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ToR RMT.0713

Human factors in rotorcraft design

Human factors may contribute either directly or indirectly to aircraft accidents and incidents, and the design of a flight deck and its systems can strongly influence the performance of the crew and the potential for crew errors.

Currently, the certification specifications (CSs) for rotorcraft do not contain any specific provisions for a human factors assessment to be carried out. New generation helicopters are characterised by having a high level of integration of cockpit equipment, displays, controls and automation. It is also likely that future rotorcraft projects, embodying, for instance, fly-by-wire technology flight controls that include enhanced piloting control laws, will pose new and additional challenges from a human factors perspective.

Large transport aircraft have benefited from human factors assessments of the design of their flight decks and their associated systems. The purpose of this RMT is to deliver an effective and proportionate set of CS amendments that address human factors in rotorcraft design.

The availability of CSs for human factors in the design of new rotorcraft cockpits is expected to reduce the probability of human factors and pilot workload issues that could lead to an accident or incident.