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This programme is actually based on a real incident involving the crash of an RAF fighter plane in which the aircraft crashed. However, the story has been modified somewhat for the purposes of this... television programme in that the type of plane, the people involved and the outcome of the incident have all been changed. The pilot of the original plane had been disorientated. The RAF is well aware of the potential dangers of this and gives extensive training to overcome such hazards. However, in this particular incident, the pilot was experiencing a heavy workload at the same time. The programme was filmed at an RAF Station and at the Institute of Aviation Medicine, Farnborough. Experiments on human factors problems have to overcome the difficulty of accurately simulating real-life conditions and the programme goes on to show something of these problems.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: TD342, Systems performance: human factors and systems failures
Item code: TD342; 03
First transmission date: 1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:08
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Producer: John Groom
Contributors: Roger Green; Geoff Peters; Jamie Jamieson; David Reader; Roger Gilkes; Alan Benson; John Chappelow; John Gundry; Chris Bain; Charles Boyack; John Silcock; Irene Hahn
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Human factor problems; Institute of Aviation Medicine, Farnborough; RAF fighter plane; RAF Station
Footage description: Film of a reconstruction of an incident in which an RAF pilot, flying on instruments in cloud, was substantially disorientated. The film consists mainly of shots of a Harrier in flight, of the cockpit instruments and of the pilot's face. Occasional commentary by Geoff Peters explains what is happening. An experiment to demonstrate disorientation is performed at the Institute of Aviation Medicine. Irene Hahn, the subject, is placed on a spin table, told to close her eyes and to report on sensations of motion. Alan Benson uses a model of the inner ear to explain, briefly, how this organ monitors the orientation of the head. Chris Bain, an experienced flying instructor reports of a case of disorientation, 'the leans', which he himself has experienced. Geoff Peters and Richard Green relate this type of disorientation to that experienced on a spin table. Green goes on to point out the practical difficulties involved in expecting pilots to disregard the powerful sensory signals they receive from the brain. Geoff Peters and Roger Green explain how a sophisticated flight simulator works. Film shots of a flight with close-up of various component parts. Shots of a flight simulator control room during a flight simulation. Charles Boyack explains what is happening. Film shots of the reconstructed disorientation incident shown in sequence. Film consists of shots of an RAF Harrier in flight, of the cockpit instruments and of the pilot's face. Commentary by Geoff Peters points out some of the factors which led to pilot disorientation Roger Green introduces the concept of the pilot as a limited system as far as information processing is concerned. Geoff Peters and John Chappelow over film of a flight simulation, give details of an experiment which tests the limits of a pilot's capacity. Film shots of the above experiment being performed in a flight simulator. John Gundry administers the test while John Chappelow is the subject, John Chappelow and Roger Green discuss, briefly the problem of introducing realism into flight simulations. Geoff Peters and Roger Green provide the commentary for an experiment which tests the effect of anxiety on a pilot's performance. The subject has to perform a variety of duties at the end of which he is put through a deceleration test. Green and Peters discuss the 'coning effect' on pilots and brought out by the above experiment and its relevance to the flying situation. Roger Green explains what benefits, in his view, a psychologist can bring to a pilot's environment so that the pilot can cope realistically.
Master spool number: 6HT/72107
Production number: 00525_5238
Videofinder number: 757
Available to public: no