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Factors affecting the decision making of pilots who fly in outback Australia
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by D Michalski, Christopher Bearman
The objective of this paper is to explore factors that affect the decision making of bush pilots who fly in the Outback Australia. To date, the findings and theories of how pilots make decisions have predominantly been based around large-scale commercial operations. Only a small number of studies have identified factors that affect the decision making of bush Pilots flying small commercial operations. These previous studies have predominantly focused on Alaskan pilots and no studies have considered bush pilots in Australia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve pilots aged between 24 and 63 years. Participants were asked to discuss their experiences of flying in the Australian Outback. Factors that affected pilots’ decision making were extracted from the transcripts using a thematic analysis technique. Factors that affected Australian Outback pilots’ decision making could be categorized into three main themes; organizational, social, and personal factors. Broad similarities exist between these factors and those that affect the decision making of pilots in Alaska, although some unique factors could be identified. This study builds on the literature of factors that can influence the flight-related decision of bush pilots and is the first study to examine this topic in an Australian context. Gaining a better understanding of the factors that can lead bush pilots to make poor decisions will allow initiatives to be developed that provide safety skills for all of the people involved in a flight.