted a survey of individuals with broad expertise related to human factors and flight deck automation (human factors scientists, aviation safety professionals, pilots, and others), and evaluated a related set of ASRS incident reports. We reviewed these sources for data and other objective information related to the issues. For each instance of evidence we qualitatively assessed the extent to which it supported one side of the issue or the other, and assigned a numeric strength rating between -5 and +5. We assigned a positive strength rating to evidence supporting that side of the issue suggested by its issue statement (supportive evidence) and a negative strength rating to evidence supporting the other side (contradictory evidence).
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