Diab N Eu Final Thesis Jul 6 2009

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Diab N Eu Final Thesis Jul 6 2009

  1. 1. The Pre-Flight Safety Briefing: What are the Reasons for some Passengers‟ Lack of Attentiveness during Pre-Flight Safety Briefing? Graduate Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master in Aviation Science Everglades University by Nabil S. Diab July, 2009 Copyright ©2009 by Nabil Diab. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Thesis Committee ApprovalThe Pre-Flight Safety Briefing: What are the Reasons for some Passengers‟ Lack of Attentiveness during Pre-Flight Safety Briefing? Nabil S. Diab This Graduate Thesiswas prepared under the direction of the candidate‟s Research Committee Member, Ron Abukhalaf and the candidate‟s Research Committee Chair, Dr. Artemios Maryannakis and has been approved by the Project Review Committee. It was submitted to Everglades University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Aviation Science _____________________________ Ron Abukhalaf, MAS Committee Member _____________________________ Artemios Maryannakis, Ed.D., Ph.D. Committee Chair ii
  3. 3. AcknowledgmentsThis thesis could not have been written without the support and friendship found atEverglades University and Windsor Flying Club. The love of family and friendsprovided my inspiration and was my driving force. It has been a long journey andcompleting this work is definitely a high point in my academic career. I could not havecome this far without the assistance of many individuals and I want to express mydeepest appreciation to them. I was fortunate to gain a mentor in Dr. ArtemiosMaryannakis. His encouragement and advice led me to fulfill this task and I feel blessedto have worked with him. Without his belief in me I could not have developedconfidence in my abilities as aviation professional and a researcher and for that I amtruly grateful. I have learned a great deal from him and I will never forget the valuablelessons he taught me. The faculty and staff at Everglades University are the mostdedicated and generous people that I have ever met and I feel honored to have workedwith them. Their guidance has served me well and I owe them my heartfelt appreciation.A special “thanks” for Mr. Michael Flynn, the aviation department chairperson atEverglades University, for his superior help and support. My committee membersdeserve a special note of praise, for they have watched over me since my first days as agraduate student. I wish to thank Dr. Jeff LaPoint, Dr. Bob Baron, and Mr. Ron Abu-Khalaf for providing numerous hours of advice and critiques. Their examples, asresearchers and as teachers, continue to serve as guidelines for my academic career. Imust also thank the librarians and staff at Everglades University for their greatassistance. Their kindness and assistance will always be remembered. A special“thanks” to the staff at Windsor Flying Club in Canada, namely, the club president iii
  4. 4. Captain Perry Burford, CFI Captain Craig Laws, CFI Captain Todd Johnson, mywonderful flying instructor Captain Adam Crema, and WFC manager Captain CindyKehn, who deserve a special praise, their help and support over me since I started tolearn flying and getting my pilot license was of a great help. Finally, I wish to thank mylovely family who has always believed in me and helped me reach my goals in spite ofall the difficulties. Their support forged my desire to achieve all that I could in life. Iowe them everything and wish I could show them just how much I love and appreciatethem. My wife, Dr. Mozayan Diab, my daughters Rana, Randa, Razane, Rasha, mywonderful granddaughters, Shahd and Sarah (My heart is yours forever, God bless youlittle angels; you stole my heart away and have made my life complete), and my son-in-law Moe Ayoub, whose love and encouragement allowed me to finish this journey, theyalready have my heart so I will just give them a heartfelt “thanks.” Lastly, I would liketo dedicate this work to my deceased father, may he rest in peace, and to my wonderfulmother, whom support, love, and encouragement have shaped who I am today. I hopethat this work makes you proud. iv
  5. 5. AbstractResearcher: Nabil S. DiabTitle: The Pre-Flight Safety Briefing: What are the Reasons for some Passengers‟ Lack of Attentiveness during Pre-Flight Safety Briefing?Institution: Everglades University, U.S.ADegree: Master of Aviation ScienceYear: 2009Traveling by air has its own special challenges and hazards. Passengers‟ safety is amajor topic of interest for the airlines since its inception, and the best service an aircarrier can provide is good safety. This thesis examined the behavioral patterns of somepassengers who lack the attentiveness during pre-flight safety briefing. The researchercompared the behavior of three segments: leisure travelers, frequent fliers, and theaviation professionals. The main finding of this research was that people craveacceptance by whatever group they choose to belong to. Based on the conclusions of thisresearch study, the researcher‟s recommendations are the following: This study providesevidence that airplane accidents are indeed survivable and passengers can expect tosurvive crashes more times than not. In general, human beings crave acceptance bywhatever group they choose to belong to, hence, the airlines key objective should be tomake the passengers feel that they are really part of the “team.” In addition, as groupacceptance is a powerful motivator, any presentation of flight safety should be casted byrole models who can influence the public. v
  6. 6. Table of Contents PageList of Tables viiiList of Figures ixChapter One - Introduction Background of Problem 1 Statement of the Problem 3 Definitions of Terms 4 Assumptions and Limitations 8Chapter Two – Literature Review Introduction 10 Why Passengers do not Listen? 13 The Importance of Being an Alert Passenger 13 Statistics on Airplane crashes: What Causes the Death of Some Passengers? 15 Results of Similar Research Studies 17 Statement of Hypothesis 27Chapter Three – Research Methodology Research Model 29 Study Population 29 Data Sources and Gathering Instruments 31 Distribution Method 32 Treatment of Data and Procedures 33 Validity and Reliability of Data 34Chapter Four - Results Data Analysis 39 vi
  7. 7. Chapter Five - Findings Discussion 49 Conclusions 52 Recommendations 53 Recommendation for Policy Implementation 53 Engaging the Passengers 54 Appendices Appendix A – Configurations of the Aircraft Types Represented in the NTSB 2000 Study 56 Appendix B – Excerpts from the Federal Aviation Regulations Pertaining to Passengers‟ Safety 74 Appendix C – Pre-Flight Safety Briefing Questionnaire 84 Appendix D – Survey Results 89References 171 vii
  8. 8. List of TablesTable 1. Events that led to the Emergency Evacuations in the NTSB Study Cases 21Table 2. The Mean Values of the Three Categories of Passengers under Study 41Table 3. The Study population 41Table 4. The Means of the Groups 42Table 5. Levenes Test of Equality of Error Variances 42Table 6. Tests of Between-Subjects Effects 43Table 7. Estimated Marginal Means 43Table 8. Scheffé Results 44Table 9. Means for Groups in Homogeneous Subsets 44 viii
  9. 9. List of FiguresFigure 1. Accident Summary by Injury and Damage from 1959 to 2007 2Figure 2. 10-Year Accident Rates by Type of Operation 11Figure 3. The Distribution of Fatal Accidents and Onboard Fatalities during the Different Phases of a Flight 12Figure 4. Shows the frequency distribution and the mean values obtained by each group of participants 45 ix
  10. 10. Chapter 1 Introduction Background of the Problem Traveling by air has its own special challenges and hazards. Passengers‟ safety isa major topic of interest for the airlines since its inception. Although the informationseems repetitious to some passengers and staff alike, the crucial fact remains that theinformation varies from one aircraft to another (i.e., proper exit procedures, location ofsafety devices, etc.). Accident investigations carried out by National TransportationSafety Board (e.g., NTSB, 2008) and studies (e.g., Boeing, 2008) have shown that thesurvival prospects of passengers have been jeopardized because of deficiencies andinaccuracies with safety information briefings (Civil Aviation Advisory Publication,2004). In addition, various studies (e.g., Federal Aviation Administration, 2003; Flight Safety Foundation, 2000; NTSB, 1985) provided insight into specific factors, such as crewmember training and passenger behavior that affect the overall safety issues; however, these studies had several limitations. Firstly, in many of these studies, researchers did not examine why passengers behaved in certain manners or researched the factors that influenced passengers‟ behaviors during an emergency. Secondly, only safety issues were studied following serious accidents and not safety issues arising from the daily incidents, which may happen on daily basis in many commercial airplanes. Accident experience has also demonstrated that apparent passenger indifference to safety information has led to improper action by some passengers during emergencies, that is, inattentiveness during safety briefings affects the ways in which 1
  11. 11. passengers react during emergencies (NTSB, 2000). Unfortunately, most people falsely assume that the commercial aviation accident survivability rate is zero or very low (Boeing, 2008). Therefore, due to this rather false assumption, most passengers tend to underestimate the value of preflight safety briefings and undervalue the significance such information may serve in time of an accident. According to the Boeing Company‟s statistics of all accidents for worldwide commercial jet fleets (1959 through 2007), 565 of the 1564 accidents worldwide were fatal; therefore, during these 46 years about 64 % (Figure 1) of all aircraft accidents were survivable (Boeing, 2008). This statistic provides evidence that airplane accidents are indeed survivable and passengers can expect to survive crashes more times than not.Figure 1. Accident Summary by Injury and Damage from 1959 to 2007:All Accidents – Worldwide commercial JetFleet. From Boeing‟s 2007 Statistical Summary, July 2008, p.15. Copyright 2008 by the Boeing ManufacturingCorporation. 2
