Author ORCID Identifier

Huang -

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Publication Title

Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering







The Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) was developed and is recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration to provide a solution of proactively identifying and mitigating risk before each flight. General aviation (GA) operators are encouraged to adapt the FRAT based upon specific operational characteristics. Currently, most safety management systems-compliant GA operators have implemented various versions of FRATs with different operational purposes. However, the FRAT could be inappropriately implemented because of the dynamic operational features of GA operations. The purpose of this study is to explore insights into potential approaches to validate the FRAT that is used for flight risk assessment in routine GA operations. A FRAT from a flight school regulated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 141 was used as a study case. In total, 1,832 sets of FRAT data were collected from flight operations between November 2016 and February 2017. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was adopted in this research. The CFA results indicated that the studied FRAT model did not provide good fit with the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.13, standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) = 0.08, comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.98, and Tucker–Lewis index (TLI) = 0.98. Based on the modification indices, the studied FRAT model was restructured by removing 11 risk items from the original 33 risk items. The new model fitted the data acceptably (RMSEA = 0.07, SRMR = 0.05, TLI = 0.76, CFI = 0.69). In addition, implications and directions for further study are discussed.


This is an open access article.