Pilot visual attention in dynamic changing situations during glass cockpit simulations
Russi-Vigoya, Maria Natalia
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Many accidents in the aviation industry are attributed to pilot error. The probability for pilot error increases if there is an extraordinary situation like poor visibility and equipment failures. This dissertation studies the eye movements of pilots maneuvering a simulator through scenarios of equipment failure and poor visibility. Eye movements are tracked because they are good indicators of visual attention. The knowledge gained about the visual attention of pilots during these situations leads to critical insights about the cognitive states of pilots in dangerous situations. This research demonstrates statistical relationships between eye fixations and situation awareness, between eye fixations and experience, and throughout workload changes. It also reports the common eye behavior characteristics of certified private pilots during dynamic simulations. This analysis of eye motions could help improve predictions on pilot decision-making, and reduce the occurrences of pilot error.