Risk Perceptions in Agricultural Aviation. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Agricultural aircraft operations are an integral part of the agricultural sector. According to the National Agriculture Aviation Association (NAAA), aerial applications are conducted in all 50 states of the U.S. and account for 28% of all treated cropland. A typical application operation consists of an operator (Part 137 certificate holder, permission to apply chemicals to agricultural crops) and one or more pilots. This article explores the risk perceptions of operators (pilots with a Part 137 certificate) and non-operators (pilots without a Part 137 certificate) using data from two industry surveys. METHODS: In an effort to explain the differences between risk perceptions of operators and non-operators, a series of regression analyses were conducted controlling for age, work experience, prior encounters with hazards and history of reported injuries. In addition to exploring the aggregated perceptions across all hazards, perceptions of specific hazards were also examined. RESULTS: Data indicate that non-operators perceive hazards as significantly more dangerous than operators. Power lines are perceived as the most hazardous, followed by communication towers and meteorological towers. The regression results indicate that risk perception differences remain even after controlling for differences in age, work experiences, prior hazard encounters and injuries between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Heterogeneity in risk perceptions within an organization can result in discrepancies over daily decision-making concerning operations. Further research is needed to identify the causal factors behind the observed differences.

published proceedings

  • J Agromedicine

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Sinha, N., Shipp, E. M., Struttmann, T. W., Payne, S. C., & Borowiec, J. D.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Sinha, Nishita||Shipp, Eva M||Struttmann, Tim W||Payne, Stephanie C||Borowiec, Jeffrey D

publication date

  • July 2023