12:00 AM

Aviation Researchers Get #2.5 Million Contract


     COLUMBUS -- Researchers at The Ohio State University have

won a Federal Aviation Administration contract that could bring

in up to $2.5 million over the next five years.  The contract

focuses on studies of pilot behaviors in aircraft.

     Richard Jensen, associate professor of aviation and of

industrial and systems engineering, and Gerald Chubb, assistant

professor of aviation, are the principal investigators on the

project, which was awarded last month.

     Keys to winning the project, Jensen said, were the Ohio

State airport and the university's flight education program,

which will serve as laboratories for this research.  Another key

was the cooperation between researchers in the departments of

Aviation, Psychology, and Industrial and Systems Engineering, and

the colleges of Education and Business.

     This new FAA contract differs from a research grant in that

it is divided into specific research tasks to be studied during

the five-year period.  All of the studies will focus on the way

pilots make decisions during their flights.  Most topics will

focus mainly on general, rather than commercial, aviation.

     Jensen and his colleagues have spent more than a decade

trying to develop safeguards and training improvements for both

general and commercial pilots.  In making its award, the FAA

cited studies which determined that the weak link in aviation was

most often not just the pilot, but the pilot's judgment.  One

study found that more than half of pilot-caused fatal accidents

can be classified as decision-making accidents.

     Among first tasks for the research team are: (1)

investigating how general aviation pilots can maintain a

realistic and effective minimum level of training; (2) developing

models for how pilots make decisions in flight; (3) studying

pilot fatigue, and (4) studying the potential for transferring

training from simulators to personal computers.

     "This new assignment clearly places Ohio State at the

forefront of aviation research in this country, if not the

world," Jensen said.


Contact:  Richard Jensen  (614) 292-8378.

[Submitted by: GERSTNER  (gerstner@ccgate.ucomm.ohio-state.edu)
Fri, 22 Oct 93 14:24:01 EST]
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