SIMULATOR FIDELITY CONSIDERATION by liaoxiuli4

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									Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


       SIMULATOR FIDELITY CONSIDERATIONS FOR TRAINING AND EVALUATION OF
                             TODAY'S AIRLINE PILOTS

                    Thomas Longridge,1 Judith Bürki-Cohen,2 Tiauw H. Go,3Andrew J. Kendra2
                   1
                       Federal Aviation Administration, Advanced Qualification Program AFS-230
                                                   Washington, DC
                             2
                              DOT/Volpe National Transportation Systems Center DTS-79
                                        3
                                         Massachusetts Institute of Technology
                                             Cambridge, Massachusetts

                        ABSTRACT                            on flying skills. In all cases it will require that flight
   Regulatory changes in response to today’s airline        operations training include specific emphasis on
pilot training and evaluation needs push the twin issues    building proficiency in the integration of cognitive and
of effectiveness and affordability of flight simulators     motor flying skills. While these needs are particularly
for use by U.S. airlines to the forefront. The Federal      pertinent to initial qualification curricula, they may
Aviation Administration (FAA) is sponsoring two             also necessitate certain changes in recurrent training
research programs with high pay-off potential in this       curricula, in order to assure that requisite proficiency is
area, namely, platform motion and realistic radio           maintained, especially for rarely practiced skills, or
communications. This paper describes the rationale and      those with very low prior experience histories.
the initial results of this work.
                                                               Similarly, it becomes increasingly important for each
        TODAY’S AIRLINE ENVIRONMENT                         airline to assure that pilot training for both new-hire
   Managers of airline pilot training programs today are    and existing pilot populations appropriately reflects its
increasingly being faced with some unprecedented            dynamically changing environment, whether that be in
challenges. Of these, changing demographics in the          terms of aircraft systems, flight procedures, or
available new-hire population is clearly the most           corporate culture.
prominent. Many of the nation's largest airlines have
                                                               With regard to the regulatory environment pertinent
found it necessary to dramatically decrease their entry-
                                                            to these developments, there is both good and bad
level requirements in terms of flight hours and prior
                                                            news. On the positive side, the Federal Aviation
experience. This in turn has placed even greater
                                                            Administration (FAA) has established a voluntary
pressure on smaller airlines, where entry levels have
                                                            regulatory program for airlines that is well suited to
been lowered to bare minimums, while turnover among
                                                            meet the training challenges of today and tomorrow.
pilots leaving for positions with major airlines is at an
                                                            The Advanced Qualification Program (AQP), which
all time high. All of this is occurring in a backdrop of
                                                            was established as Special Federal Aviation Regulation
increased congestion within the National Aerospace
                                                            (SFAR) 58 (FAA, 1990), is specifically designed to
System (NAS), associated short-term strategies (such
                                                            assure that pilot training programs remain responsive
as Land and Hold Short) to manage capacity, the
                                                            to changing needs, and that the graduates of such
acquisition of newer aircraft with increasingly
                                                            programs not only possess the requisite knowledge and
automated cockpit systems, the merging of airlines
                                                            hands-on skills, but that in particular, they can
which may differ in their operating procedures and
                                                            demonstrate proficiency in the integration of cognitive
their corporate cultures, and near term plans for new
                                                            and motor skills in operationally realistic scenarios that
ways of operating within the NAS, such as free flight,
                                                            test both.
and Air Traffic Control (ATC) data link.
                                                               On the negative side, the traditional pilot training
    CHANGE IN TRAINING AND EVALUATION
                                                            regulations, Subparts N & O of Part 121 of the Code of
                       NEEDS
                                                            Federal Regulations, which constitute the only
   These developments clearly have implications for
                                                            alternative to AQP, are sorely out of date relative to
the design and content of pilot training. Pilot training
                                                            today's needs. The FAA is presently in the process of
curricula which were based on certain entry level
                                                            rewriting Subparts N & O. A Notice of Proposed
assumptions that no longer are valid must be revised to
                                                            Rulemaking (NPRM) detailing proposed changes to
incorporate training in areas either not previously
                                                            traditional pilot training, testing, and checking
required for airline new-hires, or not previously
                                                            requirements is anticipated at a future date.
addressed in depth. In some cases this will require a
substantial increase in the footprints allocated to           AQP requires airlines to employ a systematic
training and assessment of basic knowledge and hands-       instructional design process in determining the content


