Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2016-2017 - 32
DID YOU NOTICE YOUR
JUST WENT IFR?
D A V I D
H U G H E S ,
F A A
N E X T G E N
P E R F O R M A N C E
A N D
O U T R E A C H
simulator at the FAA William J . Hughes Technical Center
in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to show how this research is
being conducted, he sees the same weather displays in
the cockpit encountered by private pilot volunteers who
participate in the WTIC simulator studies . The research
effort is now in its fourth phase (see WTIC Phases 1 to
4 on page 35) . Johnson began working on the program
one year after its 2008 launch . Some of the experiments
have involved 60 to 90 general aviation pilots .
Accurate, high-resolution, rapidly updated weather
is now a reality in the cockpit for general aviation
pilots, but how effectively can a pilot absorb and use
this information? This is one of the research questions being addressed by the FAA's NextGen WTIC
program . The research aims to recommend, but not
require, a minimum performance for weather displays
so that pilots have sufficient, accurate information that
is effectively displayed to support consistent and safe
weather-related decision making .
The WTIC program does not plan to establish standards and only aims to provide guidance on ways
to enhance cockpit display of weather information to
improve pilot recognition . There will be a number of
ways to reduce any information gaps in the cockpit and
to achieve the desired level of performance so pilots
will be more likely to realize when key weather information is changing . There is no one-size-fits-all solution .
t is all too easy for general aviation pilots to overlook key cockpit-displayed weather information
if the presentation isn't obvious enough . Federal
Aviation Administration human factors engineers are
trying to shed light on how cockpit or portable display
technologies might convey vital weather information
more effectively to pilots .
Ian Johnson is a human factors researcher in the
FAA's NextGen Aviation Weather Division's Weather
Technology in the Cockpit program . When he flies a
Gary Pokodner is the FAA's Weather Technology in the Cockpit program manager.
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