  12. 12. Statement of the Problem Aviation regulations require passengers to follow all safety-related directionsgiven by any crew member. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 6Standards require that oral safety briefings be given to passengers before all flights andthat safety cards be available to all passengers (ICAO, 2006). Videotaped safety briefingsmay be used in lieu of oral safety briefings and demonstrations. Standard safety briefingsare provided before and after take-off, when the seat belt sign is turned on due toturbulence and before landing. The pre-flight safety briefing serves an important safety purpose for bothpassengers and crew. The required standard safety briefing consists of four elements:prior to takeoff, after takeoff, in-flight resulting from turbulence, and before passengerdeplaning. An individual safety briefing must be provided to any passenger who is unableto receive information contained within the standard safety briefing. Briefings preparepassengers for an emergency by providing them with information about the location andoperation of emergency equipment that they may have to operate. However, the problemis that the vast majority of passengers in commercial flights do not pay close attention tothe pre-flight safety briefing due ambiguities associated with some terminology used byairlines. Hence, the ambiguity of the information might cause confusion to somepassengers in an emergency during egress procedures, which in some cases (e.g., cabinfire requires at maximum 90 seconds or less time of evacuation) might considerablydecrease survivability. This research argues that well-briefed passengers will be better prepared in anemergency, thereby increasing survivability and lessening dependence on the crew to 3
  13. 13. assist them. When passengers are carried on-board, a crew member must provide an oralbriefing or by audio or audio-visual means. In spite of the fact that aviation safety canonly be predicted, not guaranteed, this research was carried out to find out the besttechniques and procedures which should be deployed by commercial airlines in order toincrease the passengers‟ attentiveness to the pre-flight safety briefing.Definition of Terms For purposes of this thesis report, the following terms were clarified and wereoperationally defined below: Accident rates. Accident rate is a measure of accidents per million departures.Departures (or flight cycles) are used as the basis for calculating rates, since there is astronger statistical correlation between accidents and departures than there is betweenaccidents and flight hours, or between accidents and the number of airplanes in service,or between accidents and passenger miles or freight miles. Airplane departures data arecontinually updated and revised as new information and estimating processes becomeavailable. These form the baseline for the measure of accident rates and, as aconsequence, rates may appear to vary between editions of this publication (the term wascreated by Boeing and does not have corresponding equivalence in ICAO, the NTSB,etc.; Boeing, 2008). Airplane accident. An airplane accident is an occurrence associated with theoperation of an airplane that takes place between the time any person boards the airplanewith the intention of flight and such time as all such persons have disembarked, in whichdeath or serious injury results from (a) being in the airplane, or (b) direct contact with theairplane or anything attached thereto, or (c) direct exposure to jet blast. It excludes (a) 4
  14. 14. fatal and nonfatal injuries from natural causes; (b) fatal and nonfatal self-inflicted injuriesor injuries inflicted by other persons; (c) fatal and nonfatal injuries of stowaways hidingoutside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew; (d) nonfatal injuriesresulting from atmospheric turbulence, maneuvering, loose objects, boarding,disembarking, evacuation, maintenance and servicing; and (e) nonfatal injuries to personsnot aboard the airplane; or (a) the airplane sustains substantial damage; or (b) the airplaneis missing or is completely inaccessible. Airplane collision. Airplane collisions are events involving two or more airplanesand are counted as separate events, one for each airplane. For example, destruction of twoairplanes in a collision is considered to be two separate accidents (the term was createdby Boeing and does not have corresponding equivalent in ICAO, NTSB, etc.; Boeing,2008). Advisory Circulars. Advisory Circulars (AC) are intended to provide informationand guidance regarding operational matters. An AC may describe an acceptable, but notthe only means of demonstrating compliance with existing regulations. The ACs in and ofthemselves do not change, create any additional, authorize changes in, or permitdeviations from regulatory requirements (Boeing, 2008). Federal Aviation Administration. Federal Aviation Administration is an agency ofthe United States Department of Transportation with authority to regulate and oversee allaspects of civil aviation in the U.S. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the groupunder the name Federal Aviation Agency, and adopted its current name in 1966 when itbecame a part of the United States Department of Transportation (FAA, 2003). 5
  15. 15. Fatal accident. Fatal accident is an accident that results in fatal injury (the termwas created by Boeing and does not have corresponding equivalent in ICAO, the NTSB,etc.; Boeing, 2008). Fatal injury. Fatal injury is any injury that results in death within 30 days of theaccident (the term was created by Boeing and does not have corresponding equivalencein ICAO, the NTSB, etc.; Boeing, 2008). Flight Safety Foundation. Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit,international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy andpublishing to improve aviation safety (FSF, 2000). Hull loss. Hull loss is a status where the airplane is totally destroyed or damagedbeyond economic repair. Hull loss also includes but is not limited to events in which(a) the airplane is missing; or (b) the search for the wreckage has been terminated withoutit being located; or (c) the airplane is completely inaccessible (the term was created byBoeing and does not have corresponding equivalent in ICAO, the NTSB, etc.; Boeing,2008). International Civil Aviation Organization. International Civil AviationOrganization is a United Nations Specialized Agency, and is the global forum for civilaviation. The ICAO works to achieve its vision of safe, secure and sustainabledevelopment of civil aviation through cooperation amongst its member States (ICAO,2006). Major accident. Major accident is an accident in which any of three conditions ismet: (a) the airplane was destroyed; or (b) there were multiple fatalities; or (c) there wasone fatality and the airplane was substantially damaged. This definition is consistent with 6
  16. 16. the NTSB definition. It is also generally consistent with FSF, except that FSF confinesmultiple fatalities to occupants. International Civil Aviation Organization does notnormally define the term major accident (Boeing, 2008). National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). National Transportation SafetyBoard is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating everycivil aviation accident in the United States. National Transportation Safety Board openedits doors on April 1, 1967. Although independent, it relied on the U.S. Department ofTransportation (DOT) for funding and administrative support. In 1975, under theIndependent Safety Board Act, all organizational ties to DOT were severed. NationalTransportation Safety Board is not part of DOT, or affiliated with any of its modalagencies (NTSB, 1985). Serious injury. According to Boeing (2008), serious injury is an injury which issustained by a person in an accident and which (a) requires hospitalization for more than48 hours, commencing within seven days from the date the injury was received; or(b) results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes or nose); or(c) involves lacerations which cause severe hemorrhage, nerve, muscle or tendondamage; or (d) involves injury to any internal organ; or (e) involves second or thirddegree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5% of the body surface; or (f) involvesverified exposure to infectious substances or injurious radiation. This is consistent withthe ICAO definition. It is also consistent with NTSB‟s definition except for the lastbullet, which is not included in NTSB definition (Boeing, 2008). Substantial damage. Substantial damage or failure is the damage which adverselyaffects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the airplane, and 7
  17. 17. which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component.Substantial damage is not considered to be (a) engine failure or damage limited to anengine, (b) damage to wheels if only one engine fails or is damaged, (c) damage to tires(d) bent fairings or cowlings, (e) damage to flaps, (f) dents in the skin, (g) damage toengine accessories, (h) small puncture holes in the skin, (i) damage to brakes, and (j)damage to wingtips (Boeing, 2008).Assumptions and Limitations This study was carried out without involving the airlines, which could haveenabled to know more about their safety culture, staff risks perception of aviation safetyhazards, willingness of staff to report safety hazards, action taken on identified safetyhazards, and staff comments about safety management within the airline. In addition, thisstudy was dependent on collaboration from some commercial airlines in the form ofsending the questionnaires to their frequent fliers or providing the researcher the lists. E-mails were sent to their commercial departments in order to seek their assistance inrecruiting the participants for this study, that is, their customers and frequent fliers. Due to the fact that this was a student-conducted research, recruiting participantscertainly posed difficulties. The collaboration with commercial airlines was not granted,and hence, the researcher resorted to using a sample of colleagues, relatives andneighbors as participants for this study. This study was limited to self-collected data byparticipants as well as by facts gathered through research means. No commercial airlinesor their representatives contributed first-hand to any data collected in this research. Byhaving commercial airlines collaborate, future researchers would have the advantage ofattaining crucial information such as safety culture. 8
