If confusing the white beard, is what one wants to do, just give him a full glass cockpit and very little instruction and you will realize success.Those who flew round engines and wore brown boots learned what was available and had to master the Link before being allowed out in the wind. These individuals never saw a computer and never played video games. If one could use an adding machine and an E6B, that was all that was needed. Today the young pilots are joining the fray fresh from hours upon hours of CRT displays and fast moving games and are very adept at thinking on their feet, exactly what will be needed in the NextGen cockpit.As pilots move up the ladder of responsibility they also move into more stressful situations which can be caused by what is referred to as “informational overload.” When one has more information than he needs to complete a task, the excess information just floats around in the brain and sometimes causes a convolution of the thought process, resulting in slower responses to a stimulus or no response at all. Both of these situations can be catastrophic in the manipulation of an airplane full of passengers or cargo. In most instances, the pilot will recognize what is happening and will make the necessary adjustments to bring himself back under control.When pilots are learning how to fly in IFR conditions, most instructors will ensure that frequently the pilot will be distracted by one thing or another and a normal approach will just not happen. This scene is played out simply as an effort to get the pilot thinking while under a stressful situation as this is where a majority of the statistics begin to pile up against the pilots.When HUDs (Heads up Displays) began appearing on various types of airplanes, much was learned about the inability of the pilots to keep their heads up. Even with the information being displayed on the windscreen, the pilots began to look back into the panel just to make sure what they were seeing on the windscreen was the same information that was on the panel.
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