Expert and novice pilot perceptions of static in-flight images of weather

Mark W. Wiggins*, David O'Hare

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Weather-related accidents continue to account for a significant proportion of fatal general aviation accidents. The aim of this study was to examine the nature of in-flight weather-related decision making in a task involving assessments of in-flight weather conditions. Pilots examined 10 photographic images of weather conditions taken during flight and were asked to judge whether it would be possible to continue the flight along the current track and altitude and remain in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). As part of their assessments, respondents were also asked to indicate the extent to which they used various cues. The results indicated that experts and novices appear to use in-flight cues differently, although this did not appear to influence perceptions concerning the possibility of flight under VMC. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of the development of appropriate instructional systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-187
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Aviation Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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