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Project Summary

It is generally believed that pilots learn much of what they know about autoflight systems while flying in revenue service.  In this project we set out to discover what pilots learn while flying on the line.  Along the way, we learned a great deal about how a community of pilots generates and maintains a body of knowledge about a new airplane. Responding to what appeared to be a critical need for better conceptual understandings of the most complex autoflight modes, we also performed an analysis and redesign of the computer-based training modeles for DES mode in Airbus A320. In this part of the project we worked both with our airline partner and with Airbus training department to redesign the CBT module for the managed descent mode in the Airbus A320. 


Hutchins, E.  Measuring change in pilots’ conceptual understanding of autoflight. In Proc. of the 14th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology (ISAP 2007), pp.475-480, Dayton, Ohio, April 2007.

Hutchins, E. and Holder, B. What Pilots Learn about Autoflight While Flying on the Line. 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, March 6, 2001.

Hutchins, E. and Holder, B. Conceptual models for understanding an encounter with a mountain wave. Proceedings of HCI-Aero 2000, Toulouse, France, September, 2000.

Hutchins, E. How pilots represent risk.  CNRS 4th Multidisciplinary Seminar on “Risk, Errors and Accidents, and their Control", Gif-sur-Yvette, France, May, 2001