  18. 18. Participants were fully briefed in advance via e-mails, that they were beinginterviewed as passengers who, based on their own feedback and experience contributedto the creation of safety knowledge in the aviation industry. Consequently, participantsmight have acted differently (i.e., the Hawthorn Effect). Another limitation was that theaccuracy of the data collected was highly dependent on participants‟ viewpoints anddegree of truth given in their responses. 9
  19. 19. Chapter Two Literature ReviewIntroduction Studies about aircraft accidents have demonstrated for the most part thatpassengers‟ lack of knowledge of safety information has led some passengers to takeimproper and incorrect actions during emergencies (Figure 2). It is from such studies thatthe scope of this research was inspired, bringing to the forefront the crucial and oftenunderestimated issue of safety briefings given on aircraft. National Transportation SafetyBoard has always focused on maladaptive passenger behavior in emergencies as a resultof (a) inappropriate or inaccurate information having been given to passengers,(b) passenger indifference to safety information, (c) the apparent belief by somepassengers that they are somehow immune to injury, and (d) the rather universally heldfatalistic belief that airplane accidents are not survivable and that passengers have noinfluence on whether they will survive an accident (NTSB, 1985). 10
  20. 20. Figure 2. Ten-year Accident Rates by Type of Operation. The X-axis indicates the total number of departures bymillions while the Y-axis shows the 10-year accident rates/million departures. From Boeing‟s 2007 StatisticalSummary, July 2008, p.18. Copyright 2008 by the Boeing Manufacturing Corporation. The same report indicated that in an airplane environment (Figure 3) passengerswere passive participants who, for the most part, were unaware of, why the safetyinformation they were given was important (FSF, 2000). As accident investigations havepointed out, the pre takeoff briefing is often the only safety information air travelers willreceive in the event of an accident. 11
  21. 21. Figure 3. Fatal Accidents and Onboard Fatalities by Phase of Flight: Worldwide Commercial Jet Fleet (1998-2007).The figure shows the distribution of fatal accidents and onboard fatalities during the different phases of a flight; X axisrepresenting the different phases of a flight and Y1andY2 axes representing the fatal accidents and the onboardfatalities. It is noticeable that the most fatal accidents with onboard fatalities occur during climb and descent. FromBoeing‟s 2007 Statistical Summary, July 2008, p.20. Copyright 2008 by the Boeing Manufacturing Corporation. 12
  22. 22. Why Passengers do not Listen? Some reasons that may aid in explaining passengers‟ lack of attentiveness tosafety briefings may be due to the ambiguities associated with some terminology used byairlines. Some phrases used to instruct passengers on how to use certain devices may betoo complicated for some passengers to understand. Hence, the ambiguity of theinformation may cause confusion to some passengers as to which exit they are to take incase of an emergency, given that the normal safety briefing protocol merely informspassengers as to the number of exits on the plane and which direction they should head toin case of an emergency. Passengers‟ confusion to some of the instructions given perhapselevates their chances of not paying close attention to safety procedures.The Importance of Being an Alert Passenger Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular (AC) 121- 24C, PassengerSafety Information Briefing and Briefing Cards states An alert, knowledgeable person has a much better chance of surviving any life-or injury-threatening situation that could occur during passenger-carrying operations in civil aviation. Therefore, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a passenger information system for U.S. air carriers and commercial operators that includes both oral briefings and briefing cards. Every airline passenger should be motivated to focus on the safety information in the passenger briefing; however, motivating people, even when their own personal safety is involved, is not easy. One way to increase passenger motivation is to make the safety information briefings and cards as interesting and attractive as possible. (FAA, 2003) 13
  23. 23. A common finding of studies about passenger-education methods (FAA, 2003;FSF, 2000; NTSB, 1985) revealed that the results of passengers‟ lack of knowledge ofoperating certain in-flight equipment; for example, oxygen masks or passengers‟ lack ofknowledge about which exit doors to take could result in an overwhelming workload forthe cabin crew in the case of an emergency (FSF, 2000). Because it seems almostimpossible to predict passengers‟ behaviors during an emergency, it is both vital andethical for airlines to take measures in order to provide the best possible pre-departuresafety briefings for their passengers. While the literature on airline safety is broad, a major contribution to airlinesafety research includes the work of NTSB (NTSB, 2000). National TransportationSafety Board has been concerned about the safety of commercial airplanes in the event ofan emergency. Several accidents investigated by NTSB in the last decade that involvedemergency evacuations, prompted NTSB to conduct a study on the evacuation ofcommercial airplanes. The study described in this report was the first prospective study ofemergency evacuation of commercial airplanes. For this study, NTSB investigated 46evacuations that occurred between September 1997 and June 1999 and involved 2,651passengers. Eighteen different aircraft types were represented in the study. Based oninformation collected from the passengers, the flight attendants, the flight crews, the aircarriers, and the aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) units, NTSB examined thefollowing safety issues in the study: (a) certification issues related to airplane evacuation,(b) the effectiveness of evacuation equipment, (c) the adequacy of air carrier and ARFFguidance and procedures related to evacuations, and (d) communication issues related toevacuations. 14
  24. 24. The study also compiled some general statistics on evacuations, including thenumber of evacuations and the types and number of passenger injuries incurred duringevacuations. As a result of the study, NTSB issued 20 safety recommendations andreiterated three safety recommendations to FAA. Past research and studies on airplane evacuations have provided insight to specificfactors, such as crewmember training and passenger behavior that affect the outcome ofevacuations; however, these studies had several limitations. Firstly, in many of thesestudies, researchers did not examine successful evacuations; therefore, they were notalways able to discuss what equipment and procedures worked well during evacuations.Secondly, only evacuations following serious accidents were examined and notevacuations arising from minor incidents. As a result, little is known about incident-related evacuations, which can provide insight into how successful evacuations can beperformed and which can also identify safety deficiencies before serious accidents occur.Thirdly, each study was a retrospective analysis of accident evacuations. This approachlimited the researchers to information collected during the original investigation ratherthan collecting consistent information on a set of evacuations. Fourthly, previous researchon evacuations has not examined some of the most basic questions about how oftencommercial airplanes are evacuated, how many people are injured during evacuations,and how these injuries occur.Statistics on Airplane Crashes: What Causes the Death of Some Passengers? On February 1, 1991, a USAir Boeing 737 and a Skywest Metroliner collided onthe runway at Los Angeles International Airport. All passengers on the Skywest planedied on impact. None of the passengers on the 737 died on impact, but 19 passengers died 15
  25. 25. from smoke inhalation and one died from thermal injuries. Of the 19 smoke-inhalationfatalities, 10 died in a queue to use the right overwing exit. National TransportationSafety Board discovered that two factors caused exit delays by several seconds werepassengers‟ delay in opening the exit and a scuffle between two passengers (NTSB,2000). On November 19, 1996, United Express flight 5925, a Beechcraft 1900C, collidedwith a King Air at the airport in Quincy, Illinois, seconds after landing. All 12 personsaboard the United Express flight and the two pilots on the King Air died from the effectsof smoke and fumes from the post-crash fire even though they survived the impact. Apilot employed by the airport‟s fixed-base operator and a Beech 1900C-qualified UnitedExpress pilot who have been waiting for the flight to arrive were the first persons to reachthe accident scene. These persons ran to the forward left side of the commuter‟s fuselagewhere the captain was asking them to get the door open. Both pilots attempted to openthe forward airstair door but were unsuccessful. National Transportation Safety Boarddetermined that the instructions for operating the door were inadequate for an emergencysituation (NTSB, 2000). The two accidents described above highlight just a few of the safety issues relatedto aircraft passengers‟ safety. In addition to accident investigations, studies conducted byNTSB, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), FAA, and independentresearchers have examined specific factors that affect the successful evacuation ofcommercial airplanes. 16
