The effect of surprise on upset recovery performance

Annemarie Landman, Eric L. Groen, Rene van Paassen, Adelbert W. Bronkhorst, Max Mulder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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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 between predictable and surprising circumstances, in order to obtain insight into the transfer of training between predictable training settings and surprising circumstances in operational practice. This was done by testing twenty airline pilots who recovered from an aerodynamic stall in two conditions: one anticipation condition and one surprise condition. All pilots practiced beforehand using predictable, or nonsurprising 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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology (ISAP 2017)
Subtitle of host publicationDayton, Ohio, USA, 8-11 May 2017
EditorsP.S. Tsang, M.A. Vidulich
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology - Dayton, United States
Duration: 8 May 201711 May 2017
Conference number: 19


Conference19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology
Abbreviated titleISAP 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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