Analyses of wildlife strike data from 2000 through 2016 indicate that for the general aviation (GA) community, the number and rate of damaging strikes has increased both at and outside the airport environment. Pilots play an important role in the accident prevention process due to wildlife, ranging from reporting strikes to using appropriate aircraft operating techniques to mitigate the risk of strikes. Therefore, safety efforts require enhanced aeronautical decision-making (ADM) for pilots. The purpose of this pilot project was to investigate if a safety protocol would enhance Part 141 GA pilots’ knowledge and skills to mitigate the risk of bird strikes. Seventeen participants were recruited from a Part 141 professional flight program. Researchers used a pretest posttest experimental design. Qualitative data were also collected through open-ended questions in the pretest, posttest, and especially a follow-up online survey questionnaire. The participants’ pretest and posttest scores were analyzed using parametric and nonparametric statistics. Results indicated a significant increase in the posttest scores of Part 141 pilots in the experimental group. Researchers used the inductive analysis approach to analyze the qualitative data in order to discover patterns and categories. Analyses of qualitative data indicated a poor familiarity with the ADM tenets and the safety risk management processes applicable to the safety management of bird hazards by pilots. A finding of concern was that the topic safety management of wildlife (or bird) hazards by pilots has been rarely or inadequately addressed during the Part 141 pilots’ ground and flight training.



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