The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk posed by the failure of visual awareness during visual approaches for transport category aircraft. Visual awareness is critical while conducting visual approaches and it is important to study the factors that can limit the capabilities of human beings to maintain visual awareness. Visual approaches expose pilots to multiple and critical visual stimuli that require strong visual awareness for safe operations. The study conducted a detailed analysis of the Flight Safety Foundation accident database to study the reported incidents during visual approaches from 1998-2018. The effect of human factors was studied in those accidents with special emphasis on the role of visual awareness.

Lack of Crew Resource Management, Fatigue, and loss of situational awareness in the cockpit during high task saturation periods were analyzed to be major factors for accidents during visual approaches. Enhanced Crew Resource Management procedures and risk management procedures to identify ‘high-risk airports’ and routes that consider flight duty periods, physiological factors such as ‘Low Circadian Levels’ during operations, and geographical features near the airport that could induce visual illusions were some of the recommended practices that were analyzed in the study.