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Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


of pilot training, testing, and checking, as well as in the     While these developments will be largely transparent
allocation for those purposes of training equipment to        to major airlines under AQP, they will be especially
curricula. It specifically requires the use of entry level    challenging to smaller airlines that do not presently
analysis to assure that training content is appropriately     employ simulators, or that have limited access to such
matched to an airline's pilot population, and it              equipment. Depending on the particular aircraft make,
mandates the implementation of a continuing quality           the availability of flight simulators may be
control process for monitoring the effectiveness of           problematic, and for some operators, cost could be
curricula. While it allows flexibility in equipment           prohibitive.
selection, AQP is not ordinarily intended for use in
                                                                 It should be clear from the various considerations
curricula that employ the aircraft for training. Rather,
                                                              discussed above that two related issues of particular
AQPs typically employ a suite of training equipment,
                                                              importance for meeting the challenges of the future
which includes flight training devices and full flight
                                                              will be training effectiveness of flight simulators and
simulators.
                                                              their affordability. While the effectiveness of flight
   The revised Subpart N & O rules are expected to            simulators for initial and recurrent training of airline
incorporate a similar philosophy, in contrast to the          pilots is well recognized, there are two areas that
existing rules, which permit training, testing, and           warrant further examination in light of the preceding
checking to be conducted entirely in the aircraft. It can     discussion. These are platform motion and the
reasonably be expected, therefore, that within a few          simulation of realistic radio communications.
more years, all airline pilot training in the U.S. will
                                                                 While all FAA qualified full flight simulators are
require the use of full flight simulators for certain
                                                              required to have platform motion, there remain a
training, testing, and checking tasks, while allowing for
                                                              number of questions yet to be empirically addressed
the use of flight training devices for many but not all
                                                              through appropriate research. Specifically, the question
such tasks. It can also be expected that pilot training
                                                              to be answered is whether the training conducted in a
addressing both cognitive and motor skills in simulated
                                                              fixed-base simulator with a wide Field Of View (FOV)
scenarios that require both sets of skills will be a
                                                              visual system produces a result equivalent to that
requirement for all curricula, both in AQP and
                                                              which would be obtained in a like system having
otherwise.
                                                              platform motion cueing. An additional question from a
   A related regulatory development is the pending            regulatory perspective is whether proficiency checks
issuance of a NPRM on simulator qualification.                conducted in a visually equipped fixed-base simulator
Whereas presently U.S simulator qualification                 provide an equivalent opportunity to verify the line-
procedures and standards are detailed only in a FAA           operational readiness of air-carrier pilots.
Advisory Circular (AC120-40B, FAA, 1991, as
                                                                 If the answers to these questions can reliably and
amended), the proposed new rule is intended to
                                                              validly be obtained, the FAA may be better able to
establish a regulatory basis for those procedures and
                                                              determine what level of equipment should be required
standards. If issued as a final rule, airlines and training
                                                              for initial or recurrent training programs in the future,
centers that do not maintain their flight simulators in
                                                              and whether changes to future qualification criteria for
accordance with the procedures and standards on
                                                              such equipment are warranted. These decisions could
which basis the FAA originally qualified the
                                                              significantly affect the cost and availability of flight
equipment could be subject to FAA enforcement
                                                              training equipment in light of future regulatory plans,
action.
                                                              particularly for small operators.
         IMPLICATIONS FOR SIMULATORS
                                                                 One of the widely recognized deficiencies in the
   The net result of these developments is that
                                                              current state of the art in full flight simulation is
ultimately all pilot training in the U.S. will be
                                                              realistic radio communications. The simulation of such
conducted in FAA qualified training equipment (full
                                                              communications is typically accomplished by the pilot
flight simulators, and, where permitted, flight training
                                                              instructor/evaluator (I/E), who is also tasked with
devices) rather than in aircraft. Airlines will be
                                                              operating the simulator while observing trainee
required by regulation to maintain the fidelity of such
                                                              performance. This mode of simulation is a highly
equipment in accordance with FAA qualification
                                                              simplified representation of radio communications, and
criteria. Furthermore, it can be expected that regardless
                                                              does not even begin to approach the challenges to
of whether an airline is conducting pilot training under
                                                              hearing, acknowledging, and appropriately responding
an AQP or under revised traditional rules, all curricula
                                                              to radio communications within a real world
will require training in operationally realistic scenarios.
                                                              environment. It follows that scenario based training,
                                                              testing, and checking that is based on such an


