Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

James P. Greenan

Committee Member 1

Thomas Q. Carney

Committee Member 2

David A. Sears

Committee Member 3

James M. Brown


Although flight training accounts for an eighth of the total flying in general aviation, nearly one-third of midair collisions occur during instructional flights. Initiating clearing turns prior to training maneuvers is an important means of preventing a midair collision. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine (a) Which human factors are causing the discrepancies between procedures and practice with respect to clearing turns, and are those discrepancies reduced through the implementation of behavior-based safety (BBS)? and (b) Is there a significant increase in the utilization of clearing turns prior to the initiation of training maneuvers by students in the flight program after BBS implementation? The participants in this study were college students and instructors in a 4-year professional pilot program operated under Part 141 regulations. The results of the study indicated there were several human factors that inhibited clearing turn use by the students, and that BBS did not have a significant benefit on these factors or the percentage of clearing turns that were performed by the students. However, due to several limitations of this study, further research is recommended to determine the true effect of BBS on safe behaviors in the flight training environment.