The aviation industry has emerged to be one of the more efficient and safest way to travel across the world. Taking in consideration that there are thousands of people that have car accidents across the United States daily and sadly some of them end up being fatal. When an aircraft accident happens, it is normally that followed and investigated by several government and federal agencies in order to take all the details, human factors and determing factors that contributed to the accident. Given that more than 70% of the aircraft accidents are caused by human error, it is important for the FAA and the NTSB to conduct the investigation to determine if human factors were present and to issue recommendations that will prevent more accidents from the same nature.
However, even though there are some distinct advantages of the manned aircraft systems, they also have distinct disadvantages. Each day the brain performs complex mental functions, yet humans make mistakes. We make thousands of decisions based on all our functioning senses. Human error plays a significant role in manned aircraft mishaps and leads to catastrophic accidents. Some of these individual failures include overconfidence, complacency, poor crew coordination, as well as a high workload (Knowledge Online, 2007). We have all heard that it is a good to be confident, just do not be cocky. An over confident is when a trained pilot continues to fly into an unpredictable situation and misjudges the outcome. Complacency also goes hand in hand with being overconfident. Proper crew coordination depends on the ability to communicate consistently and efficiently in order to distribute workload while in flight. Upgraded cockpits are wonderful; however, they can be great distractions (Knowledge Online, 2007). Pilots are already under a lot of pressure to be error free. These are some examples of human error that all relate to each other in disadvantages of manned aircraft systems.
There are many aircraft accident factors in which investigators need to pursue in order to come to a good conclusion on what the cause or causes of an aircraft accident were. A portion of what the investigator looks into is the human factors surrounding the accident. This highly diverse and expansive area needs to be systematically looked into to figure out if any human factors were causation of an aircraft accident. One model that investigators utilize in order to sift through the human factors that may be attributable to an accident is the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) Model. This Model breaks down human factors into four different sections, organizational influences, unsafe supervision, preconditions for unsafe acts, and unsafe acts of operators. Throughout this case study, the accident of American Airlines flight 1420 will be dissected utilizing the HFACS Model to uncover human factors issues with the aircraft operator organization, aircraft flight crew, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
American Airlines Flight 1420 is the aircraft that I will be writing about in this essay. It is classified as a runway overrun accident. The department that investigated the accident was the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Human factors will be the focus in this project by using the Human Factor Analysis and Classification System (HFAC) Model. I will be focusing on two different human factor areas and relate those to the chain of event that caused the aircraft to overrun the runway.
In today’s world, flying is generally an extraordinarily safe experience. Within the last five years, only one fatal plane crash has occurred. This is an impressive record considering that more than 87,000 flights can be found in United States airspace on any given day (NATCA). However, air safety has not always been as advanced as it is currently. Past accidents and collisions have triggered crucial safety improvements over the years. The 1956 plane crash over the Grand Canyon was a major catalyst for change as it caused the creation the Federal Aviation Agency.
“The human being is set apart from all other animals by an intelligent, reasoning mind. Another quality that humans seem to possess is an inherent drive to utilize that mind to achieve to recognize challenges and to attempt conquer them” (Smith, 1992, p. 1). One of my favorite person that I used to read about in high school was Benjamin Franklin; one of the founding Father of the United States of America and the master mind behind the invention of electricity. As stated in the words of Smith, the curiosity of Franklin lead him to discover how electricity works. This same driven factor of human mind was what led the Wrights Brother to invent and fly the first power aircraft. The four forces that are acting on an aircraft in flight are: Lift, Weight, Thrust and Drag.
