Helicopter shipboard landing is a cognitively complex task that is challenging both for pilots and their crew. Effective communication, accurate reading of the flight instruments, as well as monitoring of the external environment are crucial for a successful landing. In particular, the final phases of landing are critical as they imply high workload situations in an unstable environment with restricted space. In the present qualitative study, we interviewed ten helicopter pilots from the Italian Navy using an applied cognitive task analysis approach. We aimed to obtain a detailed description of the landing procedure, and to identify relevant factors that affect pilots’ workload, performance, and safety. Based on the content analysis of the interviews, we have identified six distinct phases of approaching and landing on a ship deck and four categories of factors that may significantly affect pilots’ performance and safety of the landing procedure. Consistent with previous studies, our findings suggest that external visual cueing is vital for a successful landing, in particular during the last phases of landing. Therefore, based on the pilots’ statements, we provide suggestions for possible improvements of external visual cues that have the potential to reduce pilots’ workload and improve the overall safety of landing operations.

Helicopter Pilots’ Tasks, Subjective Workload, and the Role of External Visual Cues During Shipboard Landing

Tušl Martin;Rainieri Giuseppe;Fraboni Federico;De Angelis Marco;Depolo Marco;Pietrantoni Luca
;
2020

Abstract

Helicopter shipboard landing is a cognitively complex task that is challenging both for pilots and their crew. Effective communication, accurate reading of the flight instruments, as well as monitoring of the external environment are crucial for a successful landing. In particular, the final phases of landing are critical as they imply high workload situations in an unstable environment with restricted space. In the present qualitative study, we interviewed ten helicopter pilots from the Italian Navy using an applied cognitive task analysis approach. We aimed to obtain a detailed description of the landing procedure, and to identify relevant factors that affect pilots’ workload, performance, and safety. Based on the content analysis of the interviews, we have identified six distinct phases of approaching and landing on a ship deck and four categories of factors that may significantly affect pilots’ performance and safety of the landing procedure. Consistent with previous studies, our findings suggest that external visual cueing is vital for a successful landing, in particular during the last phases of landing. Therefore, based on the pilots’ statements, we provide suggestions for possible improvements of external visual cues that have the potential to reduce pilots’ workload and improve the overall safety of landing operations.
Tušl Martin, Rainieri Giuseppe, Fraboni Federico, De Angelis Marco, Depolo Marco, Pietrantoni Luca, Pingitore Andrea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/773397
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