FLIGHT SAFETY IN ALASKA: COMPARING ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES OF HIGH- AND LOW-RISK AIR CARRIERS

Between 1990-2002, a total of 481 people died in Alaska in aviation accidents, and aviation crashes are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities in the state. This study examines the characteristics, practices and attitudes of Alaska commuter and air taxi operators and their pilots as they relate to company fatal accident rates. A case-control analysis based on accident statistics was performed, grouping operators and their pilots into cases and controls, based on operator fatal accident rates, during January 1990 to June 2001. Responses from two aviation safety surveys, one of air carrier operators and one of active commercial pilots, were compared between cases and controls. Results showed that the average case pilot had less career flight experience than control pilots and worked longer duty days than controls. Case operators also were less likely to consider pilot fatigue a problem when scheduling flights and more likely to depend financially on timely delivery of bypass mail. Case pilots were three times as likely as controls to fly daily into unknown weather conditions. Nearly 90% of case pilots reported that they never flew when so fatigued that they wanted to decline the flight, compared with 64% of control pilots. These findings suggest that pilots of high-risk operators differed from those working for the other operators, both in experience and working conditions. Factors such as pilot fatigue and inexperience, financial pressures and inadequate weather information may be associated with the higher accident risks of these Alaskan commuter and air taxi operations.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Aerospace Medical Association

    320 South Henry Street
    Alexandria, VA  United States  22314-3579
  • Authors:
    • Conway, G A
    • Mode, N A
    • Berman, M D
    • Martin, S
    • Hill, A
  • Publication Date: 2005-1

Language

  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00986670
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 21 2005 12:00AM