Operator Performance Laboratory

two men sitting in jet while third man checks equipment

Iowa’s Operator Performance Laboratory tackles pilot behavior, air safety

Current research focuses on pilot distraction and degraded visual environments
This isn’t your kids’ VR headset. Researchers at the University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory are using augmented reality to assess how the proliferation of technology in the cockpit is affecting pilots’ concentration. They’re also using it to make difficult helicopter landings safer.
flight research testbed

Aviation Week UI, NASA, industry study human error among pilots

The University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory, in collaboration with NASA and others, is conducting test flights to help find better ways to design cockpits and training to avoid the common pilot errors revealed by post-crash or post-incident analysis.

airplane in fllight with image of cockpit data overlaid

Today.com Are airline pilots relying too much on automation?

A new study led by Thomas Schnell, of the UI Operator Performance Laboratory, is investigating whether automation is making pilots lazy in the cockpit; researchers are testing their reaction times in an emergency.

airline cockpit

NBC Bay Area Commercial pilots: Addicted to automation?

A three-year, NASA-funded study at the University of Iowa’s Operator Performance Laboratory is currently exploring how pilots interact with automation to determine if some are too reliant on the technology to make flying decisions.