The ergonomic evaluation of eye movement and mental workload in aircraft pilots.Ergonomics. 1990 Jun; 33(6):719-33.E
This paper presents an experiment which examines characteristics of pilots' scanning behaviour when using integrated CRT displays, and the changes in characteristics when pilots face abnormal situations. The subjects were five experienced pilots. They performed two modes of flight tasks, under normal and abnormal situations, in flight simulators with standard settings. The flight simulators were for a Boeing 747-300 (B747), which made use of electromechanical displays, and for a Boeing 767 (B767), equipped with integrated CRT displays. The results showed that the B767 pilots tended to gaze at the attitude director indicator which was displayed in the integrated CRT display. It was assumed that 'gaze-type scanning' might be one of the characteristics of pilots' scanning behaviour in cockpits which use the integrated display. By employing subjective ratings and heart rate variability to measure mental workload, no differences in mental workload between the B767 pilots and the B747 pilots were observed. However, in abnormal situations, the changes in scanning pattern for B767 pilots were found to be smaller than those of the B747 pilots. It is concluded that the application of integrated displays helps pilots to obtain sufficient information more easily than electromechanical displays do, even under abnormal situations.