We investigated performance in extreme aviation situations using data recorded from actual in-flight emergencies that resulted in an accident. Response times to such sounds as alarms, auditory cues, and critical verbal statements were extracted from cockpit voice recorder (CYR) transcripts. Preliminary screening identified 14 CYR transcripts which permitted response time evaluation. Results from these selections showed crewmember response times ranging from 1 second to 41 seconds, with a mean and standard deviation of 9.57 s and 10.56 s, respectively. Despite the evident problems of sample size resulting in a positively skewed distribution and the limitations on the inferences drawn from these results, we contend that these data render insights into actual emergency response performance and point to valuable avenues for future exploration.
Terrence, Peter I.; Gilson, Richard D.; and Hancock, Peter A.
"Assessment of Real Data and Theoretical Issues in Extreme Aviation Environments,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
2, Article 9.