Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Jonathan Beedle

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Mary Funk

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Dr. Dale Lunsford

Committee Member 5 School



Pilot error remains the primary cause of airline airplane accidents (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.). Airline pilots have relied on Crew Resource Management and Threat Error Management to reduce or eliminate errors (Helmreich & Foushee, 2019). Unfortunately, the worldwide accident rate continues to increase (International Air Transport Association, 2021), demonstrating the need for further research into improving aviation safety. Current regulations do not require imagery training for airline pilots to improve situational awareness (Federal Aviation Administration, 2017a). Athletes and other professionals, such as musicians and medical professionals, use imagery to improve performance (Munzert et al., 2009). Imagery practice may improve the situational awareness of airline pilots. This study examined the relationship between imagery practice and airline pilot situational awareness. The researcher used an experimental posttest design with a group of airline pilots that received imagery training and a practice period. The data analysis answered the research questions and objectives using data provided by the participants who completed an interactive video survey.

The researcher compared the survey results with airline pilots without imagery practice, measuring Endsley's (1995) three levels of situational awareness, including perception, comprehension, and projection. The study's results produced three findings that emphasize the effects of the research. Pilots who practiced imagery more often had higher levels of situational awareness during the video survey than pilots who practiced less. Although there was an improvement in the group that practiced imaging a flight, further research may improve the effectiveness of imagery practice. More experienced pilots participated in the study compared to less experienced pilots. Further research regarding safety training experience and situational awareness could add to the findings of this study, along with Wang et al. (2021) findings regarding pilots using personal attributes such as emotional intelligence that replace inadequate training to maintain situational awareness.