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College of Aviation

Advisor Name

Dr. Dennis J. Lessard


The goal of this research study is to determine if aviation incidents and accidents due to deficiencies in English language proficiency have increased in the last 10 years based on data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). In addition, this study will determine whether deficiencies in English language proficiency have a significant impact on aviation safety. There are currently 184,636 student pilots according to the Federal Aviation Administration Airmen Certification System. Included in this number are 11,776 student pilots with a foreign address (Federal Aviation Administration [FAA], 2019). Findings presented at a NASA workshop in 1979 concluded that a major cause of air carrier accidents was due to human error. The specific causes of these accidents involved failures in leadership, decision making and communication (McKeel, 2012). This research study will employ a quantitative analysis using scatterplot graphs and descriptive statistics to see if there are any trends concerning the number of reports related to English language proficiency. A chi-square test for independence will be employed to see if English language proficiency has a significant effect on aviation safety, and a one-way ANOVA will be performed to see if there is a significant difference between the number of reports submitted for Part 91, Part 121 and Part 135 operations. In addition, this research will include a review of the narrative and synopsis sections of these reports to investigate the nature of these English language incidents.

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