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Pilot evaluations of a non-verbal startle and surprise management method, tested during airline recurrent simulator training

Author: Landman, H.M. · Groen, E.L. · Frank, M. · Steinhardt, G. · Paassen, R. van · Bronkhorst, A.W. · Mulder, M.
Source:20th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology - Dayton, United States Duration: 7 May 2019 → 10 May 2019
Identifier: 871532
Keywords: Aviation mental models · Pilot performance · Surprise · Simulation training


Aviation safety organizations have recommended that airline pilots are trained for startle and surprise. However, little information is available on useful training interventions. Therefore, a training intervention trial was executed during airline recurrent simulator training. The method consisted of a slow visual scan from the side-window, over the instruments, ending with facing the other pilot. Following a recorded video instruction, 38 airline pilots in two-pilot crews performed a training scenario in which they could apply the method. Data on application and evaluation of the method were obtained from each pilot. Few pilots actually applied the method (18.4%), and many gave low ratings to applicability of the method in the scenario, as well as in operational practice. Results show that a startle management method, as well as manner in which it is trained, should be carefully evaluated before being implemented in training practice. Accepted author manuscript.