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Article Dans Une Revue Applied Ergonomics Année : 2007

Flight decks and free flight: Where are the system boundaries?


The change from managed to free flight is expected to have large effects, over and above the intended efficiency gains. Human factor concerns have understandably focused on how free flight may affect the pilots in the cockpit. Yet it is necessary to see the change from managed to free flight as more than just an increment to the pilots' work. Despite the best intentions the transition will not be a case of a smooth, carefully planned and therefore uneventful introduction of a new technology. It is more likely to be a substantial change to an already challenging working environment, in the air as well as on the ground. The significant effects will therefore not just happen within the existing structure or distribution of work and responsibilities, but affect the structure of work itself. This paper takes a look at free flight from a cognitive systems engineering perspective and identifies two major concerns: first what effects free flight has on the boundaries of the joint cognitive systems, and second how this affects demands to control. The conclusion is that both will change considerably and that we need to understand the nature of these changes before focusing on the possible effects of free flight on pilots' performance.

Dates et versions

hal-00510030 , version 1 (17-08-2010)



Erik Hollnagel. Flight decks and free flight: Where are the system boundaries?. Applied Ergonomics, 2007, 38 (4), pp.409-416. ⟨10.1016/j.apergo.2007.01.010⟩. ⟨hal-00510030⟩
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