David Jones & Roger Lowe

Maximizing Virtual Reality Cabin Crew Training: A Case Study

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David Jones, Founder/President, Quantified Design Solutions, LLC

David Jones leads cutting edge technology integration across commercial and government research and development efforts. As a founder and President of Quantified Design Solutions, he leads the development and integration of technology to support the Training Systems Design and Development and Advanced Support Technologies groups. He has served as a Principal Investigator for Office of Naval Research, Army, and Office of the Secretary of Defense efforts focused on the development of adaptive virtual, mixed reality, and constructive training platforms. David’s work focuses on the application of modeling and simulation to support
the measurement and modeling of human states and optimization of systems based on them. Whether developing adaptive immersive training systems, game-based training, or real-time support systems, the goal is to quantify what the user needs and provide the right support at the right time. Over the past 14 years he has applied this approach to lead advanced research efforts for the DoD, commercial clients, and universities and
has presented his work at international conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Factors Psychology from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

He has published over 50 technical publications and peer reviewed journal articles and four book chapters based on his work and has presented at conferences including MODSIM (Norfolk, VA), WATS (Orlando), I/ITSEC (Orlando, FL), the AR/VR Aviation Summit (Geneva, Switzerland), Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (multiple locations), Society for Applied Learning Technologies (Reston, VA), Human Computer Interaction International (Las Vegas, NV), and the International Conference on Audio Displays (Limerick, Ireland). David is the Deputy Conference Chair for MODSIM World 2019.


Roger Lowe, Virtual Reality Specialist & Instructor/Evaluator, American Airlines Flagship University

Roger currently leads the Virtual Reality Training Lab that hosts 2,000 IQT flight attendants each year. With over 20 years’ experience in the airline industry, Roger has held positions as Flight Attendant, Purser, APFA Base Council, ADR, and Retirement Representative.  Roger’s passion for new technology in Virtual and Augmented Reality drives him to make American Airlines the leader in cabin crew training.  As a member of the world’s largest airline, he finds it imperative that American’s Flagship University pushes the industry forward to ensure every airline provides the best-in-class training for cabin crew.  Due to Roger’s expertise, the American Tech Ops department has been developing their own VR landscape.   This year, Roger plans another visit to the IATA Aviation Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit to create and  participate in the first IATA AR/VR Whitepaper Study.


Maximizing Virtual Reality Cabin Crew Training: A Case Study

Door operations and the knowledge of where emergency equipment is on aircraft are two critical learning goals within cabin crew training programs. American Airlines created a virtual reality training lab in order to optimize learning and create an efficient hands-on training process for these two key learning goals. During the first year of implementing the VR training lab within the new hire cabin crew program, a training effectiveness study was carried out. The goal of the study was to determine the impact of VR training on physical door operations during qualifying events and to define the correct among of time to allocate to VR training to optimize return on investment.

The training platform is designed to provide hand-on guidance on how to disarm, open, close and arm each door and emergency exit on the aircraft. During training, objective measures of performance were used to drive real-time feedback to direct learner improvements. Learners were allowed to train in 20 minute intervals but were allowed to return to the lab for additional training as much as they wanted. Upon completion, students completed qualifying events on physical door trainers as part of their final evaluations.

The results of evaluating over 1500 students demonstrated that the application of virtual reality significantly reduced the number of occurrences of unsatisfactory door operations (that require repeat evaluations) during qualifying events from 25% to 2% and increased error-free performance from 34% to 82%. The analysis was extended to determine the impact of training within VR for various levels of time. The results of this study outline an objective ROI associated with these results with respect to simulator time and instructor time to re-evaluate students. The presentation ends with lessons learned that were derived from the study with respect to VR design and application.