The Effect of Functional Display Information on the Acquisition and Transfer of Novice Piloting Knowledge

  

Dr. Carl (Mac) Smith

 

Prior studies using an aviation display with functional properties have shown improvements in performance and knowledge, suggesting that functional interface design may be used to improve flight training. To improve training, however, the knowledge and performance benefits observed with a functional display must generalize to a standard flight display. This study evaluates whether the knowledge and performance benefits observed with a functional aviation display (Oz) can transfer to a conventional Cessna display. Thirty-two novices were trained in one of four display conditions (Oz-Oz/Oz-Conv/Conv-Oz/Conv-Conv). Results indicate that novices initially trained on the Oz display showed improved knowledge and performance compared to novices trained on a conventional display. Novices who trained on the Oz display and then transferred to a conventional display showed improved knowledge and flight performance compared to novices who trained only on a conventional display. Novices who trained on the Oz display and then transferred to a conventional Cessna display showed less flight knowledge and performance than novices using the Oz display alone. Implications for the use of functional displays in flight training are discussed.


Carl “Mac” Smith is a user research engineer with Microsoft Games User Research, and is the lead user researcher for Microsoft Flight Simulator. He recently completed his PhD in Human Factors/Applied Cognition at George Mason University, where he used the Oz display to demonstrate flight performance and learning benefits associated with the presentation of functional flight information.