Aviator Behavior and Performance as Affected by Aircrew Life Support and Protective Equipment

Report No. ARL-MR-440
Authors: Waugh, John D.; Fatkin, Linda T.; Patton, Debra J.; Mullins, Linda L.; Burton, Pamela A.
Date/Pages: March 1999; 110 pages
Abstract: A methodology for quantifying Army rotary wing aviator performance as influenced by aircrew life support, survival, and nuclear-biological-chemical clothing and equipment ensembles was examined in a set of expimental trials conducted in an AH-64 (Apache) combat mission simulator. The methodology was based on an aircrew evaluation procedure originally developed for use in the crew coordination training of all Army aviators. It uses a set of 13 basic qualities, each with behavioral anchors and a 7-point rating scale, and it is administered by specifically trained senior aviator evaluators. Ten crews, two aviators in each, while fully encumbered, performed three combat missions for record, representative of typical operational tasks, with one "variation" trial conducted without the over-water components of the ensemble. Measures of effectiveness and flight data, as well as stress assessment and equipment "complaints" citations, were recorded. The results indicated that the behavior- anchored scores were not sensitive enough to statistically discriminate among the independent variables of repeated measures and the variation trials even though graphically, differences were readily apparent. Attempts to apply transformations to the data, based on the aviator subjects' relative flying experience and their apparent accommodation to the trials were also statistically unsuccessful. The additional measures collected did not yield statistically significant discriminations nor did they correlate well with the evaluation score. A number of options for improving the technique are offered.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 1999