A Psychophysical Contribution to Air Safety: Simulator Studies of Visual Illusions in Night Visual Approaches

  • Conrad L. Kraft


It is often asked how the work of engineering psychologists is applied. There are many examples demonstrating how an improved design can increase performance with displays and controls, or how the redesign of controls has avoided repetitive errors. There are numerous systems studies in which the flow information per unit has been accelerated by the application of principles from the behavioral sciences. This chapter is an account of an experimental laboratory investigation that provided the aircraft industry with an explanation for a number of accidents. This series of experiments changed the interpretation of these accidents and avoided a possible redirection of effort that would have taken the industry away from the most successful of the second-generation jet aircraft.


Visual Angle Visual Scene Visual Illusion Flat Terrain Flight Crew 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Kraft, C. L. Measurement of height and distance information provided pilots by the extracockpit visual scene. Visual Factors in Transportation Systems. National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1969, December, 84-101.Google Scholar
  2. Kraft, C. L., and Elworth, C. L. How high is up? Interceptor, 1968 (October), 10(10), 4. Hqs., ADC, Ent AFB, Colorado.Google Scholar
  3. Kraft, C. L., and Elworth, C. L. Night visual approaches. Boeing Airliner, 1969a, March–April, 2.Google Scholar
  4. Kraft, C. L., and Elworth, C. L. Flight deck work load and night visual approach performance. AGARD CP No. 56, December, 1969b. Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.Google Scholar
  5. Palmer, E. A. Night visual approaches—pilot performance with and without a head-up display for standard and noise abatement approaches. NASA, TM X-62, 1972, 187.Google Scholar
  6. Stout, C. L., and Stephens, W. A. Results of simulation experimentation for approach and landing safety. 20th Technical Conference, International Air Transportation Association, November 10-15, 1975.Google Scholar
  7. Wulfeck, J. W., Queen, J. E., and Kitz, W. M. The effect of lighted deck shape on night carrier landing. Dunlap and Associates, Inc., for Engineering Psychology Programs, Office of Naval Research, Department of the Navy, Arlington, Virginia. NR 196-115, October 1974.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conrad L. Kraft
    • 1
  1. 1.Crew SystemsBoeing Aerospace CompanySeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations