Digital Training to Analog Flying: Is There a Problem? Western Michigan University, College of Aviation Geoff Whitehurst, Tom Grossman, William Rantz Great Lakes International Aviation Conference 2011 Number of aircraft 1827 323 577 Glass equipment Analog equipment Light Glass equipment Notes: (1) Light Glass means EADI and EHSI (2) Total aircraft includes part 121 regional airlines and part 135 charter operators likely to hire WMU grads (3) Part 91 operations are not included due to lack of reliable data. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Glass Analog/light glass Date Frame (month/year) Notes: Based on exit interview data kept by the WMU chief pilot 09/08 - 09/10 09/06 - 08/08 09/04 - 08/06 09/02 - 08/04 Leaving Aviation 09/00 - 08/02 Percentage CFI’s Leaving WMU to Fly… CFI's leaving….. # of individuals, percentage of total 43, 15% 134, 45% 118, 40% To fly glass To fly analog or light glass Aviation Data represents years 1999 – present Notes: Based on exit interview data kept by the WMU chief pilot CFI's leaving….. # of individuals, percentage of total 5, 15% 16, 47% 13, 38% To fly glass To fly analog or light glass Aviation Data represents years 09/2000 – 08/2002 Notes: Based on exit interview data kept by the WMU chief pilot CFI's leaving….. # of individuals, percentage of total 11, 28% 7, 17% To fly glass 22, 55% To fly analog or light glass Aviation Data represents years 09/2002 - 08/2004 Notes: Based on exit interview data kept by the WMU chief pilot Conclusions • Pilots hired into a 121 carrier will likely be assigned a glass equipped aircraft. • Industry trends indicate a shift toward entry level positions requiring glass proficiency. • Recent economic times has shifted entry level positions from 121 to 135 & 91 operators, thereby maintaining the need for analog skills. CFI Survey • WMU is considering the pros and cons of moving to an all-glass training fleet. Please answer the following questions. CFI Survey • What percentage of your multi engine students struggle with situational awareness when initially transitioning to the Seminole/Seneca? • List the approximate percentage of students who have experienced the following. • The total of your responses should be close to 100%. ______ No struggle at all ______ Slight initial struggle but adapted well ______ Moderate struggle ______ Significant struggle to adjust to analog presentation ______ Still struggling at course completion CFI Survey • On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least important and 5 being the most, how important is it for WMU graduates to have – An all glass exposure 1 2 3 4 5 – An all analog exposure 1 2 3 4 5 – A mixed glass/analog exposure 1 2 3 4 5 How Well Do Students Transition to Analog? What % struggle with SA? 34% No struggles 5% Slight initial struggle 33% Moderate struggle Significant struggle 7% Still struggling at course completion 21% Conclusions • WMU MEIs indicate that the average student experiences moderate difficulty with Situational Awareness while flying aircraft equipped with analog instrumentation. • WMU MEIs have expressed an overwhelming opinion that WMU graduates should have a mixed exposure to both glass and analog equipment. Research • Research into this potentially lethal problem is obviously required. • A study is being developed to determine if there is flight performance degradation, and/or situational awareness degradation for pilots who have only experienced digital flight instrumentation when exposed to analog instrumentation for the first time. Review of Existing Literature • Numerous studies on transition from traditional cockpit to a modern-glass cockpit. • No empirical research examining the transition of pilots from a modern-glass cockpit to a traditional analog cockpit and the possible risks involved • Anecdotal information about transition challenges Research Questions • When pilots trained in digitally equipped aircraft transition to analog equipped aircraft, is there: • A) technical skills degradation? • B) situational awareness degradation? Simulator vs PC-ATD Simulator Sim Photo Sim Photo Personal Computer – Aviation Training Device (PC-ATD) Cessna 182 Skylane Glass Cessna 182 Skylane RG PC-ATD Photo with Analog Instrumentation Flight Profiles • Four flights per session • Each flight consists of – Take-off – Radar vectored instrument pattern • Position check (situational awareness) – ILS to land • Assessed using practical test standards for instrument flight Experimental Design • Two group control group design • Participants randomly allocated to either the control group or the treatment group • Pre-test - Control and Treatment – Cessna 182 Skylane Glass • Post-test - Control – Cessna 182 Skylane Glass • Post-test - Treatment – Cessna 182 Skylane RG Analysis of Data • Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) • Pre-test scores as the covariate Applied Research Outcomes • If there are technical skills degradation. To what extent is that degradation and can those skills be brought to proficiency and within what time period? • If there is situational awareness degradation. To what extent is that degradation and can those skills be brought to proficiency and within what time period?