Publication Details

Palmisano, S. A. & Gillam, B. (2005). Visual Perception of Touchdown Point During Simulated Landing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 11 (1), 19-32.


Experiments examined the accuracy of visual touchdown point perception during oblique descents (1.5o-15o) toward a ground plane consisting of (a) randomly positioned dots, (b) a runway outline, or (c) a grid. Participants judged whether the perceived touchdown point was above or below a probe that appeared at a random position following each display. Although judgments were unacceptably imprecise and biased for moving dot and runway displays, accurate and unbiased judgments were found for griddisplays. It is concluded that optic flow per se does not appear to be sufficient for a pilot to land an airplane and that the systematic errors associated with optic flow under sparse conditions may be responsible for the common occurrence of landing incidents in so-called black hole situations.



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