1988-10-01

The Role of Flight Planning in Aircrew Decision Performance 881517

Currently there is a need for strategic planning/mission management techniques that help to reduce pilot workload and enhance decision making. This need is clearly seen in rotorcraft operations, especially during NOE flight in adverse conditions. To date, decision aiding techniques have focused on the development of avionics. However, another adjunct possibility is the development of formalized training programs that help a pilot to make quick, accurate decisions under time pressure. Although formalized training exists (e.g., Line Oriented Flight Training) there has been a dearth of literature that investigates the efficacy of the decision aiding strategies and tactics that these techniques employ. One such technique is contingency planning. The present study explored the relationship of contingency planning to safety and decision performance in air transport crews. The results suggested that rapid, accurate decision making under time pressure appeared to be enhanced by contingency planning in which alternative courses of action were considered. These results support the concept of providing formal training to teach decision making skills that improve a pilot's performance under high workload demands.

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