A commercial flight plan comprises a series of turns and climbs or descents defined by headings or waypoints, and speed and altitude constraints at each. Situations do occur in-flight where the pilot must re-plan, inflight, the lateral and vertical profile of the remainder of the flight. For example, a ‘non-nominal’ condition such as a thunderstorm may require re-routing; less frequently, an emergency situation may require an immediate landing at the nearest airport. . The objective of this research was to see how pilots perform in-flight planning by observing the planning behavior of pilots in non nominal and emergency conditions arising in the last 15- 30 minutes of flight. The impact of autoflight systems on planning was also examined, including notional systems with the capability of automatically generating a flight plan.
Pritchett, A. R.,
& Kalambi, V. V.
(2005). In-Flight Planning and Intelligent Pilot Aids for Emergencies and Nonnominal Flight Conditions. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 596-596.