Good Example Of Human Factors In Aviation Essay
Statement of the Problem
In the aviation history, there have been thousands of accidents that have occurred. These accidents have either been fatal with others becoming a mystery with technological advancements failing to solve their occurrences. There are different reasons that are of the occurrence of accidents ranging from human errors to manufacturing errors with lessons from these accidents aimed at improving the aviation field while also averting the occurrence of such accidents in the future. According to some of the analysts on the accident, there were numerous instances of crew or human negligence that facilitated the occurrence. Based on the report of the arguments behind the lawsuits against the airlines and lawyers of the victims, it is evident that human factors or errors are the major causes of the accidence. The following analysis presents the reasons based on Human factors as availed under the SHEL model; that is, hardware, software, environment, and live-wire.
The notion attached to the concept of human factors is based on anything attached to humans. Based on the aviation maintenance, the human conditions likely to occur include; stresses, complacency and also illness hence significant factors that should be considered due to the marginal implications that they are likely to cause such as accidents. Although with the recent technological advancements have lowered the complexity of the aviation operation; human factors in the aviation industry are increasingly becoming significant based on the discovery as the major cause of airborne accidents. Researchers tend to record a high correlation between accidents caused due to human errors compared to those caused by the mechanical failure.
Significance of the Issue
The human factors such as communication failure and lack of coordination are some of the major entities behind the occurrence of the accident. Maintenance producers are essential in aviation as poor, or lack of effective maintenance process is linked to the mechanical errors linked to accidents or crashes across the globe. Regulatory bodies are largely advocating continuous assessment and evaluation procedures but also enhancing more effective evaluation of performance and the manufacturing of planes. The essence of such undertakings is based on the need to address some maintenance flaws as recorded in the availed crashes above. The essence of such measures is not only aimed at creating a safe environment for operation by the Airlines towards safeguarding the safety of the passengers but also ensuring that they build on the reputation, consumer loyalty, and brand. Based on recent statistics, crashes and accidents increase not only affects the sales of a given Airline but also damages the reputation and the brand of the company that is likely to take years to rebuild. To avert such marginal losses, Airlines are recommended to conduct continuous assessment and maintenance procedures that are aimed at facilitating or guaranteeing safety to the crew and the passengers. The human factors depicted above could have been averted through executing the proffered maintenance procedures hence averting some of the mistakes and mechanical flaws emerging. Furthermore, the essence of the respective activities are vital towards addressing the safety issues based on the lubrication and inspection of the jackscrew assembly, jackscrew assembly procedures, the design and certification of other entities. The study seeks to develop a detailed analysis of human factors in relation to the number of accidents recorded and how to avert increasing number of accidents.
Human Factors that could have or did cause Flight: Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 that traveled from Las Vegas to Burbank, way back on March 5, 2000, accident
In the following a detailed analysis of an accident that occurred on March 5, 2000 where the Southwest flight 1455 traveling from Las Vegas to Burbank, California was involved in an accident. Based on the analysis by some of the experts alert signals sounded but they were ignored although other numerous reasons are attached to the accident. The following analysis presents the reasons based on Human factors as availed under the SHEL model; that is, hardware, software, environment, and live-ware. The first incidence quoted based on these human factors is where the captain heard after hearing the initial warning signals decided to ignore them (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000). Based on the results of the report, the first officer even after hearing the warning signals, he was intimidated by the captain. The officer opted to believe and follow the commands or what he believed were corrections by the captain instead of speaking up. The negligence due to the human factors could have led to saving of the lives that were lost during the crash. The first officer, the captain, and also the control tower should have worked together towards ensuring that the safety of the flight and its passengers.
Some of the mistakes made by the humans during the crash are some of the lessons in the aviation history aimed at improving the safety of the passengers. Such mistakes include; the lack of respect, presence of intimidation among the seniors to the juniors, pilot/ copilot arguments based on pride are some of the ways that can facilitate or cause serious problems hence jeopardizing lives (Cacciabue, 2004). Under the checklist based entity, the first officer failed to read the full checklist loudly as stipulated in the aviation specifications but instead the first officer only visually acknowledged the checklist items. Human factors play a critical role in averting some of the accidents that have been recorded in the aviation history of the past few years. Through averting some of the simple mistakes made by human players in the aviation or a given flight, some of the major accidents recorded in the history can be averted (Cacciabue, 2004). Furthermore, the effectiveness of administration and communication on flights is also a significant entity that defines the ability to lower or limit the occurrence of crashes as depicted above.