  26. 26. Results of Similar Research Studies National Transportation Safety Board completed a special investigation report onflight attendant training in 1992. That investigation found that there was a lack ofguidance to FAA inspectors regarding oversight of training, particularly flight attendantrecurrent training. Some flight attendants were not proficient in their knowledge ofemergency equipment and procedures, a situation compounded by a fact that most aircarriers did not have standard locations for emergency equipment and most carriers didnot limit the number of airplane types for which flight attendants were qualified. Anotherfinding from the 1992 report that is particularly relevant to the current study was thatmany air carriers did not perform evacuation drills during recurrent training, and theywere not required to conduct such training. As a result of that special investigation,several recommendations were issued to the FAA that were intended to improve flightattendant training and performance during emergency situations. In 1995, TSB of Canada issued a study of air carrier evacuations that involvedCanadian-registered airplanes or evacuations of foreign registered airplanes that occurredin Canada. The TSB conducted a post accident examination of 21 evacuation events thathad occurred between 1978 and 1991. As a result of the study, the TSB recommendedprotective breathing equipment for cabin crews, a reevaluation of escape slides, a reviewof the adequacy of public address systems, implementation of joint crew training, anddetailed briefings to prepare passengers for unplanned emergencies (TSB, 1995). Beginning in 1987, as a result of a 737 fire in Manchester, England, the CivilAviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom commissioned Cranfield University toconduct a number of experimental research studies on issues of cabin safety. 17
  27. 27. In 1989, a study of passenger behavior in airplane emergencies examined theinfluences of cabin configuration on the rate at which passengers could evacuate theairplane. Questionnaires were developed and mailed by NTSB to flight crews, flightattendants, ARFF units, and passengers who were involved in the 30 evacuations thatreceived a detailed investigation. The crewmembers and passengers were asked whatsuggestions they would make to improve evacuations. Questionnaires sent to flight crews consisted of questions regarding generalinformation about the evacuation, communication, procedures, environment, andequipment. Of 61 questionnaires mailed to flight crewmembers, 33 were returned toNTSB. The 33 responses were from pilots who represented 20 of the 30 evacuations inthe study that received detailed investigations. Fifteen of the 20 respondents were thepilots-in-command at the time of the evacuation. For all but one of the respondents, thiswas their first evacuation of a commercial passenger aircraft. Questionnaires sent to flight attendants consisted of questions regarding generalinformation about the evacuation, personal injuries sustained, preflight safety briefing,communication, emergency exits, environment, passenger behavior, and training. Of 64surveys mailed to flight attendants, 36 were returned to NTSB. This sample represented18 of the 30 evacuations that received detailed investigations. Two of the 36 respondentsreported being in a prior evacuation incidents. Questionnaires sent to passengers consisted of questions regarding the preflightsafety briefing, emergency exits, carry-on baggage, evacuation slides, passengerbehavior, seat belts, communication, injury, postevacuation events, and personalinformation. Of 1,043 questionnaires mailed to passengers, 457 (44 %) were returned to 18
  28. 28. NTSB. These passengers were from 18 of the 30 evacuations that received detailedinvestigations. Only 17 of the 457 passenger respondents indicated being involved in aprior evacuation. The average age of passengers who responded to NTSB‟s questionnairewas 43 years old. Forty-five percent of these passengers were female. The passengersaveraged 5 feet and 7.5 inches in height and weighed an average of 165 pounds.Passengers reported on the injuries they sustained during their evacuations. No attemptwas made to confirm each passenger‟s self-assessment. There appeared to be norelationship between age and the injury incurred since 34% of the respondents older thanthe median age of 43 reported injuries whereas 35% younger than the median reportedinjuries. Reports of injuries were similar (39%) for passengers older than 60 years. Despite the lack of differences with regard to injury, passengers who were olderthan 43 had different perceptions of how their physical abilities affected their evacuation.Older passengers were more likely to disagree with statements that their physical size orcondition assisted their evacuation. Further, they tended to disagree with statements thatindicated their age assisted them. Overall, older passengers were no more likely to sustain an injury, but theyperceived their condition and age to hinder their evacuation. Although age apparently hadno effect on injuries, the injury rate for females was greater than the injury rate for males.Thirty-eight percent (64) of the female respondents reported injuries whereas 27% (54) ofthe male respondents reported injuries. Yet, perceptions of how physical size, condition,and age affected their evacuation were the same for males and females. National Transportation Safety Board surveyed passengers involved in the studyevacuations on the competitive behaviors they exhibited or observed during evacuations 19
  29. 29. to gain insight on how often passengers exhibit these behaviors. Passengers were asked torate how much they agreed with the statement that passengers were cooperative duringthe evacuation. Seventy-five percent (331) of the passengers who responded to thestatement agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, 13% (56) disagreed or stronglydisagreed, and 12% (53) were neutral. The majority (62%, or 33) of the 56 passengerswho indicated uncooperative behavior were involved in 3 evacuations cases. These casesincluded evacuations involving an auxiliary power unit (APU) torching, an engine fire,and an airplane that overran the runway and impacted a grass embankment (Table 1). 20
  30. 30. Table 1. Events that led to the emergency evacuations in the 46 NTSB study cases. Themost frequent event leading to an evacuation was an engine fire, accounting for 18 (39%)of the 46 evacuations included in the study cases; 15 involved an actual engine fire, and 3involved a suspected but not actual fire. Eight of the 46 evacuations resulted fromindications of fire in the cargo hold; none of these eight events, which occurred onregional airplanes, involved the presence of an actual fire. Gear failure and smoke in thecabin led to 4 evacuations each (NTSB, 2000). Event Number of cases Engine fire/suspected engine fire 18 Cargo smoke/cargo fire indication 8 Smoke in cabin 4 Gear failure 4 Smoke in cockpit 3 Overran runway 3 Bomb threat 2 Landed short of runway 1 Lavatory smoke warning 1 Baggage cart collision 1 APU torch 1Note: As described in Boeing‟s Airliner magazine (April/June 1992), The APU provides both electricalpower and bleed air for the air conditioning system and main engine starting. A torching start may resultfrom excess fuel accumulation in the APU combustor assembly and exhaust duct. The torching start has acharacteristic „orange flash‟. Copyrights 2000 by National Transportation Safety Board. Although these three cases included flames or substantial airplane damage, theseverity of an event is not necessarily indicative of uncooperative behaviors. In the mostserious accident in the study, only 6% of the passengers indicated disagreement with thestatement that passengers were cooperative. The competitive behaviors passengers reported seeing included pushing, climbingseats, and disputes among passengers. These behaviors were reported in many of thestudy cases, but not all. Overall, 12.1% (53) of the responding passengers reported thatthey climbed over seats whereas 20.4% (90) observed someone climbing seats. Many(80%, or 42) of the passengers who indicated that they climbed over seats, the most 21
  31. 31. serious accident in the study and which involved several broken seats. Of all thepassengers who responded to the questionnaire, 29% (129) reported seeing passengerspushing, 18.7% (83) indicated actually being pushed, and 5.6% (25) indicated pushinganother passenger. Slightly more than 10% (46) of the responding passengers reportedseeing passengers in disputes with other passengers. National Transportation Safety Board asked passengers and flight attendants inthe 30 cases receiving detailed investigations to indicate from a list what hindered theevacuation. Five passengers and one flight attendant mentioned bulkheads, 39 passengersand one flight attendant mentioned broken interiors, 16 passengers mentioned overheadbins, and 16 passengers mentioned the seatback in front of them. In the 28 other cases forwhich questionnaires were distributed, one flight attendant mentioned that her seatobstructed the evacuation, and two other flight attendants reported galley itemsobstructing passenger evacuation. Eleven passengers indicated that the seatback in frontof them slowed their movement, six passengers mentioned overhead bins, five passengersmentioned the bulkhead, and one passenger mentioned the aisle width. In general, passengers in NTSB‟s study cases were able to access airplane exitswithout difficulty, except for the Little Rock, Arkansas, accident that occurred on June 1,1999, in which interior cabin furnishings became dislodged and were obstacles to somepassengers‟ access to exits. National Transportation Safety Board also assessed the effectiveness of theemergency lighting systems in the study cases by reviewing crew statements fromreturned questionnaires. Of the 36 flight attendants who responded, there were only tworeports of failed lights, both from flight attendants in the Little Rock accident. Further, 22
  32. 32. 5 flight crew members and 10 flight attendants reported that emergency lighting systemsassisted evacuations in which visibility was restricted. All of these crewmembers wereinvolved in five night evacuations. National Transportation Safety Board concluded thatemergency lighting systems functioned as intended in the 30 evacuations casesinvestigated in detail. The major findings of NTSB study were the following: 1. In the 46 study cases, 92% (2,614) of the 2,846 occupants on board wereuninjured, 6% (170) sustained minor injuries, and 2% (62) sustained serious injuries. 2. Federal Aviation Administration does not evaluate the emergency evacuationcapabilities of transport-category airplanes with fewer than 44 passenger seats or theemergency evacuation capabilities of air carriers operating commuter-category andtransport-category airplanes with fewer than 44 passenger seats. In the interest ofproviding one level of safety, all passenger-carrying commercial airplanes and air carriersshould be required to demonstrate emergency evacuation capabilities. 3. Adequate research has not been conducted to determine the appropriate exitrow width on commercial airplanes. 4. In general, passengers in NTSB‟s study cases were able to access airplane exitswithout difficulty, except for the Little Rock, Arkansas, accident that occurred on June 1,1999, in which interior cabin furnishings became dislodged and were obstacles to somepassengers‟ access to exits. 5. Emergency lighting systems functioned as intended in the 30 evacuation casesinvestigated in detail. 6. In 43 of the 46 evacuation cases in NTSB‟s study, floor level exit doors wereopened without difficulty. 23
