Jet Advisors founder earns Ph.D. on factors influencing pilot error


Jet Advisors founder Kevin O’Leary has earned a Ph.D. in Aviation degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), with a doctoral dissertation on factors influencing pilot error.

O’Leary is a business aviation industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in aircraft acquisition, brokerage, and consulting.

He received 305 valid responses from Fractional pilots in order to investigate the effects of safety culture and the ethical leadership on safety performance of Fractional jet pilots within the US. His dissertation research involved a structural equation model (SEM) of the safety culture of a group of US pilots. The purpose of the SEM was to determine causal factors that influence pilot error. O’Leary’s new research model consisted of safety culture, ethical leadership and not following procedures.

The research, believed to be the first of its kind in the general aviation industry, lays the groundwork for future research. New studies picking up on O’Leary’s work may enhance aviation safety based on the identification of and reversal of negative trends in safety culture.