Human Factors that could have or did cause Alaska Airlines Flight 261, the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft, it experienced a fatal accident on January 31, 2000, in the Pacific Ocean.
According to (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000), the human factors are broad based on the notion that they focuses on wide range of challenges mainly faced by any human on their daily personal or even professional life which if combined are likely to cause human errors and ultimately toward fatal accident. The following analysis examines the human factors that could have or did cause Alaska Airlines Flight 261, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-83 aircraft as they experience a fatal accident on January 31, 2000, in the Pacific Ocean. During the fatal accident near Anacapa Island, California killing the 88 people on board; based on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) body that determines the probable major causes of the accident, it cited the loss of airplane pitch control hence resulting in-flight failure of the horizontal stabilizer trim system jackscrew assembly’s acme nut thread (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000). The report indicated that the thread failure could have been caused by the excessive wear resulting from the Alaska Airline’s insufficient lubrication of the jackscrew assembly hence the loss of control and the impact of the Pacific Ocean Airlines Flight 261.
Experience of the captain and first officer of Alaska Flight 261 allowed them to constantly control the flight by executing different operations aimed at freeing the stabilizer (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000). The same notion aligns with the design of McDonnell MD-83 aircraft that also had a major design flaw especially on the horizontal stabilizer jackscrew assembly failing to have safe mechanism towards preventing the disastrous effects on failure of the Acme nut thread (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000).
Human factors can be linked to the accidents indicated above the widespread deficiencies within the Alaska Airlines based on their poor maintenance procedures can be attached to the crash. Through a detailed process where regular checks are made on different parts of the plane, such faults could have been averted saving the 88 lives lost during the crash. Furthermore, the poor design reflecting flaw in the planes as witnessed in the horizontal stabilizer jackscrew assembly of the two planes indicates ignorance or lack of qualifications in relation to assembly is another human factor that can be attached to the cause if the crash. Through continuous assessments and evaluation of the planes on the sensitive parts, it could have prevented the disastrous effects of the failure of Acme nut thread. Human factors largely caused the crash as recorded by different investigators blaming the widespread deficiencies within the Alaska Airline’s maintenance procedures.
SHEL Model break down on November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident
Examining the November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident using the SHEL Model avails some of the strategic entities that incorporate the conceptual aspects defined in the model. The SHEL model entails to a conceptual model of the human factors that avails a clarification on the scope of the aviation human factors. The model helps in the understanding of the human factors relationship with the resources or the environments (the flying subsystem) and also the human component in the aviation system (the human subsystem) (Hawkins, 1993). According to (Frank, 1993), The model integrates the Software (the intangible aspects, rules , instructions, policies, norms, the laws among others); Hardware such as the physical elements in the aviation system including aircraft, operator equipment, tools, vehicles, computers, building, and materials among others); Liveware is the last aspect attached to the model and incorporates entities such as the human element or people in the aviation system and also the human performance, limitations and also the capabilities. Based on the availed entities, the following analysis presents November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident that occurred at 1701 central standard time involving a Beechcraft 1900C, N87GL as they collided with the Beechcraft King Air A90 N1127D at Quincy Municipal Airport, near Quincy, Illinois.
Software, as proffered above, these entails the intangible aspects of the aviation system that are set to govern on how the aviation system operates. They are likely to contribute to the software controlling the operations of the computer hardware hence entities such as rules, policies, norms, laws, orders, regulations, procedures, customs, practices, habits, conversations and also the supervisor commands and also the computer programmes. Under this approach in relation to November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident based on The National Safety Board report, the accident was caused by the Cherokee pilot’s interrupted radio transmission leading to Beech 1900C pilots’ misunderstanding of the transmission as an indication emerging from King Air that it will not take off until after Flight 5925 had cleared the runway. Other software aspects that can be linked to human factors contributing to the accident are the miscommunication based on the policies. Furthermore, the policies on rescue on such an accident occurrence were not in place as the lack of adequate aircraft rescue plus fire fighting services. Cacciabue, P.C. (2004).
