GPS and moving map displays are popularly believed to increase pilot navigational awareness – further empowering the already aware pilot with additional information about their position and surroundings. In a first experiment, pilots’ beliefs about their own navigational awareness were compared to their measured awareness while navigating along a cross-country route. The results demonstrate a familiar out-of-the-loop effect and a marked disparity between what pilots believed and how they performed. In a second experiment, different pilots were asked to more actively participate in the navigation process while performing the same navigational task. The results indicate that this additional involvement significantly improved pilots’ measured awareness. Overall, the results call into question unqualified beliefs about GPS, moving maps, and navigational awareness, and highlight the need for pilots to understand the potential human factors pitfalls associated with advanced cockpit systems.
Casner, S. M.
(2007). The Effects of GPS and Moving Map Displays on Pilot Navigational Awareness While Flying Under VFR. 2007 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 116-121.