Pilot ability to anticipate the consequences of flight actions as a function of expertise

Stephanie M. Doane, Young Woo Sohn, Mark T. Jodlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The study offers insights into pilot ability to anticipate consequences of actions and how this ability changes with experience. Novice and expert pilots completed trials in which 3 screens depicted a control movement (or control movements), a cockpit flight situation, or a change in flight situation. Changes depicted in the 3rd screen of each trial were consistent, inconsistent with the mental model of the effect of the control movement or movements, or inconsistent with the application of the control movement(s) to the current flight situation. Pilots indicated whether the depicted change was inconsistent or consistent with their expectations, and accuracy of consistency judgments was greater for mental-model than for situation-model inconsistent statements. Experts are more accurate than novices, particularly for trials that involve multiple, meaningfully related control movements. Expert ability to organize information into meaningful units appears to facilitate future flight state projections, and projection failures appear to result from situation- rather than mental-model failures. Actual or potential applications of this research include analysis of flight situation awareness and flight performance errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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