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Investigation of the operability of noise-optimised approaches by pilots
Within the research area „Quiet Traffic“ a new approach procedure was examined with respect to flight safety and acceptance by pilots. Two procedures – a standard approach (LDLP) and a procedure that was further noise-optimised (SCDA) – were compared in two full-flight simulators (A320 and A330). The operability was investigated by 40 pilots with regard to technical, psychological and physiological variables. In each of 20 nights, two pilots conducted 8 approaches of 13 min. duration towards Munich airport. Each simulation started at a flight level of 9000 ft and finished at touch down. Alternating (as “pilot flying” or as “pilot non-flying”) the volunteers performed two LDLP- and 6 SCDA flights. Technical parameters (e.g. altitude, glide slope, speed, thrust, setting of flaps and gears), psychological (e.g. fatigue, work load, acceptance, performance) and physiological variables (ECG, EEG, EMG, blood pressure, cortisol) were continuously or discretely recorded. A debriefing including several questionnaires concluded each test night. Actually flown curves exhibited some deviation from the planned at occasion, when a glide slope was entered. The SCDA led to a noise reduction between 2 and 5 dB for a Lmax interval from 50 to 70 dB, above and beneath noise was higher compared with LDLP. Physiological data and regularly presented questions during the simulations did not reveal relevant differences which could be attributed to the two different approach procedures. Flying performance was judged identical. However, pilots differentiated between the two approaches at the debriefing. The SCDA was examined as being not so safe as LDLP, leading to some more work load and being less accepted. It is concluded that the SCDA can be judged as basically executable and operable. Currently, limitations occur from the conditions of the investigations and from technical shortcomings. It is recommended that additional investigations are conducted under real flight conditions and that technical improvements and tests for pilot support should be performed for a further judgement of the SCDA.
DLR-Forschungsbericht 2005-19, German only, (pdf, 4.9 MByte)
Research and Support Facilities (Air)
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