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Cognitive Engineering Analysis Of VNAV

A cognitive engineering analysis of the Flight Management System (FMS) Vertical Navigation (VNAV) function has identified overloading of the VNAV button and overloading of the Flight Mode Annunciation (FMA) used by the VNAV function. These two types of overloading, resulting in modal input devices and ambiguous feedback, are well known sources of operator confusion, and explain, in part, the operational issues experienced by airline pilots using VNAV in descent and approach. A proposal to modify the existing VNAV design to eliminate the overloading is discussed.

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