This descriptive study investigated the perceived problem of human fatigue as an operational consideration within the U.S. air carrier industry and the status of fatigue as content within U.S. aviation education/training curricula. An instrument was developed and expert-validated for self-completion by the following three groups (each with its sample size): (a) aviation higher education, represented by a mailing to 50 individuals; (b) air carrier training/management, represented by a mailing to 50 individuals; and (c) a professional training group of 58 general aviation flight instructors, with administration by the researcher during scheduled company meetings. The resultant SPSS data set consisted of 116 cases. Eight demographic variables were reported and analyzed with the analysis of variance; and the definition of fatigue, a multiple choice item, was tested for the chi-square goodness-of-fit distribution. The remaining 21 variables were subjected to a factor analysis, utilizing principal-axis factoring for extraction; orthogonal rotation, which forced the derived factors to be uncorrelated; and varimax, a variance maximizing procedure. The resultant 8 factors removed the duplication from the 21 correlated variables and, when scored, became variables within the SPSS data set. The normalized factor scores were subjected to analysis of variance and post hoc comparison for any significance of difference between the three groups; minor group differences were found for three of the eight factors. The data supported the literature review with respect to human fatigue being perceived as an operational consideration on the flightdecks of U.S. air carriers. The data and the literature also indicated that fatigue is present as content within U.S. aviation curricula. However, the answers to both research questions involved a matter of degree. Additionally, the data indicated that not all students within U.S. aviation have exposure to fatigue content within their curricula. Teaching the concepts and management of fatigue to some of these student may be as important as (more important than) fatigue as curricular content for flight crews. Future research in the development of a curriculum paradigm for human fatigue in U.S. aviation might utilize the eight factors derived as constructs by the factor analysis utilized in this study.

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Orwig, Gary W.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services;






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