Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Because there is no universal definition of a hard landing, pilots themselves must determine if a landing was hard enough to require an unscheduled maintenance inspection. Large, transport category aircraft are equipped with flight data monitoring (FDM) as a secondary data source that can help pilots determine if a hard landing occurred, but FDM is not commonplace in general aviation. It is important for a pilot to be able to differentiate between a firm landing that does not cause damage to the aircraft and hard landing that potentially could cause damage to the aircraft by means of vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive cues. Self-assessment of these cues helps pilots determine if the landing should be considered a hard landing. Self-assessments are subjective and depending upon metacognitive level, a pilot may fall prey to self-serving bias. To determine if self-serving bias is present in the aviation domain, participants completed a survey on landing perceptions. Additionally, flight data monitoring equipment provided actual landing data. Results suggest that self-serving bias is not common in the aviation domain unlike existing literature suggests. Many participants were unable to accurately perceive landing G-load, indicating that FDM equipment provides reliable data.