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Online · School of Aeronautics · Aeronautics

Aviation Human Factors

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/28/2020

Contact Information

See detailed faculty information in Blackboard.

Course Description

This course will cover the scope of regulations concerning aviation and how they impact the pilot. The course will provide the basic understanding of the human factors concepts including psychological and physiological limitations of humans operating in complex environments. In addition, the course will include an in-depth study of Crew Resource Management, which involves an understanding of the flight deck environment and the proper utilization of resources available to the aviator.





This course will prepare the student to understand and apply the governing FAA regulations as they relate to professional aviation. It will also provide the students with a detailed understanding of the influences of human factors in error causation and accident prevention. Students will be exposed to the specific human factor areas of error, physiology, and psychology which will enable the student to analyze and provide corrective/preventative inputs to organizational and operational environments in aviation. Additionally, the student will learn to apply principles of human interaction skills to effectively work as a team and create a synergy in the multi-person cockpit that cannot be attained in a single-person cockpit.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of the FAA, NTSB, and ICAO in aviation.
  2. Apply the Code of Federal Regulations as it applies to aviation-related situations.
  3. Analyze the evolution of the aircraft cockpit, the new challenges regarding information processing, and ways to balance workload requirement and situation awareness to ensure safety of flight in this new environment.
  4. Identify strengths and weaknesses in flight training programs and simulation activities.
  5. Identify human error in real-world operations and ways to avert or handle those errors.
  6. Evaluate the role of fatigue, body rhythms, sleep, and fitness in aviation.
  7. Identify strengths and weaknesses in aircraft design from displays to automation to crew station design.
  8. Identify strengths and weaknesses of new technology (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicles).
  9. Analyze the general evolution of human factor issues in the cockpit as they pertain to the airline industry, general aviation, air traffic management and the maintenance arena.
  10. Discuss the concepts of crew resource management and team dynamics and the roles they play in this process in the cockpit.

Course Resources

Required Resource

The resource below is provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Salas, E., & Maurino, D. (2011). Human factors in aviation (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Academic Press.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.


Recommended Resource Purchase

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (current edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (Microsoft Office is available at a special discount to Liberty University students.)
  5. Adobe Reader (latest version)

Course Assignments

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (7)

There are 7 Discussion Board Forums to be completed in this course. The student is required to post 1 thread of at least 350 words and 2 replies of at least 150 words to 2 classmates’ threads.

Critical Analysis Paper

The student will be assigned an NTSB aircraft accident investigation report by the instructor at the beginning of the term. Then the student will provide a 2–3-page critical analysis of the NTSB accident report consisting of a title page, body, and reference page in current APA format. The Title and Reference pages do not count toward the total page count. A template is provided for this assignment.

Quizzes (7)

The student will complete 7 quizzes in this course. All quizzes will be open-book/open-notes and contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions. The allotted time for each quiz is 1 hour.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (7 at 75 pts ea)


Critical Analysis Paper


Quizzes (7 at 50 pts ea)

(Modules 1–6, 8)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


AVIA 400

Textbook: Salas & Maurino, Human Factors in Aviation (2010).


Reading & Study




1 presentation

1 article

3 websites

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

Quiz 1






Salas & Maurino: chs. 6–8

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Quiz 2




Salas & Maurino: chs. 9–10

4 presentations

DB Forum 3

Quiz 3




Salas & Maurino: chs. 11, 13

1 presentation

DB Forum 4

Quiz 4




Salas & Maurino: chs. 14–15

1 presentation

DB Forum 5

Quiz 5




Salas & Maurino: chs. 16–18

1 presentation

DB Forum 6

Quiz 6




Salas & Maurino: chs. 19–21

1 presentation

Critical Analysis Paper



1 presentation

3 articles

DB Forum 7

Quiz 7





DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week (except Module/Week 1) begins on Tuesday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Monday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.