Sue Burdekin

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Education in human factors and systems safety has been incorporated into aviation degree programs at university level for many years. However, there has been little research to measure empirically the impact that this education has had on safety outcomes in the field when the students have completed their degrees. A study is presently being conducted involving graduates from the University of NSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Australia who had obtained the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Aviation. Following their graduation, these students had been posted to various flying squadrons within the Australian Defence Force in an operational capacity. Research methods included attitude and knowledge surveys, as well as a statistical and qualitative comparison of academic results and military flying training performance with a control group of other pilots who had not completed this education or had joined the Australian Defence Force in a direct entry capacity. The preliminary results are very encouraging.