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Operating documents that change in real-time: Dynamic documents and user performance support  (2011)
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Nearing the end of the cruise portion of a flight, the airline captain began to prepare for the descent, approach, and landing. After weather and airport information were obtained through an automated radio broadcast and instructions were given by air traffic control, she began to look at the assigned arrival and approach procedures. First, she had to locate the arrival procedures to be used among six different ones for their destination airport. Once found, she then had to search through 23 lines of tiny text on the chart to find the arrival procedures to follow for their assigned runway. On this chart, she noted that for aircraft without a Global Positioning System (GPS), such as theirs, three other ground-based navigation aids had to be operational when flying that arrival. She asked her first officer to check the lengthy list of Notices to Airmen to confirm that the navigation aids they needed were in-service.

The wet runways and poor braking action reported by other pilots at the airport meant that the crew also needed to perform calculations to ensure their assigned runway would be long enough. To do this calculation the captain had to locate the Landing Distance table in a thick manual filled with other tables and checklists, and then find the section for her particular type of aircraft. In the table she located the subsection for the brake and flap settings they would be using along with their anticipated landing speed with "poor" braking action. This yielded a standard landing distance that she had to modify based upon the aircraft's expected weight at landing, the wind speed and direction, temperature, and airport altitude. Finally, after all these calculations, she was able to determine that the assigned runway would be acceptable.

As she completed her review of the arrival, approach, and landing, she reminded herself and her first officer that when it came time to complete the landing checklist, they should remember not to arm the speedbrakes as they normally did as a part of that checklist. They had dispatched on that flight with the speedbrakes inoperative, using procedures in their minimum equipment list, and it could be quite dangerous to inadvertently try to use this equipment when it was not operating properly.
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change, documents, documents, Dynamic, Operating, performance, real-time, support, user
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In G. Boy (Ed.), Handbook of human-machine interaction, 2nd edition. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: August 15, 2019