The research in this section represents a collaboration between Prof Amelia Hunt, Dr Amy Irwin and two PhD students: Letizia Caruso and Nejc Sedlar.

The aim of this research strand is to explore the factors underpinning effective visual search and information gathering within the context of helicopter flight. More specifically there are two key projects:

  • Letizia Caruso is undertaking a PhD to explore individual differences in eye movement behaviour by establishing the effect of task interruptions on eye movements during visual search. The mediating role of expertise in eye movement efficiency during search will also be examined, along with the effects of interruptions. Helicopter pilots will form the expert population within the research, because risk assessment during flight relies on the ability to gather information efficiently and continuously, by monitoring complex instrumentation and flight progress – making effective visual search a vital component of flight safety.  Visual search is also tied to developing, and maintaining, situation awareness – a vital non-technical skill during flight.
  • Nejc Sedlar undertook a 3-month internship to explore visual search and information gathering during the landing phase of helicopter flight.  This interview study recruiting participants across multiple helicopter flight types (including Search and Rescue, Offshore Transport and HEMS) in order to determine the impact of contextual aspects on information gathering during landing.