McNair Scholars Research Journal


This research examines situations in which a pilot either chooses to use, or refrains from using weather-related automation systems, and how the presence of such systems influences a pilot’s decision-making, performance and ability to perceive danger in severe weather conditions. Results indicate that the influence of automation on a pilot’s perception and decision-making process is dependent upon the pilot’s ability to perform manual flight tasks, independent of the automation. Pilots are more likely to continue flight into severe weather conditions and less likely to identify hazardous weather changes when an imbalance exists between a pilot’s flight experience, confidence in ability to manually operate the aircraft, and reliance on automation systems.