Behavioral traps are accident-inducing operational pitfalls aviators may encounter as a result of poor decision making. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identifies the existence of twelve of these negative pilot behaviors. These are: Peer Pressure; Get-There-Itis; Loss of Situational Awareness; Descent Below the Minimum En Route Altitude (MEA); Mind Set; Duck-Under Syndrome; Getting Behind the Aircraft; Continuing Visual Flight Rules (VFR) into Instrument Conditions; Scud Running; Operating Without Adequate Fuel Reserves; Flying Outside the Envelope; and Neglect of Flight Planning, Preflight Inspections, and Checklists. The purpose of this paper was to study the nature of their occurrence in the airline domain. Four Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) analyzed 34 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident reports. The SMEs were able to identify many pilot actions that were representative of the behavioral traps. Behavioral traps were found in all accidents with Loss of Situational Awareness and Neglect of Flight Planning, Preflight Inspections, and Checklists dominant. Various themes began to emerge, which played important roles in many accidents. These themes included Crew Resource Management (CRM) issues, airline management and fatigue. The findings of this study indicated that behavioral traps were prevalent in airline accidents including habitual noncompliance by pilots. Attitude management training is recommended.
Velazquez, J. (2018). The Presence of Behavioral Traps in U.S. Airline Accidents: A Qualitative Analysis. Safety, 4(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4010002