Old 23rd Jul 2013, 18:30
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Vienna
Age: 46
Posts: 352
Whilst I am conversant with modern avionics/FMS, I sometimes wonder if they generate a lower arousal state on the flight deck?
One study which has looked into this is Masalonis, A.J., Duley, J.A., & Parasuraman, R. (1999). Effects of manual and autopilot control on mental workload and vigilance during simulated general aviataion flight, Transportation Human Factors, 1(2), 187-200. (I can access a full-text copy, just PM me if interested.)

Another article that may be of interest to several of you is available online. It also gives some examples of how pilots avoid being reduced to mere button-pushers without reverting to (probably not SOP-compliant) pure raw data handflying: Trust but Verify | Flight Safety Foundation

Argue the point if you want, either you can fly or you can't.
Actually I don't think it's that simple. I fully acknowledge the notion of a pilot having to be sufficiently proficient in some tasks even if they are not part of the daily business in highly automated flying (and not of particular interest to bean-counters who are but the executive power of customers who want cheap fares and above all investors who want profit). On the other hand, I posit that even a proficient pilot can be under par or find him/herself in a situation where the aid provided by automation is more than welcome. But of course that's a different story than being completely automation-dependent.
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