Title page for ETD etd-12122001-183807

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Deitch, Edward L.
Author's Email Address avedc@erols.com
URN etd-12122001-183807
Title Learning to Land: A Qualitative Examination of Pre-Flight and In-Flight Decision-Making Processes in Expert and Novice Aviators
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wiswell, Albert K. Committee Chair
Boucouvalas, Marcie Committee Member
Cline, Marvin Gerald Committee Member
Combs, Letitia A. Committee Member
Parson, Stephen R. Committee Member
  • Aviation
  • Expert
  • Decision making
  • Novice
  • Pilot
Date of Defense 2001-11-28
Availability unrestricted
The National Transportation Safety Board has cited deficiencies in judgement and decision-making as contributing factors in numerous general aviation accidents. Several studies have also indicated that some pilots exhibit hazardous attitudes in their decision-making processes. Although decision-making and judgment training is mentioned by the Federal Aviation Administration as areas that should be taught to aspiring pilots, there are relatively few current guidelines to assist flight or ground school instructors.

This study centers on the decision-making characteristics of expert and novice pilots. Four expert and four novice pilots were selected by the researcher. All of the subjects were interviewed about their decision-making processes as they related to four aeronautical decision-making scenarios. Experts exhibited characteristics and themes that differed noticeably from that of the novices. One of the more pertinent differences involved what some writers have referred to as cognitive maps. These mental guides appeared to be used effectively by experts in attempting to cope with problems associated with the scenarios. Novices also appeared to make use of cognitive maps in their decision-making processes. Their maps, however, were primitive in comparison to the experts and resulted in difficulties when attempting to address specific scenarios.

The findings regarding the decision-making thought processes of experts were consistent with previous studies (e.g., decisions were based on pertinent mental cues from their experiences). The findings related to novices revealed five themes that included: a. the quantity and quality of information acquired to assess risk was often deficient; b. the interpretation of the risks associated with each scenario reflected a lack of attention to pertinent issues related to the scenarios; c. decision-making was often based on recognition of familiar conditions with which

novice subjects could relate; d. decision-making often reflected an emphasis on rules and procedures that novices had been taught or acquired through independent research and e. novices exhibited hazardous attitudes in their decision-making processes. The researcher reviewed significant findings and areas in need of further research. A brief conclusion and recommendations conclude the study.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  00-Contents.pdf 27.17 Kb 00:00:07 00:00:03 00:00:03 00:00:01 < 00:00:01
  01-DissertationCh1.pdf 110.26 Kb 00:00:30 00:00:15 00:00:13 00:00:06 < 00:00:01
  02-DissertationCh2.pdf 248.00 Kb 00:01:08 00:00:35 00:00:30 00:00:15 00:00:01
  03-DissertationCh3.pdf 81.12 Kb 00:00:22 00:00:11 00:00:10 00:00:05 < 00:00:01
  04-DissertationCh4.pdf 236.26 Kb 00:01:05 00:00:33 00:00:29 00:00:14 00:00:01
  05-DissertationCh5.pdf 76.88 Kb 00:00:21 00:00:10 00:00:09 00:00:04 < 00:00:01
  06-References.pdf 48.43 Kb 00:00:13 00:00:06 00:00:06 00:00:03 < 00:00:01
  07-AppendicesA-E.pdf 108.00 Kb 00:00:29 00:00:15 00:00:13 00:00:06 < 00:00:01
  08-AppendicesF-G.pdf 2.61 Mb 00:12:04 00:06:12 00:05:26 00:02:43 00:00:13
  09-AppendicesH-J.pdf 2.31 Mb 00:10:42 00:05:30 00:04:49 00:02:24 00:00:12

Browse All Available ETDs by ( Author | Department )

dla home
etds imagebase journals news ereserve special collections
virgnia tech home contact dla university libraries

If you have questions or technical problems, please Contact DLA.