Quantitative Analysis of Cross-Country Flight Performance Data
Advisor:Chubb, Gerald P.
Flight Data Recorder
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Aviation Honors Theses;2005
The aviation industry depends heavily on the trained professionals that control the aircraft from the cockpit. Airlines invest substantial resources to training and evaluating these pilots. Today, most of those assessments of pilot performance are based on subjective evaluations by another experienced pilot called a check airman. In order to better train and evaluate pilots’ performance, quantitative methods of evaluation are required. Through the use of a flight data recorder (FDR), the various parameters of a flight segment were analyzed, including ground track and altitude. By developing a set of metrics to quantitatively evaluate the performance of a flight, a scale can be established to determine the quality of flight. By combining and modifying the metrics, any phase of flight or set of maneuvers may be evaluated in the future. For this research project, a FDR was placed in the cargo area of various Cessna 172 aircraft and flown to known locations. The pilots were students of The Ohio State University enrolled in flight education. The data from the FDR was used to analyze the altitude and ground track of the aircraft during the flight. Based on this data, measures were devised to evaluate student performance on future flights. This system will be extremely useful in evaluating solo cross-country flights, where the student is the sole occupant of the aircraft. Students are required by federal regulation to successfully complete several hours of solo flight before obtaining various pilot certificates, and the FDR is a tool that can be implemented to evaluate the performance of the students while they are flying solo. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the use of a FDR as a tool of instruction, establish measures for ground track and altitude performance, and to enable an evaluator to predict the chance of a pilot exceeding Practical Test Standards (PTS) minima in straight and level, un-accelerated flight. The project accomplished these goals, and laid the ground work for future research to turn the FDR into a tool for flight instruction, accident investigation, collision avoidance, and pilot performance evaluation.
Undergraduate Honors Research Thesis, Aviation Department
The Ohio State University, College of Engineering
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