Pathological Behaviours in Pilots during Unexpected Critical Events: The Effects of Startle, Freeze and Denial on Situation Outcome
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Over the last 40 years significant advances in aviation technology have contributed strongly to improvements in aviation safety. Recent figures suggest that fourth generation aircraft are now achieving fatal accident rates in the order of 10-7 and ongoing work continues to improve this rate. Significant improvements in engine and systems reliability, coupled with safety technologies such as Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning (EGPWS), Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (ACAS), Global Positioning System (GPS), and Vertical Situation Displays (VSD) have contributed to reductions in accident rates. Additionally, initiatives such as RNAV and RNP (AR) approaches continue to improve non-precision approach accuracy and safety while air traffic control improvements continue to accommodate this increased safety as aircraft traffic continues to grow strongly. Nevertheless, the reliability engendered by all these incremental improvements to safety has a downside. While pilots in the earlier years of airline transport had a healthy expectation for engine and systems failures, the modern airline pilot does not necessarily share this. Indeed, the modern airline aircraft is so reliable, and failures are so rare, that pilots are now unwittingly conditioned into an expectation of unwavering reliability. This unintentional complacency means that attention to emergency procedures and an expectation for dealing with real malfunctions is not as well honed as it perhaps once was.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences
Item Access Status
In order to comply with copyright, the following figures have been removed from this copy: Figures 1, 3-23, 30-33.
Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning (EGPWS)
Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (ACAS)
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Vertical Situation Displays (VSD)