Pilot interfacing with newer avionics

From:         hauser@sfu.ca (Peter Hauser)
Organization: Simon Fraser University
Date:         28 Sep 95 03:52:47 
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I am currently writing a report for my course in Engineering and Society
(at SFU) on the societal impact of automation in the cockpit.  My report
focusses on the pilot to aircraft interface.  In my investigations to
date, I have found that although automation in the cockpit greatly
reduces pilot stress, as well as increasing general aircraft efficiency,
there may be a few dangers as well.  Some of these dangers include the
possibility of miscommunications between the pilot and the aircraft as a
result of mode-dependant control systems (especially in critical
situations).  Another may be the false sense of security that may arise
in pilots due to a greatly reduced workload in the cockpit.

I am intersted in hearing first-hand accounts from pilots who fly some of
the more modern airliners (such as the A320, A330, B777, MD11 etc..) as
well as any aviation incident stories that may be attributed to the new
technologies and their affects.  Thanks in advance,

	Peter Hauser