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Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


unrepresentative means of simulation is not likely to be       Volpe has therefore been tasked to obtain objective
fully effective in developing the cognitive and             data on simulator motion requirements. Questions to be
workload management skills associated with radio            answered include, but are not limited to, the following:
communications. While this is obviously a deficiency        Are there any flight tasks for which a measurable
of long standing, it may assume greater significance in     difference in simulator training effectiveness can be
light of the changing demographics of the pilot new-        found with and without platform motion? What is the
hire population. It follows that research is needed to      relationship in motion cueing effectiveness for a wide
measure the impact of realistic radio communications        FOV visual display versus platform motion? Are
on training effectiveness, and to make an assessment of     existing platform motion qualification criteria optimal?
whether there may be an affordable means of better          Is there a relationship between pilot experience level
simulating this function in light of developing             and the effectiveness of platform motion for training?
technology.
                                                            Current Findings
          SIMULATOR MOTION FIDELITY                            A first experiment intended to answer some of these
                  REQUIREMENTS                              questions used a FAA qualified Level C simulator with
Subject Matter Expert (SME) Opinion                         a six degree-of-freedom (DOF) synergistic motion
  The focus on simulator motion originated from a           system and a wide angle high-quality visual system,
series of joint FAA-industry symposia on the most           simulating a 30 passenger turboprop airplane with twin
costly aspects of airplane simulation organized by the      wing-mounted engines (Bürki-Cohen, Boothe, Soja,
Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center                 DiSario, Go, and Longridge, 2000; Go, Bürki-Cohen,
(Longridge, Ray, Boothe, Bürki-Cohen, 1996). This           and Soja, 2000). Deficiencies identified in a review of
was part of a FAA-sponsored review of simulator             prior research designs were avoided by measuring both
requirements as outlined in AC120-40B (FAA, 1991).          pilot stimulation and response, testing both maneuvers
The SMEs from industry, academia, and FAA                   and pilots that are diagnostic of a need for motion,
participating in the discussions on simulator motion        preventing pilot and instructor bias, and ensuring
generally perceived that the absence of platform            sufficient statistical power to capture operationally
motion cueing in fixed-base devices is likely to have a     relevant effects. Experienced airline pilots were
detrimental effect on pilot control performance,            evaluated and trained in the simulator, half of them
particularly in maneuvers entailing sudden motion-          with and the other half without motion. Then the
onset cueing with limited visual references. It was also    transfer of skills acquired by both groups during this
noted, however, that there was no scientific evidence       training was tested in the simulator with the motion
that training in a fixed-base device would lead to          system turned on as a stand-in for the airplane (quasi-
degraded control performance in the actual aircraft         transfer). The test maneuvers selected were engine
(Transcript, 1996). This issue is especially pertinent in   failures on take-off with either rejected take-off (RTO)
a device equipped with a wide FOV visual system,            or continued take-off (V1/R cut), which satisfied the
which can generate an illusion of motion (vection).         criteria described in the literature as diagnostic for the
Literature Review                                           detection of a motion requirement. These criteria
                                                            included 1) closed loop, to allow for motion to be part
   An extensive literature review confirmed that
                                                            of the control feedback loop to the pilot; 2) disturbance
platform motion in the simulator might improve the
                                                            maneuver, to highlight an early alerting function of
acceptability of the simulator, at least when the pilots
                                                            motion (Gundry, 1976; Hall, 1989); 3) high gain, to
were aware of the motion manipulation (Reid and
                                                            magnify any motion effects and to reduce the stability
Nahon, 1988; but see Bussolari, Young, and Lee,
                                                            of the pilot/airplane control loop (Hall, 1989); 4) high
1987). Motion also improved pilot performance and
                                                            workload with crosswind and low visibility, to increase
control behavior in the simulator, especially for
                                                            the need for redundant cues such as provided by
disturbance tasks and tracking tasks of aircraft with
                                                            motion, out-the-window view, instruments and sound;
low dynamic stability (Hosman and van der Vaart,
                                                            and 5) short duration, to prevent pilots from adjusting
1981; Hall, 1978; Hall, 1989). Some of the benefits of
                                                            to a lack of cues. Both subjective (I/E grades,
platform motion have also been shown to transfer to a
                                                            questionnaires) and objective data recorded from the
higher fidelity simulator (Levison, 1981). However,
                                                            simulator were collected from the experiment.
the literature review also showed that the benefits of
platform motion have not been proven in the case of            The results of the study indicate that the motion
transfer of training to the airplane (see, e.g., Waag,      provided by the test simulator did not, in an
1981).                                                      operationally significant way for the tasks tested, affect
                                                            either evaluation, training progress, or transfer of
                                                            training, acquired in the simulator with or without