Hardware based on the availed analysis, the concept of the hardware concept is based on elements of aviation system such as aircraft, operator equipments, tools, computers, and conveyors among others. Based on the November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident the hardware aspects played a major role in relation to causing the accident. The major cause of the accident was lined by the ineffectiveness radio transmitter with the loss of life supplemented by lack of resources, equipments, tools, aircrafts, and operator equipments to rescue and fight the fire with the failure of the airstair door on the Beech 1900c to open worsening the situation. The human factors attached to hardware aspects as depicted above reflects the marginal implications related to failure to continuous assessments, evaluations, and emergency response procedures among other lessons in the aviation industry that should underpin strategic planning in the industry. Liveware includes the human element or the people in the aviation system. They are the individuals such as the flight crew personnel’s operating the aircraft, ground crew, management and administration personnel. Furthermore, it comprises of the human performance, limitations, and capabilities. Reflecting the proffered entities into November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident, the liveware aspect played a major role in causing the accident (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000). This is based on the fact that the major cause of the accident was attached to the failure of the pilots operating King Air A90 to effectively monitor the common traffic advisory frequency or even scanning for the traffic hence resulting in their commencing takeoff roll when Beech 1900 or United Express Flight was landing on an intersecting runway (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000). Such errors from the liveware largely facilitated to the accident. Furthermore, Cherokee pilot’s interruption of the radio transmission leading to the Beech 1900C pilot to misunderstand the transmission as an indication from King Air that it wouldn’t take off until after Flight 5925 had cleared the runaway depicts some of the mistakes made by the liveware in relation to human factors contributing to the accident (Aircraft Accident Report, 2000).
Major Findings and Conclusions
Lack of respect, arguments between the pilot/copilot and the pride among the crew are some of the major factors that caused the crash. The lack of coordination and cooperation between the first officer and also the control toward facilitated the occurrence of the accidents. Despite the lessons learnt from the availed crash above, it is evident that negligence factors among the crew as grouped together as human factors largely contribute to the large number of accidents recorded in the world’s aviation history. These factors include; man-machine interferences, crew coordination, and checklists. The last two largely facilitated by the occurrence of the crash. Crew coordination depicts the need for the captains to respect the first officer and also acknowledge the mistakes and the warning availed to them by the first officer by setting aside the pride and considering the safety of the passengers and the entire crew. For instance, under this case, the first officer lack of intimidation by the captain could have led to safe landing of the plan. In conclusion, based on SHELL model availed analysis above in relation to Flight 5925 Accident after colliding with other flights, it is evident that the respective aspects of the model interact with the central human component hence providing areas for the human factor analysis and the considerations.. ( Cacciabue, 2004).
Based on the availed analysis, human factors largely facilitated the occurrence of the accident especially based on the fact that they failed to work together or even follow the set guidelines and also aborting the unsuccessful landing among other incidents. Such entities could have led to avert of the crash with the lost lives saved among other aspects. The human factors attached to hardware aspects as depicted above reflects the marginal implications related to failure to continuous assessments, evaluations, and emergency response procedures among other lessons in the aviation industry that should underpin strategic planning in the industry hence need to enhance such changes. The poor design reflecting flaw in the planes as witnessed in the horizontal stabilizer jackscrew assembly of the two planes indicates ignorance or lack of qualifications in relation to assembly is another human factor that can be attached to the cause of the crash above depicting the need to enhance such aspects. Through continuous assessments and evaluation of the planes on the sensitive parts, it could have prevented the disastrous effects of the failure of Acme nut thread. Human factors largely caused the crash as recorded by different investigators blaming the widespread deficiencies within the Alaska Airline’s maintenance procedures depicts the essence of enacting measures to address the depicted entities.
Cacciabue, P.C. (2004). Guide to applying human factors methods: Human error and accident management in safety critical systems. London: Springer-Verlag London Ltd, 2004.
Campbell, R.D., & Bagshaw, M. (2002). Human performance and limitations in aviation (3rded.). United Kingdom: Blackwell Science Ltd, 2002.
Edkins, G., & Pfister, P. (Eds.). (2003). Innovation and consolidation in aviation: Selected contributions to the Australian aviation psychology symposium 2000. England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2003.
Hawkins, Frank H; Orlady, Harry W (1993), Human Factors in Flight; Aldershot
Aircraft Accident Report (2000) Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 that traveled from Las Vegas to Burbank, on March 5, 2000, accident
Aircraft Accident Report (2000). Loss of Control and Impact with Pacific Ocean Alaska Airlines Flight 261 McDonnell Douglas MD 83, N963AS About 2.7 Miles North of Anacapa Island, California January 31, 2000
Aircraft Accident Report (2000). November 19, 1996 United Express Flight 5925 Accident