Under funding from the National Science Foundation*, and in collaboration with a local flight school, LOFT, I am examining the processes by which corporate aviation pilots learn to fly entry-level business jets. This setting provides a very interesting contrast of professional culture with the world of scheduled airline operations.
This setting presents some research opportunities that do not exist in airline operations. First, while video recording is prohibited in the flight decks of commercial airliners, it is permitted in corporate aviation. This permits us to do fine-scale analysis of courses of action and interaction in actual flight. Second, when working with an airline, we are permitted to make video recordings in high fidelity flight simulators, but since we must get in and out of the simulator in a matter of minutes, it is not possible to install other kinds of instrumentation. It is hoped that in the corporate training setting, we will be able to instrument a high fidelity flight simulator with multiple video cameras, directional microphones, eye-tracking systems, other physiological monitors (including possibly electro-physiology), and perhaps even motion tracking equipment.
Hutchins, E., Middleton, C., & Newsome, W. (2009). Conceptualizing spatial relations in flight training. Proceedings of the 15th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, (pp. 384 - 389). Dayton, OH.
*Project title: A Multiscale Framework for Analyzing Activity Dynamics, James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, and Javier Movellan, PIs.