Characteristics of Pilots Involved in U.S. Air Carrier Accidents Between 1991 and 2010

This article reports on a study that examined the characteristics of pilots who were involved in air carrier accidents in the United States between 1991 and 2010. The authors first provide a literature review of the new pilot certification requirements for U.S. air carriers, focusing on legislation introduced in 2009. The author then use a case control methodology for analyzing 50 accidents occurring in that time period. The results showed that nearly all (96%) of the first officers involved in a major U.S. air carrier crash possessed at least 2,000 hours of total flight time. For further analysis, the authors separated the group by time period (1991 – 2000 and 2001-2010) for the first officer flight certificates (commercial pilot and Airline Transport Pilot). There were only two first officers with fewer than 1,500 hours of total flight time, but neither was involved in an accident that cited pilot performance as a cause or as a contributing factor. The authors conclude that their findings do not support the idea that requiring 1,500 hours of total flight time will contribute to the safety of air carrier operations under 14 CFR 121. The authors also discuss some findings that show accident rates tend to be higher in situations where the crew is less familiar with each other. For example, the first day of a particular crew pairing, the first leg of the day, and during the first pairing together.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Boss, Kevin K
    • Depperschmidt, Chad L
    • Mwavita, Mwarumba
    • Bliss, Timm J
  • Publication Date: 2013


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 14-38
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01531977
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 26 2014 6:43PM