  33. 33. 7. Passengers continue to have problems opening overwing exits and stowing thehatch. The manner in which the exit is opened and the hatch is stowed is not intuitivelyobvious to passengers nor is it easily depicted graphically. 8. Most passengers seated in exit rows do not read the safety information providedto assist them in understanding the tasks they may need to perform in the event of anemergency evacuation, and they do not receive personal briefings from flight attendantseven though personal briefings can aid passengers in their understanding of the tasks thatthey may be called upon to perform. 9. On some Fokker airplanes, the aft flight attendant is seated too far from theoverwing exits, the assigned primary exits, to provide immediate assistance to passengerswho attempt to evacuate through the exits. 10. Overall, in 37% (7 of 19) of the evacuations with slide deployments inNational Transportation Safety Board‟s study cases, there were problems with at leastone slide. A slide problem in 37% of the evacuations in which slides were deployed isunacceptable for a safety system. 11. The majority of serious evacuation-related injuries in National TransportationSafety Board‟s study cases, excluding the Little Rock, Arkansas, accident of June 1, 1999occurred at airplane door and overwing exits without slides. 12. Pilots are not receiving consistent guidance, particularly in flight operationsand safety manuals, on when to evacuate an airplane. 13. Passengers benefited from precautionary safety briefings just prior toemergency occurrences. 24
  34. 34. 14. Limiting exit use during evacuations in National Transportation SafetyBoard‟s study was not in accordance with the respective air carrier‟s existing evacuationprocedures. At a minimum, all available floor level exits that are not blocked by a hazardshould be used during an evacuation. 15. Evacuations involving slide use could be delayed if passengers sit at exitsbefore boarding a slide or if crew commands do not direct passengers how to get onto aslide. 16. Without hands-on training specific to the airplane types that frequent theirairports, aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel may be hindered in their ability toquickly and efficiently assist during evacuations. 17. Communication and coordination problems continue to exist between flightcrews and flight attendants during airplane evacuations. Joint exercises for flight crewsand flight attendants on evacuation have proven effective in resolving these problems. 18. Despite efforts and various techniques over the years to improve passengerattention to safety briefings, a large percentage of passengers continue to ignore preflightsafety briefings. In addition, despite guidance in the form of Federal AviationAdministration advisory circulars, many air carrier safety briefing cards do not clearlycommunicate safety information to passengers. 19. Passengers‟ efforts to evacuate an airplane with their carry-on baggagecontinue to pose a problem for flight attendants and are a serious risk to a successfulevacuation of an airplane. Techniques on how to handle passengers who do not listen toflight attendants‟ instructions need to be addressed. 25
  35. 35. 20. Unwarranted evacuations following Boeing 727 auxiliary power unit (APU)torching continue to exist despite past efforts by FAA to address this issue. 21. Evacuations continue to occur that are hampered by inefficientcommunication. Current evacuation communication would be significantly enhanced by theinstallation of independently powered evacuation alarms on all newly manufacturedtransport-category airplanes. As a result of this safety study, NTSB made the followingmajor safety recommendations to FAA: 1. Require air carriers to provide all passengers seated in exit rows in which aqualified crewmember is not seated a preflight personal briefing on what to do in theevent the exit may be needed. 2. Require the aft flight attendants on Fokker 28 and Fokker 100 airplanes to beseated adjacent to the overwing exits, their assigned primary exits. 3. Require flight operations manuals and safety manuals to include on abnormaland emergency procedures checklists, a checklist item that directs flight crews to initiateor consider emergency evacuation in all emergencies that could reasonably require anairplane evacuation (e.g., a cabin fire or an engine fire). 4. Review air carriers‟ procedures to ensure that for those situations in whichcrews anticipate an eventual evacuation, adequate guidance is given both to pilots andflight attendants on providing passengers with precautionary safety briefings. 5. Conduct research and explore creative and effective methods that use state-of-the-art technology to convey safety information to passengers. The presented information 26
  36. 36. should include a demonstration of all emergency evacuation procedures, such as how toopen the emergency exits and exit the aircraft, including how to use the slides. 6. Require minimum comprehension testing for safety briefing cards. 7. Develop advisory material to address ways to minimize the problemsassociated with carry-on luggage during evacuations. 8. Require air carriers that operate Boeing 727s to include in the auxiliary powerunit (APU) procedures instructions that when passengers are on board, the flight crewwill make a public address announcement about APU starts immediately prior to startingthe APU.Statement of the Hypothesis Since most studies (FAA, 2003; FSF, 2000; NTSB, 2000; NTSB, 1985) showedthat most passengers lack attentiveness to pre-flight safety briefings, airlines mustconsider more innovative ways to motivate their passengers to pay attention to suchbriefings. Many studies (FAA, 2003; FSF, 2000; NTSB, 2000; NTSB, 1985) have shownthat the overall effectiveness of the current flight safety techniques could use muchimprovement. In addition, individual passengers have a large (typically negative) impact on theconduct of emergency evacuations, resulting from their general naiveté regarding aircraftemergencies and ignorance of proper procedures needed to cope with such circumstances(CAAP, 2004). Hence, the perceived relevance of safety information is a major key topassenger attitudes. Based on the premise that passengers‟ safety is the key goal of allairlines alike, it is vital that safety briefings be delivered in the most effective modes. Thefact that some passengers are unaware of the procedures to follow in case of an 27
  37. 37. emergency, the following hypothesis is generated in effort to understand why somepassengers lack attentiveness to information that can save their lives: There will be asignificant difference in the level of understanding of pre-flight safety briefing betweenfrequent fliers, leisure travelers, and aviation professionals. 28
  38. 38. Chapter Three Research MethodologyResearch Model This study was implemented through means of a questionnaire survey designedby referencing FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 121.24C Passenger Safety InformationBriefing and Briefing Cards (FAA, 2003). The questionnaire was divided into three parts:(a) passenger perceptions of the pre-flight safety briefings and Briefing Cards, (b)passenger opinions of the pre-flight safety briefing and Briefing Cards, and (c)demographic data for those who responded to the questionnaire. The survey instrumentcontained seven statements with five Likert-scaled scores (from 5 = strongly agree to 1 =strongly disagree), which match the respondents‟ perceptions about the pre -flight safetyprocedures and briefing cards. Passenger opinions on the pre-flight safety and briefingcards used Likert-scaled scores (from 5 = totally helpful to 1 = completely useless). Inboth cases, respondents were asked to choose the answer that best corresponded withtheir level of agreement or disagreement.Study Population Sometimes people grant interviews because they want to be helpful in solving aproblem. For example, people are willing to talk in great detail about what they saw inplane crashes because they wanted to make air traffic safer. In this study, three sub-groups were solicited for participation. The first grouprepresented frequent fliers who have more exposure to the travel industry. Participants inthis group have traveled at least four times a year. In the second group, the majority ofparticipants were expected to be leisure travelers who traveled at least once a year. 29
  39. 39. The third group was solicited from flying clubs and aviation colleges. The majority ofparticipants from this group were expected to be pilots, flight attendants, and studentpilots. A minimum of 250 participants were solicited as a sample size as such sizeprovided a basis for the estimation of sampling error (Hair, Anderson, Tatham & Black,1995). A sample size of at least 100 is recommended (Hair et al., 1995) to conduct aconfirmatory factor analysis because a sample less than 100 may not provide enoughstatistical power to reject the null hypothesis. A small sample could lead to acceptance ofa model which is not necessarily a good fit, simply because there was not enoughstatistical power to reject the model. Conversely, if the sample is too large, the modelmay be rejected due to sensitivity in detecting small differences; the larger the sample,the more sensitive the test is to detecting differences. The recommended sample sizeshould be between 100 and 200 (Hair et al., 1995). In order to achieve the minimum participant requirement for each group,involvement from at least one flying club, an Aviation College, and otherorganizations/companies was necessary. For instance, the organizations/companiesrepresented group one and two (although it would have been much simpler if theresearcher was able to gain assistance from commercial airlines in order to recruitparticipants). Due to the fact that collaboration with commercial airlines was not possible,a request was sent to Windsor International Airport (CYQG) management in Canada, inorder to seek their help and permission to allow distributing the proposed questionnaire totheir travelers. Windsor International Airport was an ideal choice because of its strategiclocation and because it is a popular point of entry into Canada for private and business 30
