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Where do pilots look when they land?

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • We measured the eye-movements of fixed-wing aircraft pilots as they carried out simulated landings

    under day and night lighting conditions. Both students and certified pilots were found to make significant

    glideslope control errors, which were largest during simulated night landings. We found that pilot gaze was directed most often toward the runway (i.e. of all the visible scene features). Contrary to predictions, their gaze was not consistently directed at the aircraft's simulated aimpoint. Instead, gaze was skewed toward the near half of the runway and appeared to track the threshold of the runway. Interestingly, pilots were found to fly the aircraft so that the simulated aimpoint was aligned with the runway threshold. We conclude that simulated day landings provided additional out-of-cockpit visual information which significantly improved glideslope control. However, it appears that this visual information was primarily acquired via peripheral vision, without the need for active fixation.

UOW Authors


  •   Palmisano, Stephen
  •   Kim, Juno (external author)
  •   Ash, April (external author)
  •   Allison, Robert S. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Palmisano, S. A., Kim, J., Ash, A. & Allison, R. S. (2009). Where do pilots look when they land?. Combined abstracts of 2009 Australian psychology conferences: The abstracts of the 36th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (p. 43). Melbourne: Australian Psychological Society.

Start Page


  • 43

Place Of Publication


  • Melbourne

Abstract


  • We measured the eye-movements of fixed-wing aircraft pilots as they carried out simulated landings

    under day and night lighting conditions. Both students and certified pilots were found to make significant

    glideslope control errors, which were largest during simulated night landings. We found that pilot gaze was directed most often toward the runway (i.e. of all the visible scene features). Contrary to predictions, their gaze was not consistently directed at the aircraft's simulated aimpoint. Instead, gaze was skewed toward the near half of the runway and appeared to track the threshold of the runway. Interestingly, pilots were found to fly the aircraft so that the simulated aimpoint was aligned with the runway threshold. We conclude that simulated day landings provided additional out-of-cockpit visual information which significantly improved glideslope control. However, it appears that this visual information was primarily acquired via peripheral vision, without the need for active fixation.

UOW Authors


  •   Palmisano, Stephen
  •   Kim, Juno (external author)
  •   Ash, April (external author)
  •   Allison, Robert S. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Palmisano, S. A., Kim, J., Ash, A. & Allison, R. S. (2009). Where do pilots look when they land?. Combined abstracts of 2009 Australian psychology conferences: The abstracts of the 36th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (p. 43). Melbourne: Australian Psychological Society.

Start Page


  • 43

Place Of Publication


  • Melbourne