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> Human Performance

Autogenic-Feedback Training Improves Pilot Performance During Emergency Flying Conditions

The Problems

1. Human Error (HE) is a causal factor in more than half of all aircraft accidents.
2. Autonomous Mode Behavior (AMB) - induced by stress - has been identified as one cause of HE fatalities.
3. Cocpit Resource Management training (CRM) and Sustem Automation are insufficient for correcting AMB.


1. To examine the relationship between pilots' physiology and performance during emergency flying conditions.
2. To provide pilots with training in control of physiological responses using Autogenic-Feedback Training Exercise.
3. To determine if AFTE improves pilot performance and has potential for reducing HE.


1. Initially, all subjects participated in an intense emergency flight "check ride".
2. Physiological data were collected and performance was evaluated by instructor pilots.
3. Subjects were assigned to Treatment or Control groups.
4. Treatment subjects recieved 12 AFTE sessions (45 min daily). Control subjects recieved no training.
5. Both groups repeated the emergency flying scenarios and their performance was again scored by instructor pilots.

Note: Instructor pilots were not informed of subject group assignments.

Emergency "Check Rides" in the HH65 Dolphin Helicopter
Emergency "Check Rides" in the C130 Aircraft

> Control of BP

Image of Dr. Patricia Cowings working with a research subject on the tilt table.
The tilt table with Dr. Patricia Cowings

> Military Research

Motion Sickness Research for the Military

Operational Applications of Autogenic-Feedback Training Exercise as a Treatment for Airsickness in the Military HR I- 218

Enhancing Human Performance During Sustained Operations
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Patricia Cowings
Last Updated: February 16, 2021