  40. 40. aircraft with no curfews, slot, or noise restrictions. The Windsor Flying Club and aviationcolleges represented the third group. Furthermore, for those solicited to participate,participation was voluntary and anonymous.Data Sources and Gathering Instruments The primary data and information were mainly acquired by conducting personalinterviews, e-mails, and publishing the questionnaire on the Internet as an IP basedsurvey, that is, anyone with the Web address (URL) of the survey was able to respond toit. Once a respondent had answered the survey, that IP could not be used again. Whileworking with interviews as information gathering method, three aspects were consideredmore important than the rest: selection/availability of the interviewees, standardization ofthe interview process across them, which also means the control over design and order ofthe questions asked, and limitations and context of their responses. These interviews weremore on the qualitative side and characterized by the researcher and respondent having adiscussion where the researcher controlled the topic discussed but respondents also hadthe opportunity and freedom to shape their responses and influence the direction. In order to be able to collect as many and as detailed answers as possible, it isbelieved that participants were motivated and prepared. This was achieved by explainingthe purpose and scope of the study and by sending potential participants someinformation in advance. It was further explained that the study may or may not presentthe individual respondent‟s exact answers and in some instances only presented theresearcher‟s interpretation of the answers and other material received. It was alsoclarified that, if necessary, participants would be quoted in their personal capacity for aparticular opinion or information. 31
  41. 41. During the actual interviews, the researcher avoided leading questions at thebeginning and started off with rather general questions to set the tone of the interview.During the interviews notes about key points were taken by hand. To cross-check theveracity of information and clarity of opinion and ideas, relevant part of the thesis reportwas sent to participants for perusal and removal of possible inaccuracies. This wasbelieved to help reduce any possible misunderstanding, misinterpretation and enhancedthe validity and reliability of this research. Questionnaires (Appendix C) were also e-mailed to participants consisting ofquestions regarding general information about the safety procedures followed by thecommercial airlines, the cabin environment, and the cabin crew attitude towards thepassengers.Distribution Method There are numerous approaches to gathering data needed for the examination of aparticular problem. The most common distinction is primary data collected through directand first hand examination and secondary data that include earlier examinations, existingstatistics, literature and articles. It is never possible in any research endeavor to solelyrely on one type and discard the other source. The researcher‟s reliance on both was,therefore, inevitable. Questionnaires were sent by e-mail to participants consisting of questionsregarding general information about the safety procedures followed by the commercialairlines, the cabin environment, and the cabin crew attitude towards the passengers. Thee-mails to participants included the URL through which the questionnaire was accessible. 32
  42. 42. Treatment of Data and Procedures Not all data that came to the researcher‟s attention were acceptable for use in aresearch project. Data can be defective and may affect the validity of the researcher‟sconclusions. The imperfections in the data stem from the imperfections and irregularitiesof nature (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). Therefore, the researcher excluded any responsesfrom the same IP address and kept only one response from each IP address. Collecting data and processing it into information can be done in two ways, eitherby the quantitative or by the qualitative method. Through the former, the data is collectedin numbers from which statistical calculations and inferences can be drawn. This methodis mostly used when working with and researching large populations. In layman‟s terms,it is used to answer questions about relationships among measured variables with thepurpose of explaining, predicting, and controlling phenomena (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). Conversely, the qualitative method deals with observations, interpretation ofinferences in their specific contextual backgrounds, focusing variables, and relationshipmatrices amongst them (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). This method is often used in researchesthat do not depend much on classification or statistics, but rather this method relies onparticipants‟ viewpoints and is usually in narrative form; as opposed to numeric. Thisapproach seems to be too advanced to a more profound degree of knowledge. In layman‟sterms, it is typically used to answer questions about the complex nature of phenomena,often with the purpose of describing and understanding the phenomena from theparticipants‟ point of view (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). The treatment in this thesis was both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Theresearcher‟s task in this project was one that ferrets out the requisite components and 33
  43. 43. pieces of information/ knowledge to get to the desired or rather required solution with aprofessional objectivity. The study ended with tentative answers or hypotheses aboutwhat was observed. These tentative hypotheses formed the basis of future studiesdesigned to test the hypothesis. On the opinion side, especially regarding the safetyvariables, it was hard to quantify the subjective image of the interviewees. Furthermore,in doing this exercise the plan of study was flexible to the situation at hand and to theinterviewees, never letting the aim of this study elude the researcher, which also impliedthat the researcher was searching for both qualitative and quantitative information. The study discounted the chosen participants‟ subjective image of thesituation/idea that the researcher was interested in. Participants were fully briefed inadvance that they were being interviewed as passengers who, based on their ownfeedback and experience, contributed to the creation of safety knowledge in the aviationindustry. Consequently, study participants might have acted differently (due to theHawthorn Effect, which is a term referring to the tendency of some people to work harderand perform better when they are participants in an experiment. Individuals may changetheir behavior due to the attention they are receiving from researchers rather than becauseof any manipulation of the independent variables).Validity and Reliability of Data The validity of a measurement instrument is, “the extent to which the instrumentmeasures what it is supposed to measure” (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005, p. 29). Moreover,Gay (1996) stated that validity can be evaluated only in 33 terms of purpose and there areseveral different types of validity including content, construct, concurrent and predictivevalidity. Validity and reliability are assessed differently in quantitative research than in 34
  44. 44. qualitative research. Qualitative research is based on narrative rather than numbers,which requires a different approach. Validity and reliability of qualitative research arebeing addressed repeatedly in the literature including the work of Creswell (2003), Gay(1996), and Leedy and Ormrod (2005). Recently, some qualitative researchers havebegun to question their relevance to qualitative design (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). Stenbacka (2001) maintained that, “reliability concerns measurement and has norelevance in qualitative research” (p. 138). Lincoln and Guba (1985) supported that,“demonstration of validity is sufficient to establish reliability” (p. 316). Gay (1996)describes qualitative validity as the, “degree to which observations accurately reflectwhat was observed and interviews accurately reflect feelings, opinions, and so forth, ofthose interviewed” (p. 242). Rubin and Rubin (1995) believed that, “trying to apply 34 terms of purpose invalidity and reliability to qualitative work distracts more than it clarifies” (p. 87). Inaddition, Rubin and Rubin judge the credibility of qualitative work by transparency andconscientiousness of the interviewer, consistency-coherence based on reexamination andexplanation of why inconsistencies occurred; as well as communicability or richness ofdetail. Regardless of the viewpoint expressed by different authors related to reliability, itis believed that validity was established in this study by an accurate reflection of theinterview data. That accuracy was clearly based on the transparency, skill, andknowledge of the person conducting the interview. Qualitative validity can be furtherestablished by use of multiple methods, sources, or data collection strategies including 35
