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Volume

5

Issue

3

Publisher

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Abstract

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Spring 1992 issue. It is reprinted due to its continuing value and timeliness. This study tests the effectiveness of an experience model in predicting aviation safety behavior. The elements comprising the model include: (a) flight hours, (b) ratings and flight characteristics, (c) career status, and (d) malfunction history. Data were derived from a random sample of U.S. pilots in Fall 1990 by means of a survey instrument. Significant variance in aviation safety is not explained by the model. The key predictor of safety behavior is the career status (i.e., certificate duration) of the pilot. Flight hours, ratings, and malfunction history are negatively and non-significantly associated with aviation safety. The research: (a) questions the use of these variables in ex post facto "explanations" of aviation safety, and (b) suggests a topology for examining safety behavior.

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