The purpose of this study was to investigate potential differences between two pilot groups; the first was a sample of individuals who have not been involved in an accident and the second was a sample of pilots from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident database. Factors investigated included flight time, pilot flight review status, pilot certification, employment as a professional pilot, gender, and age. This study was guided by the exigent literature on aviation accidents with a primary focus on general aviation pilot accident attributes. Non-accident pilot participation was solicited through various aviation-related websites and a total of 1,829 usable cases were collected. From the NTSB database, 19,821 cases were deemed to have all of the necessary variables for analysis. Mann- Whitney U tests found significant differences in age (U = 9377426.5, p < 0.001, r = 0.233) and flight time (U = 5501468.5, p < 0.001, r = 0.356). Logistic regression was then calculated to provide improved understanding of how the variables may be used to categorize pilots in accident and non-accident groupings. The model showed a significant improvement over random assignment (x2  = 4912.89, p < 0.001) and was able to successfully identify 98.9% of accident pilots and 34.9% of non-accident pilots. Significant factors that were identified included that if an individual that was employed as a professional pilot (correlation value = -.388) or as his or her age decreased (correlation value = -.522), he or she is more likely to be within the accident pilot classification. The investigated variables showed some indication of predictive value and shed some insight onto what factors may be associated with accident risk. Suggestions for future research are also included.
Ison, David C.
"Comparative Analysis of Accident and Non-Accident Pilots,"
Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/2159-6670.1103