  45. 45. researcher notes, recordings, and questioning strategies. Validity was established in thisstudy by a combination of methods. Triangulation of data was accomplished by conducting a pilot study to determinethe validity of the interview questions, to establish the issues to be addressed in a large-scale in the survey questionnaire, and to develop and test adequacy of the researchinstrument using in-depth interviews or focus groups. The pilot study questionnaires wasdistributed for pretest for reliability evaluation using Cronbach‟s coefficient alpha, one ofthe most widely used reliability measures to determine scale reliability (Koufteros, 1999).The reliability value was >0.7, which was considered satisfactory for basic research(Churchill, 1991; Litwin, 1995; Nunnally, 1978). The development and validation of the survey consisted of several steps. The firststep was to identify objectives and the set of criteria that was needed to accomplish thesurvey objectives. A formative committee was formed to determine the objectives andcriteria utilized for the development of a set of the research criteria. The group consistedof two aviation specialists from Windsor Flying Club as well as one aviation qualitycontrol specialist from an airline. The formative committee members were chosen basedon their aviation experience and research. To add balance to the committee, WindsorFlying Club involved student pilots in the research. The formative committee examined the survey materials utilizing a Delphimethod process to develop a specific set of criteria necessary for the successful inclusionof usability techniques (Roth & Wood, 1990). The Delphi method process required themembers of the formative committee to provide feedback to a set of questions based uponthe review of the literature. The feedback was assessed and scored according to 36
  46. 46. importance and the results were included in a second questionnaire that wasadministrated to the formative committee. This process continued until the formativecommittee had reached consensus regarding the set of criteria. The outcome of theformative committee, which was the criteria list, was given to a summative committee,which was an expert panel consisting of professors in the aviation industry EvergladesUniversity. The summative committee rated each criterion on a Likert-scale with the fivecategories listed below: 1. Not of any concern: should not be addressed in the research. 2. Of minimal concern: could be included, but would not really enhance theresearch. 3. Of moderate concern: should be included in the research. 4. Of great concern: needs to be included or the research would not be valuable. 5. Of critical concern: must be included or the research would be of no use. The objectives and the survey were validated by the summative committee, andthe survey was piloted. Fifteen participants from Windsor Flying Club and other airlineswho utilize aviation on a daily basis were randomly selected. After the pilot study wascompleted, the researcher collected and analyzed the data. All unanswered questions andcomments were examined and addressed appropriately in the survey. After all correctionshave been made, the survey was distributed online, via e-mails and direct interviews, to250 participants. The online survey was self-reported and took approximately 10 minutesto complete. By deploying such a topology, the reliability value have been measured ensuringthat it was somewhere between (-0.70 to +0.70), which was considered a satisfactory 37
  47. 47. value for a basic research (Churchill, 1991; Litwin, 1995; Nunnally, 1978). Therefore, itcould be assured that the study questionnaire was tested for validity and reliability.Interview questions were frequently rephrased and asked in different ways to probe forconsistency or possible misinterpretation of previous phrasing. 38
  48. 48. Chapter Four ResultsData Analysis In addition to the deployed online survey technique, each face-to-face interviewwas recorded with a digital audio recording device. These audio recordings weretranscribed verbatim and themes were generated for coding purposes. The researcherused extensive notes and written observations taken during each interview as additionalsources of data used to answer questions within the study. Data from each interview were coded, compared, and synthesized for placementinto specific groups or categories for the purpose of answering questions related to thepurpose of the study. Coded information were placed into categories specific to gender,age, position, educational level, frequency of travel, and safety concerns. Codedinformation was compared across categories to determine relationships between sets ofdata. Interview data were further examined for inconsistencies and for determining if andwhy contradictions occurred. The data were analyzed to determine what the perceptionsof the respondents were by utilizing the tigersurvey.com engine (Appendix D). In addition to qualitative data derived from the face-to-face interviews, there wasquantitative data collected through a survey questionnaire. Specifically, the quantitativedata derived from the Likert type questions 7-12 of the questionnaire. In this study, the choice of the appropriate statistical treatment was closely tied tothe statement of the research questions and its respective hypothesis. The researchquestion that provided direction in this study was the following: What effect the pre- 39
  49. 49. flight briefing has on the level of understanding between frequent fliers, leisure travelers,and aviation professionals? The following, non-directional (i.e., did not state “significantly higher” or“significantly lower”), research hypothesis was tested for investigating the researchquestion in this study: There will be a statistically significant difference, at the .05 level,in the level of understanding of pre-flight safety briefing between frequent flyers, leisuretravelers, and aviation professionals, based on the Pre-Flight Safety BriefingQuestionnaire Inventory. The null hypothesis for this study was: There will be no statistically significantdifference, at the .05 level, in the level of understanding of pre-flight safety briefingbetween frequent flyers, leisure travelers, and aviation professionals, based on the Pre-Flight Safety Briefing Questionnaire Inventory. The independent variable (the "cause") in this research study was the "passengerpre-flight briefing." The dependent variable (the "effect") was "level of understanding." Itwas assumed that the level of understanding referred to the ability to put informationtogether in order to form a new whole. This may involve the production of a uniquecommunication (theme or speech), a plan of operations, or a set of abstract relations. Inaddition, the Likert type (with probes 1-5) survey questionnaire questions 7-12 weredesigned to collect interval data. Since the data was "interval" in nature and there was oneindependent variable (passenger pre-flight briefing) with three different levels (i.e.,passenger pre-flight briefing attended to frequent flyer, passenger pre-flight briefingattended to leisure travelers, and passenger pre-flight briefing attended to aviationprofessionals) the Analysis of the Variance (ANOVA) statistical test was used. 40
  50. 50. Specifically, the one-way ANOVA (one-way simply means that there is only oneindependent variable) was used. Table 2 below indicates the mean of the data that wascollected from the three different groups of passengers:Table 2. The Mean values for each of the three categories of participantsItem category Mean________________________________________________________________________Frequent flyers 3.794545455Leisure travelers 3.571Aviation professionals 4.439807692________________________________________________________________________ When the researcher used Table 2 that was created as input to the ANOVAfunction of the statistical package (SPSS), the results are in the following tables:Table 3. Between-Subjects Factors Description Group n________________________________________________________________________Frequent flyers 1.00 55Leisure travelers 2.00 50Aviation professionals 3.00 52________________________________________________________________________Note. n = number of participants in each group. From SPSS statistical output. 41
  51. 51. Table 4. Descriptive Statistics Dependent VariableGroup Mean SD n________________________________________________________________________1.00 3.7935 .96498 552.00 3.5710 1.16844 503.00 4.4398 .67823 52Total 3.9367 1.01785 157________________________________________________________________________Note. n = number of participants in each group; SD = standard deviation. From SPSS statistical output.Table 5. Levenes Test of Equality of Error Variances (a): Tests the null hypothesis thatthe error variance of the dependent variable is equal across groups. a Design: Intercept+GroupF df1 df2 Sig.________________________________________________________________________5.329 2 154 .006_______________________________________________________________________Note. df = degrees of freedom; Sig. = p (probability) value (i.e., degree of significance). From SPSSstatistical output. 42
  52. 52. Table 6. Tests of Between-Subjects Effects; a R Squared = .130 (Adjusted R Squared =.118)Source Type III df Mean Square F Sig. Sum of Squares__________________________________________________________________Corrected Model 20.977(a) 2 10.489 11.485 .000Intercept 2427.004 1 2427.004 2657.522 .000Group 20.977 2 10.489 11.485 .000Error 140.642 154 .913Total 2594.729 157Corrected Total 161.619 156_______________________________________________________________________Note. df = degrees of freedom; Sig. = p (probability) value (i.e., degree of significance). From SPSSstatistical output.Table 7. Estimated Marginal Means 95% Confidence of the Difference Group Mean Std. Error Lower Upper 1.00 3.793 .129 3.539 4.048 2.00 3.571 .135 3.304 3.838 3.00 4.440 .133 4.178 4.702Note. From SPSS statistical output. 43
  53. 53. Table 8. Post Hoc Tests: Scheffé Results 95% Confidence of the Difference (I) Group (J) Group Mean Std. Sig 2-tail Lower Upper Difference Error (I-J) 1.00 2.00 .2225 .18673 .493 -.2391 .6840 3.00 -.6464(*) .18484 .003 -1.1032 -.1895 2.00 1.00 -.2225 .18673 .493 -.6840 .239- 3.00 -.8688(*) .18928 .000 -1.3367 .4009 3.00 1.00 .6464(*) .18484 .003 .1895 1.1032 2.00 .8688(*) .18928 .000 .4009 1.3367 Note. Sig. = p (probability) value (i.e., degree of significance). From SPSS statistical output. Based onobserved means. * The mean difference is significant at the .05 level.Table 9. Means for groups in homogeneous subsets are displayed. Homogeneous Subsets(Scheffé). SubsetGroup n 1 2 2.00 50 3.5710 1.00 55 3.7935 3.00 52 4.4398 Sig. .494 1.000Note. Based on Type III Sum of Squares. n = number of participants in each group; From SPSS statisticaloutput. The error term is Mean Square(Error) = .913.a Uses Harmonic Mean Sample Size = 52.253.b The group sizes are unequal.The harmonic mean of the group sizes is used. Type I error levels are not guaranteed.c Alpha = .05. 44