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Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


motion, to the simulator with motion. It also didn’t        skills as well as the technical difficulties of simulating
consistently affect the Pilots’ Flying (PF), Pilots’ Not    radio communications realistically without additional
Flying (PNF), and I/Es’ subjective perception of the        personnel. As has been explained earlier, however,
PFs’ performance, workload, and training, or of their       today’s training and evaluation needs increasingly
own comfort in the simulator. Neither did it affect the     require the inclusion of the cognitive aspects of the
acceptability of the simulator to the PF and the PNF.       flying task. Volpe, in collaboration with NASA Ames,
                                                            has therefore examined 1) airlines’ current methods of
   Note, however, that because the current simulator
                                                            simulating radio communications, 2) the effect of these
qualification procedures do not provide a means to
                                                            practices on training and evaluation according to
objectively assess the quality of the produced motion
                                                            subject matter experts, literature, and reports on initial
(Lahiri, 2000), the motion provided by the test
                                                            operating experience (IOE), and 3) industry efforts to
simulator may not be typical of other FAA qualified
                                                            improve the current situation. A summary of this work
Level C simulators. Specifically, the observed lack of
                                                            follows (see Bürki-Cohen, Kendra, Kanki, and Lee,
lateral acceleration produced by the simulator shortly
                                                            2000, for details). Future efforts may experimentally
following the engine failure compared to the lateral
                                                            examine the impact of providing realistic radio
acceleration from the aircraft mathematical model
                                                            communications.
suggests that the simulator used in the study may not
have provided sufficient motion stimulation to the          Current practices
pilot. Clearly, additional steps must be taken to              The findings summarized below are based on
determine the extent to which it may or may not be          information collected from 29 I/Es from 14 AQP
appropriate to draw generalization based on these           airlines, including seven major, one cargo, four
results.                                                    regional, and two foreign airlines. I/Es were queried
Further Studies                                             about their simulation of different events, including
                                                            ATC (tower, approach/departure, en route) and
   To validate and generalize the previous results, two
                                                            company       communications      (dispatch,    ramp,
follow-up studies are underway. One examines the
                                                            maintenance, flight attendants) to own aircraft, ATC
typicality of the test simulator used in the previous
                                                            communications to and from other aircraft or ground
experiment, by gathering data from other Level C and
                                                            vehicles (the so-called party line), as well as visual
D simulators and then comparing these data to the test
                                                            representation of other traffic.
simulator. This effort will provide information on
whether the earlier results may apply to other FAA            A first finding was that the method of simulating
qualified simulators, at least for the maneuvers and        radio communications is indeed almost exclusively I/E
pilot population tested.                                    role-play, where the I/E issues instructions and
                                                            responds from his station directly behind the crew.
   The second study will be similar to the previous one,
                                                            This was found both for company and ATC radio
while eliminating any possible causes of not having
                                                            communications.
found an effect of motion. For example, the motion
system of the test simulator will be tuned to provide the      With regard to communications to own airplane, all
best possible performance within its operational            I/Es reported simulating ATC clearances in the
envelope. Also, test subjects will fly different            terminal environment, and all but two provide
maneuvers considered to be diagnostic for detecting an      communications en route. Fewer I/Es make time to
effect of motion. Finally, the type of airplane simulated   role-play company communications, between 63
and the pilot population will be different from the         (ramp/gate) and 94 percent (dispatch).
previous experiment. Results of this study will help
                                                               I/Es were also queried about representation of other
determine whether the benefits of tighter motion
                                                            traffic. Only 59 percent indicated that their simulators
standards, as currently considered, would justify the
                                                            provide some out-the-window view of traffic, mainly
potential reduction in simulator availability due to an
                                                            on the airport surface. Ten reported simulation of
inevitable increase in acquisition, maintenance, as well
                                                            traffic via the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance
as enforcement efforts.
                                                            System (TCAS). With regard to the party line, only 38
     REALISTIC RADIO COMMUNICATIONS                         percent of all I/Es reported simulating any
    SIMULATION FIDELITY REQUIREMENTS                        communications to and/or from other aircraft or
  Given the engineering efforts expended on the             vehicles, mainly on the airport surface.
simulation of the airplane, the lack of sophistication in
representing the operational environment, of which          Instructor/Evaluator Opinions
radio communications represent the largest aspect, may        I/Es were asked to indicate their allocation of time
be due both to a historical emphasis on motor flying        and effort between running the simulation, simulating


