Crash and violation experience of pilots involved in prior commuter and air taxi crashes: A historical cohort study

G. Li, S. P. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Commuter flights and air taxis represent a major category of aviation losses in terms of both human life and economic resources. Previous studies have examined human factors involved in these crashes. A retrospective study revealed that pilots' prior crash and violation records are associated with an increased risk of being involved in a commuter aircraft or an air taxi crash. Hypothesis: Pilots who are involved in crashes are at increased risk of involvement in future crashes and violations. Methods: Pilots who had been involved in and survived commuter aircraft or air taxi crashes during 1983-88 (crash group, n = 580) and a random sample of pilots who were flying for these commercial operations (control group, n = 1555) were followed up for 3 yr. The crash/incident and violation experience during the 3 yr of follow-up was compared between the two groups at univariate level and at multivariate level. Results: During the 3 yr of follow-up, the incidence rate of crashes/incidents was significantly higher for the crash group than for the control group (12.4% vs. 7.2%, p <0.01). The crash group also was more likely to have a violation record than the control group during the 3 yr of follow-up (8.6% vs. 3.7%, p <0.01). These differences were not changed by adjusting for pilot age, total flight time and medical class. Conclusions: Pilots who were involved in commuter aircraft or air taxi crashes have significantly higher subsequent crash and violation rates than their counterparts. In order to develop effective prevention strategies, environmental and psychosocial factors that predispose pilots to increased risk of involvement in aviation crashes and violations should be examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1135
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Medicine(all)

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