ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2008, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (04): 466-473.

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The Effects of Flight Management Attitude on the Standardization of the Navigation Behavior of Airline Pilots

YOU Xu-Qun;YAN Bi-Hua;LI Ying;GU Xiang-Hua; YANG Shi-Yun;TU Jin-Lu   

  1. Department of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, 710062 Xi’an, China
  • Received:2006-12-06 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2008-04-30 Online:2008-04-30
  • Contact: You Xuqun

Abstract: A Flight Management Attitude Questionnaire (FMAQ2.0, international version), developed by Helmreich and Merritt (1996), is a suitable measuring instrument for evaluating the modeling features of aviation safety culture. The three dimensions of the test are basic organizational attitude, cockpit work attitude, and flight automation attitude. The Line/LOS Error Checklist (Version 6.0), also designed and revised by Helmreich and his colleagues (1999), is a worksheet for the assessment of human factors skills in order to manage external threat events and cockpit crew errors. In this questionnaire, the navigation behavioral markers (NBM) of airline pilots are considered as the most important index for the standardization of navigation behavior. The objective of the present study was to (1) test the appropriateness of FMAQ2.0 in Chinese, and (2) explore the effect and mechanisms of the three variables in FMAQ2.0 on navigation behavior, and construct and test an explicative model of aviation safety culture in enabling the standardization of the navigation behavior of airline pilots.
Two scales measuring both the modeling features of aviation safety culture and the standardization of navigation behavior were administered to 426 male airline pilots. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess the reliability and validity of FMAQ2.0 in study 1. Further, in study 2, a structural equation model (LISREL8.50) was adopted to analyze the data.
The results indicated the following: (1) Confirmatory factor analysis of the three-dimensional FMAQ2.0 was the best fit of data, and the reliability analyses and construct validity tests validated the fact that the three main dimensions of FMAQ2.0 met the individual psychometrical diagnostic standard. (2) Trust in the organization and job satisfaction, which were included under basic organizational attitude, predicted the flight automation and cockpit work attitudes, respectively, but did not predict navigation behavior directly. However, the path coefficients relating the flight automation and cockpit work attitudes to navigation behavior were greatly significant.
The results of this study supported the adaptability of FMAQ2.0 for Chinese airline pilots. In addition, the study provided partial support for the hypothesized model, in that the general organizational attitude did not directly predict the standardization of navigation behavior. Furthermore, the cockpit work and flight automation attitudes were found to be two important mediators of the relationship between the general organizational attitude and standardization of navigation behavior. The study aims to identify the mechanisms by which several factors related to aviation safety culture contribute to hazardous attitudes that influence the standardization of safe navigation behaviors among airline pilots. Further, it aims to provide a basis for the aviation industry to assess aviation safety culture and establish an appropriate CRM training system while considering the Chinese cultural background

Key words: aviation safety culture, flight management attitude, standardization of navigation behavior, airline pilots

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