Simulator Evaluation of an In-Cockpit Cueing System for Upset Recovery
For manned aircraft, loss of control in flight (LOC-I) is one of the main causes of aviation fatalities; new technologies that help to reduce LOC-I thus have the potential to significantly reduce loss of life. This research effort developed and tested an in-cockpit cueing system intended to assist the crew with recovery from upset conditions.
The goal of the system is to keep pilots in the loop, leveraging their expertise while simultaneously conveying information about recovery procedures in an intuitive and unobtrusive manner. The system optimizes recovery strategies offline, stores the recovery procedures in a compact manner that can easily be queried in real-time online, and communicates the procedure to the pilot through visual and haptic cues. Eleven pilots with a type rating in at least one large commercial transport aircraft or regional jet/turbo-prop were recruited to evaluate the system in the Barron Associates fixed-based flight simulator.
The overall findings were:
- Pilots were willing to follow strategies provided by the in-cockpit cueing system
- Following strategies provided by the in-cockpit cueing system results in a final aircraft state closer to straight and level flight at the target airspeed
- Following strategies provided by the in-cockpit cueing system significantly reduces the likelihood that the pilot will exceed structural limits
- Following strategies provided by the in-cockpit cueing system significantly reduces excursions from the nominal angle of attack envelope during recovery
- Following strategies provided by the in-cockpit cueing system significantly reduces pilot workload