Title

Land of the Midnight Sun: Shedding Light on Differences in GA Accidents in Alaska Versus the Rest of the United States

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

City

Dayton

Abstract

General aviation (GA) accidents that occurred in Alaska versus the rest of the United States were compared using the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS). Overall, categorical differences among unsafe acts (decision errors, skill-based errors, perceptual errors, and violations) committed by pilots involved in accidents in Alaska and those in the rest of the U.S. were minimal. However, a closer inspection of the data revealed notable variations in the specific forms of unsafe acts within the accident record. Specifically, skill-based errors associated with loss of directional control were more likely to occur in Alaska than the rest of the U.S. Likewise, the decision to utilize unsuitable terrain was more likely to occur in Alaska. Additionally, accidents in Alaska were associated with violations concerning VFR into IMC. These data provide valuable information for those government and civilian programs tasked with improving GA safety in Alaska and the rest of the US.


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