We describe the limitation that people have in noticing very unexpected, surprising “offnominal”, or black swan events, as reflected in the psychology of change blindness; and how this limitation can compromise aviation safety. We then describe a three phase program of research examining pilot response to these black swan events, using (1) a meta-analysis to reveal the miss rate in noticing black swans, (2) a model of visual attention to predict this miss rate, and (3) the same model to make predictions regarding the safety impact of NextGen technology and procedures.
Wickens, C. D.
(2009). The Psychology of Aviation Surprise: An 8 Year Update Regarding the Noticing of Black Swans. 2009 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 1-6.