Simulator Evaluation of an Energy Monitor and Crew Alerting System

Inappropriate crew responses are an important causal factor for LOC-I and many loss of control incidents involve degradation in the aircraft energy state (e.g. stall). An important part of the solution to this problem is to improve pilot situational awareness of the aircraft energy state.

This research effort developed and tested an energy-state protection system to monitor the aircraft energy state and generate crew alerts through multiple modalities when the energy state deviates from a prescribed energy profile. These alerts indicate whether the energy state of the aircraft is high or low as well as the magnitude of the deviation from the prescribed profile. The system was evaluated for the approach flight phase in the Barron Associates fixed-base flight simulator using five ATP-rated test pilots.

The overall findings were:

  • The energy-state protection system improved energy tracking in a statistically significant manner without significantly impacting altitude, airspeed, or localizer tracking
  • All test pilots found the energy-state protection system useful
  • The majority of test pilots found that the energy-state protection system reduced workload.