This report addresses the historical problem that a very high percentage of accidents have been classified as involving "pilot error." Through extensive research since 1977, the Federal Aviation Administration determined that the predominant underlying cause of htese types of accidents involved decisional problems or cognitive information processing. To attack these problems, Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM) training materials were developed and tested for ten years. Since the publication of the ADM traning manuals in 1987, significant reductions in human performance error (HPE) accidents have been documented both in the U.S. and world wide. However, shortcomings have been observed in the use of these materials for recurrency training and in their relevance to more experienced pilots. The following discussion defines the differences between expert and novice decision makers from a cognitive information processing perspective, correlates the development of expert pilot cognitive processes with training and experience, and reviews accident scenarios which exemplify those processes. THis introductory material is a necessary prerequisite to an undertanding of how to formulate expert pilot decision making training innovations; and, to continue the record of improved safety through ADM training.
Adams, R. J. and Ericsson, A. E.
"Introduction to Cognitive Processes of Expert Pilots,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
1, Article 5.