One of the interesting areas of UFO study that is really compelling is how the UFO phenomenon affects aviation and aviation safety. Pilot and aircrew encounters with UFOs/UAP are numerous, and can be more troublesome than sightings by ground witnesses. Important instrumentation such as compasses and radios will quit working in the vicinity of a UFO, and even the aircraft’s engines have been reported to sputter and struggle.
Below is a list of PDF documents that have been written by some good authors, and are highly recommended as reading material. They are fundamental for anyone who is unfamiliar with the relation between UFOs and aviation safety. I have organized them by year so they can be read in a chronological progression, since some of them refer to each other.
#1 “Are UFOs an Air Safety Hazard?” , PDF document, Patrick Huyghe, 2000
#2 “Aviation Safety in America – A Previously Neglected Factor”, PDF document, Richard F. Haines, 2000
> This paper addresses the question of whether there is reliable data demonstrating a significant relationship between aviation safety in America today and unidentified aerial phenomena [UAP] (also called unidentified flying objects [UFO] or flying saucers). Three kinds of reported UAP dynamic behavior and reported consequences are addressed, each of which can affect air safety: (1) near-miss and other high speed maneuvers conducted by the UAP near the aircraft, (2) transient and permanent electromagnetic effects onboard the aircraft that affect navigation, guidance, and flight control systems, and (3) close encounter flight performance by the UAP that produces cockpit distractions which inhibit the flight crew from flying the airplane in a safe manner. More than one hundred documented close encounters between UAP and commercial, private, and military airplanes are reviewed relative to these three topics. These reports are drawn from several sources including the author’s personal files, aviation reports prepared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration administered “Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).”
#3 “A Preliminary Study of Fifty Seven Pilot Sighting Reports Involving Alleged Electro-Magnetic Effects on Aircraft Systems”, PDF document, Haines and Weinstein, 2001
> This preliminary report presents the findings of a comprehensive review of over fifty years of pilot reports in which permanent or transient electro-magnetic (EM) effects occurred on in-flight aircraft systems allegedly as a direct or indirect result of the relatively near presence of one or more unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). From a total of 1,300 reports fifty seven (4.4%) were found that involved E-M effects.
#4 “Pilot Survey Results”, PDF document, Haines and Roe, 2001
> This paper presents the results of a confidential aircrew survey presented to 298 currently rated and flying commercial pilots employed by a U. S. airline. Remarkably, a total of 70 completed surveys (23.5%) were returned to NARCAP within a 35 day period suggesting a high degree of general interest in this subject. Twelve questions were asked, most of which dealt with the possibility of past sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and how these pilots dealt with the experience afterward. Forty respondents were Captains (mean = 9,130 flight hrs.) and thirty were First Officers (mean = 4,799 flight hrs.). A number of interesting things were learned from this survey. It was found that of the sixteen pilots (23% of total) who said they had seen something they could not identify in flight only four (25% of the sixteen) reported it to their company or to a government authority and only one of these pilots (a First Officer) who saw a UAP (he did not report it) felt that it was a threat to aviation safety.
#5 “Aviation Safety in America: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena And Under Reporting Bias”, PDF document, Ted Roe, 2002
> Science has validated the existence of several kinds of natural phenomena that are characterized by unusual aerial lighting displays. Some of these phenomena are not clearly understood and have been only recently documented. Additionally reliable observations from US government and official international sources include descriptions of airborne objects with uncommon characteristics. Some of these phenomena have electrical properties that can adversely effect safe aviation and appear to be very unusual to observers. Some of these phenomena represent a physical hazard that is documented in several US Government operated aviation incident-reporting systems. These poorly understood phenomena have not been given appropriate consideration for the potential hazards they may represent by the US aviation system. Though these observations and incidents do occur they are under reported. This under reporting bias is affecting aviation safety planning and mitigation with respect to unidentified aerial phenomena – UAP.
#6 “Recommended Actions to Improve the Current Climate of Denial within the Aviation World about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Related Commentary”, PDF document, Richard F. Haines, 2010
> This paper presents fifty four completely independent recommendations and related comments made by fourteen national and international government officials, military leaders, pilots, academics and others responding to the following basic question: What actions are needed today to improve the current climate of denial about unidentified aerial phenomena in aviation?
#7 “Aviation Safety and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena: A Preliminary Study of 600 cases of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Reported by Military and Civilian pilots”, PDF document, Dominique F. Weinstein, 2012
> This report presents the findings of a comprehensive review of 600 cases, over a period of sixty-four years in which pilots have reported the presence of one or more unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) during flight. In 443 cases (74%) these UAP are described as “objects” (42% circular-shaped) more than as point sources of light. In 162 cases (27%), the visual observation is confirmed by detection by ground and/or airborne radar. This report focuses more especially on 290 cases (48%) in which UAP have had (or could have had) an impact on flight safety. In 108 cases (37% of the 290 cases), pilots have estimated that the impact on flight safety was high enough for them to submit an official Airmiss/Airprox report. It was found that the most reported events with potential impact(s) on aviation safety were: “UAP approached aircraft on a collision course” (78 cases) and “UAP circled or maneuvered close to aircraft” (59 cases). It was found also that in 81 cases (14% of the 600 cases) pilots reported alleged electro-magnetic effects on one or more aircraft systems. Radio and compass systems were the predominant systems affected.