Measuring Mental Models: General Aviation Pilots’ Understanding of Preflight Weather
Event Type
Virtual Program Session
Aerospace Systems
TimeFriday, October 14th9:30am - 9:48am EDT
DescriptionWeather has contributed to hundreds of General Aviation accidents. Research suggests inadequate preflight planning and lack of aviation weather knowledge are contributing factors. This study describes the development of three mental model measures (departure, enroute, and arrival) designed to assess pilots’ understanding of current and forecasted conditions. Each measure requires pilots (n=23) to evaluate weather conditions (flight category) at different regions within the flight area. A two-way mixed ANOVA examined differences in pilots’ understanding of flight category across three preflight weather briefing conditions (flight services call, self-briefing, and a combined condition) and three phases of flight (POF). No significant interaction occurred between briefing condition and POF on pilots’ ability to identify the correct flight category. However, significant differences in pilots’ understanding of weather conditions occurred between phases. Pilots were most effective at assessing flight category/weather on the enroute mental model measure and least effective at assessing weather forecasted surrounding arrival.