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The effects of gust disturbances and the pilot's participation mode in the control task on his work-load level and failure detection performance during a simulated low visibility landing approach are examined. We found that the participation mode had a strong effect on the pilot's work load, the induced work load being lowest when the pilot acted as a monitoring element during a coupled approach and highest when the pilot was an active element in the control loop. The effects of differential work load and participation mode on failure detection were separated. The participation mode was shown to have a dominant effect on the failure detection performance, with a failure in a monitored (coupled) axis being detected significantly faster than a comparable failure in a manually controlled axis.