Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) have seen an increase in manufacturing within the last decade. The growing use of these aircraft will present unique challenges to the aviation infrastructure; as well as flight training. With the large number of analog aircraft remaining in the general aviation fleet, transitions between digital and analog will become more numerous and perhaps more precarious. A recent survey of flight instructors at one college highlighted situational awareness problems for 95% of TAA trained students when exposed to analog equipped instrument panels. Perhaps two options are available to study this problem on the ground: flight simulators or a Personal Computer - Aviation Training Device (PC-ATD). The initial challenge to any study of this issue was to select the option that would minimize, or would allow for control of, extraneous factors, so that the causal factors influencing any decrement in performance and/or situational awareness could be isolated. A comparison of the two options available showed that the PC-ATD was the better option for the study of this issue and a pilot study was carried out using the PC-ATD. The results of the pilot study suggested that the transitioning from digital to analog equipped aircraft produced degradation in performance and that further research was required.
& Rantz, W.
(2011). Transitioning from Digital to Analog Instrumentation. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 269-274.