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Summary of Findings

Summary of Findings

Results for the total population of airmen are summarized below. Analyses also showed that there were differences by type of certificate held. Differences based on other demographics also appear to be related to type of certificate. For example, differences based on number of career hours flown are linked to the fact that 94% of Airline Transport Pilots reported having over 3,000 career hours of flying time compared to 31% of Commercial Pilots and 5% of Private Pilots.

Safety Seminar Attendance

About three out of five pilots (60%) reported that they had not attended any safety seminars during the 24 months prior to completing the survey. Airline Transport Pilots (80%) were much more likely than Commercial Pilots (54%) or Private Pilots (53%) to report that they had not attended a seminar.

For those pilots who did not receive training from their employer and who also did not attend a seminar during the targeted time period, the majority indicated that they did not attend training because the training location was not convenient or the scheduled class time was not convenient (Table 1).

Reasons for not attending the seminars were quite different depending on certificate type (Table 1). For example, 71% of Airline Transport Pilots indicated that they received training from their employer compared to 23% of Commercial Pilots and 2% of Private Pilots.

Value of Safety Seminars

Survey results show that 18% of pilots reported that they had avoided an accident based on information they had received at a safety seminar (Table 2). In addition 55% of pilots agreed that they had applied information they received to their own flying experiences and 78% agreed that the information offered in safety seminars increases safety awareness.

As noted previously, Airline Transport Pilots were least likely to have attended a safety seminar. In addition, of all pilots who attended at least one seminar during the target period, Airline Transport Pilots were the least likely to be positive about the value of safety seminars (Table 3).

WINGS Program

One-fourth of pilots (25%) reported that they were not familiar with the WINGS program and another one-half (51%) reported that while they were aware of the program, they did not participate in it (Table 4). Of those participating in the program (25% of pilots):

  • 74% reported being between levels 1-3
  • 18% reported being between levels 4-6
  • 8% reported being level 7 or higher

Although Airline Transport pilots were least likely to participate in WINGS (16%), those who did participate were more likely to be at level 4 or higher (42%) compared to Commercial Pilots (30%) and Private Pilots (19%).

About seven out of ten pilots (69%) agreed or strongly agreed that the WINGS Program makes pilots safer aviators (only 2% of pilots disagreed with this statement).

Communicating with General Aviators

Almost nine out of ten pilots indicated that they had access to a computer, the Internet, and e-mail at home (Table 5). Over half of all pilots have access to a computer, the Internet, and e-mail at work. About one out of three pilots reported having access to high-speed Internet connections at home or at work.

When asked to select the best way to disseminate new safety information, the majority of pilots selected "newsletters or articles by regular mail," followed by "e-mail" (Table 6).

Topics for Future Safety Seminars

The seven most frequently selected topics that pilots indicated they would like to see discussed in future Safety Seminars were (selected by 40% or more of pilots):

  • Weather
  • Aircraft icing
  • Airspace
  • ATC communications
  • Single pilot-IFR flying
  • Crash survival (land)
  • Mountain flying

A complete listing is shown in Table 7.

All pilots were encouraged to write in suggestions for topics that were not included in the survey. A listing of suggestions offered by 242 pilots for other topics that might be considered is available on request.

Demographics

While the majority of Airline Transport Pilots (82%) reported that piloting an aircraft was their main source of income, only 32% of Commercial Pilots and 3% of Private Pilots reported piloting as their main source of income.

About half (51%) of Private Pilots reported owning or co-owning an airplane compared to 38% of Commercial Pilots and 19% of Airline Transport Pilots.

Airline Transport Pilots were most likely to report that they were employed as a pilot (89%) compared to Commercial Pilots (48%) and Private Pilots (8%). Of those working as a pilot, Airline Transport Pilots were most likely to be working for a major commercial airline (Table 8) while Commercial and Private Pilots were most likely to be working for a flight school or some other employer.

While the majority of Airline Transport Pilots (94%) report flying for more than 3,000 hours during their career, only 30% of Commercial Pilots and 4% of Private Pilots have accrued more than 3,000 hours of flying time. Additionally, about three out of five (63%) Airline Transport Pilots report flying for more than 300 hours during the last 12 months compared to 23% of Commercial Pilots and 1% of Private Pilots.

The majority of all pilots are below the age of 60 (Table 9). However, both the Commercial and Private Pilot groups are more likely than Airline Transport Pilots to have members who are 60 or older.