Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics


Applied Aviation Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Nickolas D. Macchiarella

Committee Member

Captain Roger Mason

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas R. Weitzel


Although effective, the United States Army's Shadow 200 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has suffered an unacceptably high accident rate. Errors committed by operators have significantly contributed to this accident rate. The voluntary and confidential Aviation Safety Reporting System and Aviation Safety Action Program have been successful in identifying and addressing errors committed by air carrier pilots. This study has explored the implementation of voluntary and confidential reporting systems in Shadow 200 flight operations. Mixed methods research combined quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data as a means of determining attitudes relevant to the implementation of such systems. Identified deficiencies included: (a) Checklist errors, (b) misunderstanding of the Operational Hazard Report, (c) reported errors resulting in negative responses, and (d) Shadow operator perceptions of existing error reporting systems. Recommendations have been made relevant to remedying these deficiencies, improving the safety culture in the Shadow community, and conducting further research on related topics.

Included in

Aviation Commons