The instructor assistant system (iASSYST) - utilizing eye tracking for commercial aviation training purposes

Ergonomics. 2020 Jan;63(1):61-79. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2019.1685132. Epub 2019 Nov 8.


This work investigates the potential of providing commercial aviation flight instructors with an eye tracking enhanced observation system to support the training process. During training, instructors must deal with many parallel tasks, such as operating the flight simulator, acting as air traffic controllers, observing the pilots and taking notes. This can cause instructors to miss relevant information that is crucial for debriefing the pilots. To support instructors, the instructor ASsistant SYSTem (iASSYST) was developed. It includes video, audio, simulator and eye tracking recordings. iASSYST was evaluated in a study involving 7 instructors. The results show that with iASSYST, instructors were able to support their observations of errors, find new errors, determine that some previously identified errors were not errors, and to reclassify the types of errors that they had originally identified. Instructors agreed that eye tracking can help identifying causes of pilot error. Practitioner summary: This paper introduces an instructor assistant system, which is evaluated in a user study involving 7 airline flight instructors. The system can be used by airline flight instructors to complement their observations, as a basis for discussions with pilots during debriefing, and by airline pilots to improve their flight performance.

Keywords: Aviation; eye tracking; training; user study.

MeSH terms

  • Eye Movements*
  • Humans
  • Pilots / education*
  • Simulation Training / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Task Performance and Analysis