Comparing pilot-error accident rates of male and female airline pilots
This study analyzes whether differences existed in the pilot-error accident rates of male and female United States airline pilots. Results are based on data of aviation accidents in the years 1986-1992, obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration. The study found that females employed by major airlines had significantly higher accident rates than their male counterparts overall. However, female airline pilots, on average, were less experienced and much younger than males. Male pilot-error accidents were modeled using logistic regression, regressing on age, experience (total flying hours), risk exposure (flying hours in the last 6 months), and employer (major/non-major airline). The male model provided a good fit for female airline pilots as well as for males. After adjusting for variables included in the model, accident rates of males and females were not significantly different. These findings suggest that neither males nor females are a safer pilot group. Airlines should make every effort to recruit and retain experienced females. The key challenge for managers of airline flight operations is to learn how to manage diversity in the workplace, while maintaining the highest level of safety.
Volume (Year): 24 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
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