“Why aren’t you talking?” Pilot strategies for helping a wingman recover from a physiological event
Event Type
Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making
TimeWednesday, October 12th1:30pm - 1:48pm EDT
DescriptionPilots are well trained to notice symptoms of adverse physiological events. However, strategies for helping a wingman recover from an adverse physiological event are less understood. This paper describes a cognitive task analysis conducted on military fighter pilots to reveal strategies used to regain situation awareness (SA) after an adverse physiological event. Researchers interviewed ten pilots to elicit experiences including: G-force-induced loss of consciousness; hypoxia or hypoxia-like physiologic events; and spatial disorientation. Fifteen incidents were elicited that describe in-flight pilot impairment and how the pilot regained their own SA or supported another pilot who needed to recover SA. Analysis of those data identified three cognitive requirements with associated cues, strategies, and complexities: Assessing impairment in another pilot, monitoring impairment in another pilot, and aiding an impaired pilot in regaining SA. The findings of this study have implications for training and for the design of a “Pilot’s Assistant.”