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Old 11th Jun 2009, 22:46
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florence,AZ
Age: 76
Posts: 15
Man machine Interface

Now you're talking. We will continue to improve the machines...but the interface to a human is THE critical component in the total performance picture.
I had this discussion with Al Smith at MDC years ago (around the time of the DC-9-50). The man/machine interface has to be intuitive!! And, here is the crux, it has to be intuitive to the pilot...not the engineer who designed it!!
When I was at Bendix, the RDR 1E and 1F Pilot's Guides were written by engineers. Most pilots didn't read them.
I rode a lot of jumpseat with CO, WA, FR, MX. AW, HA, AN, AV, and Air Mic, talking with crew about the use of WXR. A colleague did the same with other airlines. We agreed that most pilots are non technical!! WXR is also subjective. That drove the development of color and Doppler, both attempts to make the radar less subjective. It's better but not perfect.
I have always been concerned with the automation in the aircraft failing and handing the aircraft off to the pilot at the worst possible moment. Not sure how we prevent that scenario, but if I were flying the airplane I'd want to have some hands on, in a sim or benign conditions, practice, to prepare for that contingency. I think that training is most important.
Putt is offline