Human Errors In Airline Safety

Read Complete Research Material


Human Errors in Airline Safety


The world's flight-safety specialists have given up trying to eliminate human error. Now, the aim is to under stand error and to control, or "manage" it. This strategy holds the key to improving airline flight safety, they say. Since the late 1970s, safety-conscious airlines have been pinning their flight-safety hopes on human-factors (HF) education to reduce mistakes and thus accidents. Airlines which have embraced and practised HF concepts such as crew-resource management (CRM) have seen improvements, but the decrease in the accident rate is still not good enough.

"Good enough" is relative. The measurable benchmark is the average number of airline accidents over recent years, which has stopped improving and appears to have "levelled out". If safety rates remain more or less the same, however, and the world fleet and air travel increases, the number of accidents annually may rise, alarming the public and damaging business.


Since aeroplanes and their engines are becoming more reliable, and because aircrew error is judged to be a factor in well over half of all serious accidents, the elimination - or at least reduction of human error has been the goal for the last 20 years or so.


Things are now changing radically, however, as HF studies in the cockpit and in industry have advanced the understanding of what can realistically be expected of human beings at work. Not surprisingly, pilot infallibility has been ruled out, to be replaced by the concept of the "acceptable error".

Applied to the flightdeck, this concept could send shockwaves through a training system which has traditionally used errors during training flights and check rides as the primary direct, quantitative, measure of pilot safety and competence. Airline or aviation-authority check pilots have largely catalogued errors in procedure, technique, or the spoken word, then passed or failed the pilot on the score. Some captains made little distinction between large and small errors, or whether they had secondary effects or not; the quantity was primary.

Now, it is proposed that check pilots should stop being "error-detectors" and start to observe how crews manage the consequences of any errors they make so as to ensure that safety is not compromised. Any astute examiner should be able to recognise genuine incompetence, so that is not the issue.

CRM concepts, which shifted the emphasis to crew efficiency in carrying out the overall task safely, have already modified the "trapper" training-captain mentality, but the concept of acceptable error may require a major change in the mindset of today's average company training captain or check pilot.

If the consensus reached at October's International Air Transport Association Human Factors seminar at Warsaw, Poland, is an indicator of things to come, however, the "error-management" concept is definitely on its way into flightdeck training and checking.


Methodology refers to the procedures used to research an issue, a research question, or hypothesis. It is the way that a topic is investigated or researched. There have been many different methodologies used to investigate political communication, and there are many ways to ...
Related Ads
  • Aviation Safety

    Risk and safety have always been important co ...

  • Human Factor In Aviation

    This proposed study highlights many issues in relati ...

  • Process Safety And Loss P...

    Human errors in health and safety can be caused due ...

  • Human Error

    Human Error , Human Error Essay writing ...

  • Losa

    LOSA has provided aviation a new safety ...