  54. 54. 25 20 Frequency 3.00 15 10 5 0 25 20 Frequency Group 2.00 15 10 5 0 25 20 Frequency 15 1.00 10 5 0 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 MeanFigure 4. Shows the frequency distribution and the mean values obtained for each group of participants. By looking at the means of Table 4 titled "Descriptive," it was observed that themean (4.4398) of the Aviation Professionals‟ group (group 3.00) was higher than themean (3.7935) of the Frequent Flyers group and the mean (3.5710) of the LeisureTravelers group. Although the Aviation Professionals‟ group mean was higher, thisresearch study investigated if this mean was "significantly" higher. On Table 5, thestatistical package automatically conducted the Levenes Test to provide informationabout the variances of the three different groups of passengers. The Levene‟s Test valueof .006 is less than the .05 p value that was chosen as the level of significance; therefore,equal variances was not assumed (there was no homogeneity in the variances). 45
  55. 55. Table 6 titled “Tests of Between-Subjects Effects,” indicates a row entitled (Between)“Groups" that gives information about the variability of the scores between the subgroups(i.e., how much do the mean score answers of the Likert scale questionnaire from theLeisure Travelers group vary as opposed to the mean score answers from the FrequentFlyers and the Aviation Professionals‟ groups?). The row entitled "Error” (WithinGroups) gives information about the variability that exists within each group (i.e., howmuch the mean scores with a given group, Leisure Travelers for instance, vary amongthemselves?). The last row gives information about all the mean scores taken together. The important columns of Table 6 are first the "degrees of freedom" (df). Thenumber of df for the (Between) “Groups” is simply the number of groups the researcherwas investigating minus one (i.e., 3-1=2). The number of the "Error" (Within Groups)154 in this case, is the number of total passengers in the three groups (157) minus thetotal number of groups (3). Why was there subtraction from the values of the degrees offreedom? Suffice it to say that there was a tendency in statistical calculations tounderestimate the sample variance (as compared to the variance of the population). Tocompensate for underestimating the SPSS makes the df subtractions. The column titled"Sig." referred to the p value. Obviously, in this case the p value was .000; therefore, thenull hypothesis was rejected (.000 < .05). Consequently, it was established in this studythat there was a significant difference between the groups. However, since there weremore than two groups, it was not obvious where the significant difference lies. Whichscores were significantly different from the other? In order to find out the significant differences between the three groups, Table 8titled "Multiple Comparisons" was observed. The multiple comparisons test that the 46
  56. 56. researcher chose was the Scheffé test. The Scheffé is a "post hoc" test that gave theresearcher a conservative estimate of the probability that any two groups were different.Group 1.00 was the Frequent Flyers group, group 2:00 was the Leisure Travelers group,and group 3.00 was the Aviation Professionals group. After comparing groups 1.00 and2.00, the researcher observed a p value of .493, so the null hypothesis could not berejected. It appeared that although the means for the two groups were different (3.7935and 3.5710, respectively); they were not "significantly" different. The second comparisonbetween groups 1.00 and 3.00 indicated a p value of .003; therefore, the researcherrejected the null hypothesis and stated that there was a "significant" difference betweenthe two groups. When the researcher referred back to the original means he was remindedthat group 3.00 (Aviation Professionals) had a mean of 4.4398, which was higher than themean of group 1.00 (Frequent Flyers; 3.7935). Obviously, a third comparison betweengroups 2.00 and 3.00 indicated a p value of .000; therefore, the researcher rejected thenull hypothesis and stated that there was a "significant" difference between these groups.When the researcher referred back to the original means he was reminded that the meanof group 3.00 (i.e., 4.4398) was higher than the mean of group 2.00 (i.e., 3.5710). Based on the above results, this study statistically established that the AviationProfessionals group had better understanding of the pre-flight safety briefing than theFrequent Flyer and Leisure traveler group of passengers. Interestingly, the level ofunderstanding of frequent flyers appeared to be relatively equal to that of the leisuretravelers in that the passengers in these two groups did not have mean scores in the Likertscale questions related to the understanding of the preflight safety briefing that were"significantly" different from each other. Apparently, the Aviation Professionals‟ group 47
  57. 57. was the most educated in aviation safety and took the preflight safety briefing moreseriously than the other groups of passengers; therefore, airlines should find means ineducating and increasing the attention of all passengers before departure safetyprocedures. 48
  58. 58. Chapter Five Discussion, Conclusions, and RecommendationsDiscussion Of all the participants who responded to the questionnaire, 31% consisted ofleisure travelers; 36% were frequent fliers; and 33% were aviation professionals. Theaverage age (mean and median) of the participants who responded to the questionnairewas between 30-40 years old. Gender was equally represented by the participants. Thereappeared to be a relationship between age and the level of being attentive to the pre-flightsafety briefing: 52% of the respondents of the age less than 20 years reported being notpaying attention to the pre-flight safety briefing. Reports from the same group ofparticipants for the importance of flight safety card/pamphlet available on-board to weresimilar to the previous percentage; 48% reported that the safety card is completelyuseless. The older passengers (30-40 years) had different perception of the pre-flightsafety briefing as 43% reported that they are attentive to the safety briefing. Overall, the older passengers were more likely to pay more attention to the safetybriefings. Forty percent were male and 65% were female who responded to the questionthat they are leisure travelers. The majority were between 20-30 years old. Twenty threepercent of the respondents reported that they did not pay attention to the pre-flight safetybriefing. Thirty one percent of the respondents reported that they were somewhatattentive to the pre-flight safety briefing. Forty three percent who responded to thestatement that some possible language barriers can result in the misinterpretation ofinstructions given to some passengers by flight attendants, agreed with the statement.Thirteen percent were neutral (neither agree nor disagree), 11% disagreed, and 4% 49
  59. 59. strongly disagreed. Thirty three of the respondents reported that the safety card washelpful; however, 19% of respondents reported that it was completely useless. Thirty one percent of the respondents reported that passengers have stronginfluence over their own survivability in case of an accident. Thirty eight percent reportedthat passengers have some influence over their own survivability in case of an accident.Fifteen percent of the respondents reported that the passengers have no influence at allover their own survivability. Forty eight percent of the respondents reported that theyagreed that the pre-flight safety briefing is very crucial for the safety of all on-board, thusit should be allocated more time. Twenty five percent strongly agreed for the same. Fortysix percent agreed that some passengers have the unconscious belief that flightinjury/accidents can never happen to them, thus they do not need to pay attention to thesafety briefings, while 29% strongly agreed for the same. Forty two percent of the respondents agreed that the safety briefing presented byflight attendants, clarity of the voice, adding interesting dimensions to safety briefingswhich draws the passengers‟ attention, and minimizing the cabin distraction were majorfactors which would motivate them as passengers to pay attention or stimulate theirinterest during the safety briefings. Twenty nine percent of the respondents believed that the main reason for somepassengers to ignore the safety briefing was that information seemed to be repetitive onall flights. Thirty five percent of the respondents reported that the cabin distraction wasthe main reason for some passengers to ignore the safety briefings. One of the respondents‟ comments was that the airlines should make it mandatoryfor all people who are flying to take some sort of safety test before issuing them a ticket. 50
  60. 60. Thirty eight percent were male and 62% were female who responded to thequestion that they were frequent fliers. Sixty four percent were college/universitygraduates. Thirty five percent were between 30-40 years old. Forty one percent reportedthat they were attentive to the pre-flight safety briefing. Thirty one percent weresomewhat attentive and 17% were not attentive. Sixty percent reported that some possible language barriers can result in themisinterpretation of instructions given to some passengers by flight attendants. Thirty one of the respondents reported that minimizing the cabin distractionwould motivate the passengers to pay attention or stimulate their interest during thesafety briefing. Some of the respondents reported in the comment field that the flight attendantsshould interact more with passengers especially the exit seats passengers. Seventy three percent were male and 27% were female in responding to thequestion that they were aviation professional. Seventy eight percent of the respondentswere graduates. Thirty three percent were over 50 years old. Forty five percent of the respondents to the question of how attentive they wereduring the pre-flight safety briefing reported that they were very attentive. Thirty threereported that they are attentive. Sixty five percent strongly agreed that language barrierscan result in the misinterpretation of instructions given to some passengers by flightattendants. Sixty three percent of the respondents reported that the flight safetycard/pamphlet available on-board is very helpful. Seventy three percent of therespondents reported that the passengers have strong influence over their ownsurvivability in case of an accident. 51

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