Flight Safety & Human Performance Research


Research Project: The study of technical sequential flight skills & observable pilot behavior using PC-ATD with OnTop version 8 software (Rantz).

This study examined both technical sequential flight skills & observable pilot behavior using the C-172 PC-ATD. For remote observation and inter-rater reliability checks, we positioned 2 digital video cameras within the test area to record behaviors of all participants. Behaviors of interest are those involved with checklist performance. We evaluated the accuracy of paper checklists. Performance improvement in checklist behavior was accomplished using simple graph feedback methods.

Rantz, W., Dickinson, A., Sinclair, G., Van Houten, R. (2009). The Effects of Feedback on the Accuracy of Checklist Completion During Instrument Flight Training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.


Checklist Performance Improvement Using Graphic Feedback in a C-172 PC-ATD Presentation


Observation Room

Simultaneous observations and recordings of participants front and back using web cameras on computer monitors 1 & 2. Computer 3 monitor mirrors the display of instrument panel seen by the participant during the flight. Computer 4 outputs observational feedback graphs. All equipment is located in the BCA Hanger at the Battle Creek, MI airport.

(The rudder pedals under the table are not a part of the experiment)


PC-ATD Flight Instrument Display

Located in the room adjacent to the observation room.


PC-ATD from Rear Camera View Point

In order to observe the complete behavior, cameras view both front and back of the participants. Notice the front viewing camera on the top of the computer monitor. Rear view camera is the blurred image in the left hand corner of photo.

Research Acknowledgements

No animals were harmed during these experiments!


Vladimir Rishukin, Ph.D. Aeronautical Engineering

Alyce Dickinson Ph.D. Psychology (Graduate Advisor)

Gil Sinclair M.A. Education

Matt Peruski, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate

Alex Paran, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate-Lee Honors College

Alex Merk, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate

Brandon Jones, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate

Graham Downing, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate

Brett, Goss, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate

Axel Anderson, B.S. Aviation Student Graduate