A critical element of situation awareness and sensemaking support for humans in complex environments is the ability to access, detect, and integrate environmental elements to recognize and project the state of the world. Some past research has suggested that new weather technology capabilities in general aviation (GA) flight settings could help improve pilot decision making and reduce accidents such as unintentional transitions from visual flight rules (VFR) to marginal VFR or even instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). This paper addresses an ongoing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funded research project investigating the effect of transmission delays and update latencies in presentations of weather information to pilots in the GA environment. Across a range of fixed-install, portable, and handheld (i.e. tablet, smartphone) weather information technologies, latencies of up to 15-20 minutes can be identified. These latencies may affect the use of information regarding dangerous weather conditions and timelines of pilot planning activities during VFR-to-IMC transitions.
Caldwell, B. S.,
Johnson, M. E.,
Nyre, M. M.,
& Sperlak, L.
(2015). Impact of Weather Information Latency on General Aviation Pilot Situation Awareness. 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 123-128.