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Help Pilot Safety Research with this Survey

By Kathleen Van Benthem, Ph. D.

September 2020We received this survey request from Dr. Kathleen Benthem at the Advanced Cognitive Engineering Laboratory of Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. All pilots are asked to respond. The survey will take 25 minutes and is anonymous. Please find the time to aid this vital research into pilot safety. Don't be put off by the email address "CessnaStudy." It's for all pilots of GA aircraft. — Ed.

CANFLY: Validation of a Cognitive Screening Tool for General Aviation

The Advanced Cognitive Engineering (ACE) Lab at Carleton University is seeking volunteers to participate in a "virtual" study that will be of interest to the aviation community.

The ACE Lab specializes in research regarding aviation safety and uses virtual and full-scale flight simulation to investigate foundational principles of cognition and human-machine integration. Given the current physical distancing restrictions, the ACE Lab has developed an online method to continue our research.

Study Purpose & Benefits: This study represents the next phase of our validation of the CANFLY, a cognitive health screening tool for pilots. The CANFLY was developed at the ACE Lab at Carleton University. The goal of this study is to examine whether cognitive factors, such as situation awareness, collected in virtual flight environments are predictive of critical incidents.

Who Can Participate: Licensed/Permitted pilots, preferably with current medical certification, may participate. There is no compensation for your participation.

Study Activities and Risks: You are invited to participate in an anonymous online study that should take no more than 30-40 minutes to complete. Participants will answer short questions about situation awareness after watching four short interactive video clips of flight scenarios. Due to the anonymous nature of this study and the innocuous task of watching short flight simulation videos, it is not expected that there will be any risk of physical harm. The videos participants will watch are of basic flight scenarios in non-turbulent good weather conditions. You can complete this study in the comfort of your own home. Demographic questions are limited to age, gender, and flying history (years licensed, occurrence of critical incidents, type of license, etc.).

Study Approval: The ethics protocol for this project was reviewed by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board, which provided clearance to carry out the research. (Clearance #113162 expires on: May 2021).

Study Access: You can access the online study here:

For further inquiries or to indicate interest in participating in the study you can respond to or check out the study link on our website

Lead Researcher: Dr. Kathleen Van Benthem, Institute of Cognitive Science, Carleton University

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Chris Herdman, Department of Psychology, Carleton University

This study is self-funded and has no affiliation with any aviation regulatory body.

The ACE Lab Research Team

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