Pilot age and geographic region of commuter and air taxi crashes: A case-control study

George W. Rebok, Yandong Qiang, Susan P. Baker, Guohua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Previous studies of major airline and general aviation crashes have identifi ed a host of risk factors. We examined risk factors related to crashes involving commuter air carrier and air taxi flights. Methods: A matched case-control design was applied to assess the association of pilot age, total flight time, and geographic region with commuter air carrier and air taxi crashes (14 CFR Part 135) from 1983-2002 in the United States. A total of 2033 commuter air carrier or air taxi crashes from the National Transportation Safety Board aviation crash database were identifi ed as eligible cases. Controls were randomly selected incidents from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) aviation incident database coded under Part 135 operation. Results: Relative to controls, commuter air carrier and air taxi crashes were less likely to occur in pilots under 30 yr of age (adjusted odds ratio 0.68, 95% confi - dence interval 0.54-0.88) after adjusting for geographic region and total flight time. With adjustment for pilot age and total flight time, the commuter air carrier and air taxi crashes with pilot error were nearly 13 times as likely to be in Alaska as their matched controls (adjusted odds ratio 12.84, 95% confi dence interval 5.24-31.45). Conclusions: These results suggest that pilot age may be associated with risk of crash involvement in Part 135 operations. The excess crash risk in Alaska with or without pilot error underscores the importance of environmental hazards in flight safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Volume82
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • Age
  • Aviation safety
  • Crashes
  • Pilot error
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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