The NextGen Air Transportation System is a complex, revolutionary redevelopment of the broad U.S. air traffic control system that includes many challenging and interrelated components and concepts, including a fundamental transfer from a RADAR, ground-based system to a GPS, satellite-based system. Its multi-year implementation, touches virtually every aspect of aviation operations. As such, it presents many potential human factors challenges that can potentially directly affect aviation safety. Next, I will creatively apply the knowledge of human factors and aviation safety that I have developed over the
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” This quotes date back to the 15th century which informs us that aviation was thought off back to the middle ages. To this day, many aviators contributed to aviation in many different aspects. Throughout the past century, aviation has progressed significantly. “airplanes were starting to fly higher and faster thanks to new streamlined fuselages and powerful jet and rocket engines.” (Teitel, 2015). Unfortunately, there was not any adequate safety measures provided for pilots and passengers which were prone to dangerous crashes. It was not till Colonel John Stapp, a decorated Air Force flight surgeon,
Modern aircrafts are highly automated, and thus mishaps due to equipment failures or system malfunctions are rare in comparison to mishaps attributed to impaired human performance (Avers and Johnson, 2011). One of the most frequently cited of these performance impairments is Pilots’ fatigue (Vejvoda et al., 2014), which has been recognized as a one of the foremost concerns of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for over four decades (Federal Aviation Administration, 2012). After years of recognizing the physical and cognitive decrements associated with fatigue, as well as numerous improvements in available countermeasures, fatigue remains one of the primary contributing factors implicated in around 20% of aviation incidents (Petrie et al., 2004). Brown deﬁnes fatigue as the decreased
Learning from the past is something that is integrated in today’s society, especially when lessons are potentially at the cost of lives. During the moments of a potential catastrophic event, panic and fear may temporarily inhibit the motor skills of individuals faced in life dependent situations. This elementary but crucial notion is one important example of why aerospace engineers design with high safety intent.
Prior to 1959, faulty equipment was the probable cause for many airplane accidents, but with the advent of jet engines, faulty equipment became less of a threat, while human factors gained prominence in accident investigations (Kanki, Helmreich & Anca, 2010). From 1959 to 1989, pilot error was the cause of 70% of accident resulting in the loss of hull worldwide (Kanki, Helmreich & Anca, 2010). Due to these alarming statistics, in 1979 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) implemented a workshop called “Resource Management on the Flightdeck” that led to what is now known as Crew Resource Management (CRM) or also known as Cockpit Resource Management (Rodrigues & Cusick, 2012). CRM is a concept that has been attributed
The previous two decades have seen an extensive debate about the wellbeing of flight deck mechanization and numerous human elements issues have raised (e.g., Wiener, 1989). Funk and his partners (1999) attempted an extensive audit of airplane robotization inquire about, described episode reports, occurrence report studies, and airplane mishap reports, and studied pilots and aviation specialists to build up a thorough rundown of flight deck mechanization issues. For every issue so distinguished, they ordered confirmation from their sources to bolster the statement that it represented a wellbeing issue, and they performed meta-investigations to organize the issues for further research. The discoveries and supporting information are accessible on a site (RII, 2007). The greater part of the flight deck mechanization problems is to figure out which conceivably apply to the NextGen flight deck.
Human factors in one way or another has contributed to every single aircraft accident that has ever occurred (Wood & Sweginnis, 2006) Not only were they involved in the June 1, 1999 landing runway overrun of American Airlines flight 1420, but there were two significant human factors that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declared as the probable cause for the accident. First, the NTSB determined that the probable causes of American Airlines Flight 1420 was the flight crew’s failure to abort or divert the attempted landing when the warnings of severe
nature of man, how he operates in the cockpit, and what must be done by
According to Rodrigues and Cusick (2012) humans are accountable for approximately 70-80% of aviation accidents (p.156). A majority of these are caused by the different variables associated with human performance. Psychological factors have a key role in a pilot’s everyday responsibility. Some of these traits include: perception, memory, attitude, judgment and decision making, as well as ego (Rodrigues & Cusick, 2012, p. 158-160). These qualities can have drastic effects in commercial aviation if they are not recognized and adjusted accordingly. In this paper I will respond to some questions that are raised in aviation safety: