Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Second Advisor

Dr. Al Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William Rantz


Simulation, audible checklist, aviation, behavior analysis, safety, analog checklist


This study examined the effect of using a simulated intelligent audible checklist in simulated flight as compared to a standard analog (paper) checklist. Participants were three Western Michigan University students in the College of Aviation. All participants were licensed pilots with instrument ratings. The main dependent variable was the number of checklist errors or omissions committed by the pilots in simulated flight. During each flight, each participant could make up to 42 errors. The error count would initiate at the appropriate time to perform the “before-take off checklist” and would end one minute after parking the plane, the logical time to complete an “after landing checklist.”

A multiple baseline design was implemented in this research with the treatment being implemented at a different point in time for each participant. Either stability in performance or a decrement in performance determined the introduction of the audible checklist. Once stability or a descending trend in paper checklist use had been established, each participant was placed in the intervention phase. During baseline phase the three participants averaged 22.7% compliance per flight. After the simulated audible intelligent checklist intervention was introduced compliance increased to 97%. During the reversal phase compliance decreased to an average of 34%. Visual inspection of the data suggests that an intelligent audible checklist used during actual flights may decrease in-flight errors and possibly decrease aviation incidents and accidents.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons