Introducing the element of surprise is one of the main challenges in simulator training of in-flight emergencies. In this simulator study, we investigated the differences in performance betweenpredictable and surprising circumstances, in order to obtaininsight into the transferof training between predictable training settings and surprising circumstances in operational practice. This was done bytestingtwenty airline pilots who recovered froman aerodynamic stall in two conditions: one anticipationcondition and one surprise condition. All pilots practiced beforehand using predictable, or non-surprising scenarios. The results show that pilots had significantly more difficulties in adhering to components of the FAA-commissioned recovery template in the surprise condition compared to the anticipation condition. These results suggest that predictable training may not be enough to prevent serious performance decrements under surprise.
Groen, E. L.,
van Paassen, M.,
Bronkhorst, A. W.,
& Mulder, M.
(2017). The Effect of Surprise on Upset Recovery Performance. 19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 37-42.