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Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


radio communications, instructing and observing. I/Es         is superior to part-task training in an incomplete
spend about 50 percent their time and effort observing,       environment that may induce a false sense of
twenty      percent      each    role-playing     radio       operational simplicity akin to tunnel vision (see, e.g.,
communications and operating the simulator, and less          Fabiani, Buckley, Gratton, Coles, Donchin, and Logie,
than ten percent instructing.                                 1989). Learning is an active process, and practice can
                                                              lead to either activation or inhibition of cognitive
   Not surprisingly, I/Es rated their workload
                                                              pathways (Bransford and Franks, 1976). If pilots are
consistently higher for training and checking in the
                                                              consistently exposed to an impoverished environment
simulator than in the actual aircraft with real
                                                              during training, they may end up unprepared for the
communications and no simulator to run. On the other
                                                              “quick pace of an airline environment and [its]
hand, they feel that the communications workload of
                                                              associated distractions,”1 where their inexperience may
the pilots is significantly reduced. One I/E mentioned
                                                              prove fatal.
that even the manual workload of pilots is reduced,
because “[p]ilots are not normally given a chart              Effect on initial operating experience (IOE)
frequency, nor do they need to redial a new frequency            A search of the ASRS database from January 1993
to communicate.”                                              to October 1999, resulting in 93 reports related to flight
   I/Es    stressed     the   importance      of   radio      events during IOE, confirmed some of the concerns
communications simulation for teaching such skills as         expressed by I/Es and the literature (see Bürki-Cohen
(new) ATC procedures, Crew Resource Management                and Kendra, manuscript, for details). Most of the errors
(CRM) and situation awareness effectively. The overall        reported involved altitude deviations or course
importance of radio communications is perceived               deviations. Other multiple errors were landing or take-
highest in the terminal environment. I/Es concern with        off without clearance, approach to or landing on the
simulating radio communications may have best been            wrong runway or airport, runway incursions, and loss
summarized by the I/E who stated: “Without                    of communications.
communication simulation, when the pilot trainee                 Radio communications played a major role in 72
finally arrives in the ‘real world,’ he must add another      percent of the reports. Demanding, inadequate, or even
component…This new (additional) component can                 erroneous ATC instructions spearheaded the factors
really complicate line flying.”                               leading to events deemed worthy of a report. Amended
Literature review                                             clearances requiring reprogramming of the automation
                                                              or erroneous “expect” instructions were often cited.
   Many of the I/E opinions found in the previous
                                                              This was followed by inadequate CRM or task
section are confirmed in the literature (for more detail,
                                                              management related to radio communications, ATC
see Bürki-Cohen et al., 2000). Both AQP and CRM
                                                              interruptions including traffic calls and frequency
recognize that coordination with ATC, company, and
                                                              congestion, stuck microphones blocking an entire
flight attendants is an integral part of line operations
                                                              frequency, or pilots stepping on an ongoing
and that frequency monitoring is important for
                                                              conversation. Next were radio-tuning problems and
maintaining traffic and weather situation awareness
                                                              unfamiliar phraseology and accent, the latter usually in
(FAA, 2000; FAA, 1998).
                                                              non-English speaking territory.
   Incident and accident investigations highlight the
importance of radio communications. The Flight Safety         Industry initiatives
Foundation Approach and Landing Accident (ALA)                  Given all the evidence presented in the previous
Reduction Task Force recommends that operators                section, it is not surprising that both airlines and
“[i]nclude training scenarios that allow crews to             simulator industry are striving to improve radio
experience overload, task saturation, loss of situational     communications realism. Only efforts known to have
awareness, out-of-control and too-far-behind-the              been used in airline training will be discussed (see
aircraft-situations, and communications in stressful          Bürki-Cohen et al, 2000, and Bürki-Cohen and
circumstances.” Joint training should be held between         Kendra, manuscript, for details).
pilots and air traffic controllers including scenarios that     Among the most operationally realistic efforts is
“promote mutual understanding of issues on both the           United Airlines’ Interactive Real Time Audio System
flight deck and in the ATC environment, and foster            (IRAS). It is based on field recordings of actual ATC
improved       communications        during     emergency     communications, including both communications to
situations” (Khatwa and Helmreich, 1999).                     own and to and from other aircraft with controller
  There is much theoretical and experimental evidence
                                                              1
that whole-task training in a fully loaded environment            From an ASRS report



