Improving pilots' risk assessment skills in low-flying operations

The role of feedback and experience

Brett Molesworth, Mark W. Wiggins*, David O'Hare

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Risk assessment is one of the most important skills that pilots are expected to acquire to ensure the safe and successful management of flight. The traditional approach to the development of these skills requires pilots to directly engage with potentially hazardous events. Using low-flying as a context, the present study sought to test whether engagement with hazards in a simulated environment, together with feedback concerning performance, would improve pilots' risk assessment during a subsequent simulated test flight. The results indicated that engagement with the hazards, rather than the provision of feedback per se, was associated with behavior that reduced the risk to the aircraft, while maintaining operational performance. It was concluded that exposure to hazards within a simulated environment could provide the basis for the development of risk assessment skills amongst less experienced pilots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-960
Number of pages7
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Low level flying
  • Risk assessment
  • Simulation

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