Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Meredith Carroll

Second Advisor

Donna Wilt

Third Advisor

Ulreen O. McKinney

Fourth Advisor

Siddhartha Bhattacharyya


The purpose of the current study was to analyze a set of factors for their ability to distinguish between passenger and cargo air carrier accidents. This study utilized a historical dataset of air carrier accidents that occurred between 2002 and 2019 and identified common factors that were able to be categorized according to the theoretical SHELO model. This model, commonly used for analyzing human factors-related causation of aircraft accidents, was utilized to categorize accident factors in levels of the SHELO model, consisting of Software, Hardware, Environment, and Organizational Influences. Data analysis in the form of several logistic regressions revealed a significant effect for all four of these levels to be able to distinguish between passenger and cargo air carrier accidents. These significant factors helped to explain important causal differences between the accidents of these two types of operators, as well as provided a practical use for the SHELO model in analyzing air carrier accidents. The results of this study helped fill gaps within related literature on commercial aviation safety as well as identified areas for future research and recommendations for the air carrier industry.


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