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Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


voices dubbed with the individual instructors’ voices.      validity of the results, it is likely that considerable
The system, however, is no longer operational due to        additional research in this area will still be needed.
high scenario-development, integration and instructor-      Initial research on the simulation of radio
training costs.                                             communications for U.S. airline pilot training strongly
                                                            suggests that in order to be fully effective in
   The Canadian simulator manufacturer CAE has
                                                            developing the cognitive and workload management
developed the Ground Air Traffic Environment System
                                                            skills associated with radio communications,
(GATES) after a request from a foreign airline to
                                                            significant improvements are needed in the resources
provide a visual representation of traffic in the airport
                                                            available to the pilot instructor for that purpose. The
terminal environment. It soon became obvious that
                                                            present practice of relying on IOE to compensate for
correlated and meaningful radio communications
                                                            the deficiencies in simulator resources for training
would have to be an essential component of such
                                                            radio communications skills may become increasingly
traffic representation. The I/E still provides all ATC
                                                            inadequate in view of the changing demographics of
communications to own airplane, however. Several
                                                            the pilot new-hire population, as well as the anticipated
domestic airlines and training facilities as well as
                                                            future regulatory requirement for all airlines to conduct
foreign airlines and military are currently equipping
                                                            training in operationally realistic flight simulator
their simulators with GATES.
                                                            scenarios. Although there have been a number of
   Lufthansa and the German ATC organization                promising developments in this arena, considerable
Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) are collaborating on           additional research is needed to reduce the cost and
Joint Operational Incidents Training (JOINT). Up to         labor requirements associated with simulating radio
eight Lufthansa simulators can be linked to two DFS         communications in an operationally realistic fashion.
ATC control sector simulators, resulting in highly
effective recurrent training of both pilots and
                                                                           ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
controllers. Each ATC simulator consists of a
                                                              This work has been supported by FAA Office of the
controller work station with a radar display showing
                                                            Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Human
the simulated airplanes flown by the flight simulator
                                                            Factors, AAR-100, where we thank the Program
crews as well as other airplanes sharing the same
                                                            Manager, Dr. Eleana Edens, for her guidance and
airspace operated by a pseudo pilot sitting at a
                                                            insights. We also thank the airline and industry
connected computer station.
                                                            representatives that have contributed to this work, and
                    CONCLUSIONS                             Ms Young Jin Jo.
   The twin issues of training effectiveness and
                                                                                REFERENCES
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                                                              Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 10: 93-127.
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Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OH, 5-8 March 2001


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