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In the present study we assessed pilots` usability and acceptance of an advanced glass cockpit system during normal and abnormal operation. Two matched groups of pilots (female and male) attended a series of tasks which required the use of automated and manual cockpit functions. The cockpit was implemented in the research flight simulator at Graz University of Technology. Pilots` performance, psychophysiological state, workload and situation awareness were evaluated in a repeated measures design. Benefits and limitations of the automated and manual cockpit functions are discussed. Conclusions for the optimization of glass cockpit functions in normal and abnormal operation were drawn out in order to facilitate better and safer flight performance. Results were implemented to optimize a glass cockpit system developed by Brightline Avionics, which shall be installed in light aircraft.