Sample Essay on AVI 349 –Aviation Safety Professionalism & Ethics in Aviation

  1. According to the NTSB “there have been a disturbing number of individual incidents of non-compliant behavior, intentional misconduct, or lack of commitment to essential tasks. These occurrences demonstrate an erosion of… professionalism.”   Reflect on the above quote, your personal experiences and class discussions to answer the following questions.  (30-points)
    1. In your opinion, briefly explain what is meant by “professionalism” as it applies to your career in the aviation industry.
    2. What are the elements of “professional” conduct?
    3. How do you determine if your behavior or the behavior of others is considered professional?
a.       In the aviation industry, professionalism relates to both the personal traits and organizational characteristics of an individual applied when carrying out various activities. It involves discipline, continuous improvements, and ethical behavior in the pursuit of excellence. It relates to individuals identity as well as their actions when carrying out their duties.

b.      Professional conduct requires certain skills and knowledge, which form the basis of decision-making process. These are the elements of professional conduct that include character, altitude, competency and excellence. It also includes vocational skills, image, and the type of engagement. These elements enhance personal responsibility, compliance with the set rules and guidelines and proper relations in the workplace and in offering services and in decision making process

c.       To determine whether behavior of others is considered professional, one needs to compare and evaluate the kind of behaviors portrayed by an individual with the set professional standards. If the displayed behaviors do not meet certain set standards then it is considered unprofessional.




  1. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics defines “ethics” as “…well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues (20-points)
    1. Briefly explain what is meant by “good ethical behavior” in the context of aviation and your chosen  career path
    2. How do you determine if an action taken by you or someone else is ethical?  Discuss the methodology you use in your professional lives to determine if your actions are ethical or unethical
a.       Ethical behavior refers to the inherent values possessed by an individual that determines the outcome of the kind of decision made. Good ethical behavior ensures an individual is trustworthy, has concern for the safety and welfare of the other people, is responsible for the actions he or she taken in the course of the duties performed. It also ensures adherence to ones beliefs and commitment to a set of values and moral principles that are acceptable in the aviation industry.

b.      To determine if an action taken is ethical a seven-step methodology can be employed. The first step involves determining the facts of the action taken, the secondly finding out ethical issues that are related to the action, and thirdly finding out the alternatives that were available in terms of the different courses of action that could be taken. The fourth step involves finding out the stakeholders that are affected or are part of the action that is taken. The next step will be to find out the ethics of the other available alternatives actions that could be taken. The sixth step will involve establishing the practical constraints that could affect the decision to take a particular action. Finally, the seventh step is to determine the most appropriate action that was necessary given all the facts, alternatives, and the other collected information. By going through these steps, it will be possible to determine whether the action take was ethical or not.



  1. What do the terms “accountability” and “character” mean to you?  How do you define these terms and how does it apply to your life/career?   (20-points)
Accountability refers to an individual’s responsibility to be able to give an account of his or her activities in accomplishing a certain activity and acceptance of responsibility for those activities as well as clearly providing the results. Character refers to the core values and ethical traits built into an individual’s life such as trustworthiness, altitude, discipline, and respect. These two terms represent some significant characteristics found in a person and determine their ethical behaviors as well as the type of decisions they make in their careers.




  1. Write a short “Ethics Statement” or your own “Bushido” that reflects your personal and professional ethical standard of behavior.  In other words, just like a resume or a company has a mission/vision statement, what is YOUR personal ethics/professionalism statement?  Keep the statement to less than 100 words.   (30-points)
In my career, I will strive to display utmost professionalism in all duties and activities that are entrusted to me.  I will ensure my character reflects integrity; discipline as well as trust and respect, which will enable me, make the right decisions. I will continuously strive to improve by expanding my knowledge through learning from others in my career and reading helpful materials. I will be accountable by accepting responsibility for all my actions and ensure I am competent enough before embarking on any role that may endanger the lives of other people.