Enhancing the Aeronautical Decision-Making Knowledge and Skills of General Aviation Pilots to Mitigate the Risk of Bird Strikes: A Quasi-Experimental Study

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Flavio Antonio Coimbra Mendonca
Julius Keller


The purpose of this study was to investigate if a training workshop exploring aeronautical decision-making (ADM) concepts would improve collegiate aviation pilots’ knowledge and skills to mitigate the risk of aircraft accidents resulting from bird strikes. Most research and management efforts to mitigate the risk of aircraft accidents resulting from wildlife strikes have focused on airports since empirical data indicate that almost 80% of these strikes occur in this environment. Pilots play an important role in the prevention of wildlife strikes, and research indicates there are opportunities to improve training. Researchers used a one-group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design. The population of this study consisted of flight instructors and students from two Part 141 four-year degree-awarding collegiate aviation programs. The safety management of wildlife hazards by pilots (N=107) workshop elicited a statistically significant mean increase in the post-test scores (M = 36.15, SD = 5.251) compared to the pretest scores (M = 22.29, SD = 7.23), a statistically significant mean increase of 13.858 points, 95% [12.419, 15.298], CI t(105) = 19.088, p < .0005, d = 1.85. The possible benefits of providing Part 141 collegiate pilots with ADM training and education to prevent bird strikes include reducing the direct and other monetary losses resulting from bird strikes and supporting the sustainable growth of the U.S. aviation industry.

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