Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

Human Factors, Automation Errors, Part 91 Operations, ASRS Database


The purpose of automation is to improve pilot performance, increase efficiency, reduce risks, and human error (Parasuraman, Sheridan, & Wickens, 2000). Generally, automation has made the National Airspace system safer and more efficient. However, automation has been and continues to be an important topic for aviation safety (Vidulich & Tsang, 2016). Most of the discussions and research has revolved around scheduled Part 121. With the reduction in costs, automation has proliferated in Part 91 general aviation operations which provides ongoing research opportunities. Researchers of the current study utilized the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) database to find reports of incidents involving automation. During the past 11 years, there have been 161 self-reported incidences of mismanagement of automation within Part 91 operations. It can be assumed that the number of actual events is much higher. During analysis of the dataset, reported incidents were put into four categories in order to gain a clearer understanding into the causes of errors and outcomes. Results indicated automation malfunctions and automation dependency were key factors that led to the ASRS self-report. Based on the analyses, recommendations on how to mitigate the overuse of automation in general aviation were outlined.

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