Maintenance check flight accidents (a new approach to air safety investigations)

PhD Thesis

Nagy, Zsolt Jay. 2023. Maintenance check flight accidents (a new approach to air safety investigations). PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

Maintenance check flight accidents (a new approach to air safety investigations)

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsNagy, Zsolt Jay
1. FirstA/Pr Tarryn Kille
2. SecondWayne Martin
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages429
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

In the wake of several serious post-maintenance check flight accidents and incidents, the airline industry adopted a new operational risk management framework. This research study found a misalignment between the traditional safety response and the underlying causal patterns elicited from accident investigation reports. From a system safety perspective, the industry must recognise the novel safety hazards associated with highly automated airliners, otherwise, the unmitigated systemic risk will lead to further accidents. Owing to the lack of studies and safety statistics on the topic, the research project started with building a comprehensive catalogue of non-routine flight occurrences for Western-built commercial jet airliners. Once maintenance check flight investigation records were identified, systemic causal and contributing factors were extracted and assembled into a knowledge map. Finally, grounded in an embedded multi-case study across three different airliner generations, a refined accident model was developed for check flight accident causation. Common patterns were traced to the underlying regulatory framework and the way systemic causes propagate through operational and design pathways. The study concluded with practical recommendations for the industry, supported by further research ideas which may offer additional insights into the non-routine safety problem.

Keywordsaccident; test flight; check flight; decision making; system safety ; safety investigation
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350901. Air transportation and freight services
400199. Aerospace engineering not elsewhere classified
460899. Human-centred computing not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Business
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