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Daytona Beach


Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology

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Adverse weather is the leading cause of fatalities in general aviation (GA). In this research, influences of ground visibility, cloud ceiling height, financial incentive, and personality were tested on 60 GA pilots' willingness to take off into simulated adverse weather. Results suggested that pilots do not see "weather" as a monolithic cognitive construct but, rather, as an interaction between its separate factors. This is supported by the finding that the multiplicative statistical effect of visibility and ceiling could better predict takeoff than could the linear effect of either variable considered separately. Also found was a statistical trend toward financial incentive being able to predict takeoffs. However, none of the 10 personality tests (incorporating over 500 separate response items) could predict takeoff.


Washington, DC

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Dr. Shappell was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this report was published.