Free «Analysis of Fatal Human Error in Aircraft Accidents» Essay Sample

In the contemporary world, aircraft accidents have become more prevalent than it was in the past. As a matter fact, the aircraft accidents have recently drawn a lot of research and analysis in order to establish the main cause in order to better understand how to bring about a lasting solution. Aviation accidents have been associated in the most part with human errors. In this connection, fatal human error in aircraft accidents has been pointed out as to be the greatest cause of accidents. In most of the fatal aircrafts that have been experienced in the recent past, human error has been attributed to the very accidents (Walters & Sumwalt, 2000). So to articulate, several researches have been done once an aircraft accident occurs of which in most cases the human errors have been attributed to such accidents. Remarkably, human error causing fatal aircraft accidents has been the case of which analysis as well as solution of the same should be done. Generally, there will a broadened analysis of fatal human error in aircraft accidents in the topic under discussion.



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According to a research that was conducted by Wiegmann et al. (2005), on human error and general aviation accidents, several results or rather outcomes were stipulated. As such, human Factors Analysis and Classification System abbreviated HFACS which is specialized in investigating and analyzing human error associated with accidents and incidents presents several findings regarding aircraft accidents. Basically, HFACS in this context aims at addressing the four levels of human failure. In this combination, there are organizational influences which often lead to instances of unsafe supervision which as a result lead to preconditions for unsafe acts.

In this context, the subsequent result becomes the unsafe acts of operators which can best describe and relate human error to fatal flight crashes (Wiegmann et al, 2005). Based on the facts presented through which HFACS operates, several errors were pointed out. Fundamentally, decision, skill-based and perceptual errors were associated with flight crashes which were most fatal. In this context, there are times when in the plane the aircrew is expected to act in a way that will make it possible for the aircrew to be safe. In such a case, there is usually no room for consultation. Nonetheless, the pilot is required to make a decision of which if an error occurs while making the procedural decision as aviation is so structural, such a human error causing accidents is termed as a human error.

In the same line of thought, human errors may occur as skill based errors which mean that the human error causing the accident is based on the skills of the pilot if they happen to be fault. Again in this line, there are the perceptual errors which are related with sensory errors but in this case there are very few accidents that occur due to this error in particular (Shorrock, 2007). Needless to say, it has been established by research that most human errors are skill based errors causing flight crashes. These are followed by the decision errors by pilot with the least being the perceptual errors.

In reference to a study that was carried out by Kumar & Melik (2003), there were 545 accidents by US Air force that were reviewed in order to establish the human fatal error in aircraft accidents. As such, it was found out that more than half of the fatal accidents were associated with human error. Outstandingly, the research results pointed out those human factors were the most responsible for these fatal accidents. This was carried out based on human errors such as inexperience, rating of the pilot and in the larger perspective the breach of discipline whereby an aircrew may fail to comply with instructions and procedures required in the field of aviation. In regard to this study, pilot error was pointed out as to be one of the factors that accounted for a great percentage which was about 68 percent of all fatal aircraft accidents. This was then followed by technical effects accounting for 22.9 percent of the accidents.

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Additionally, human factors such as incorrect decisions accounted for 48.6 percent of fatal aircraft accidents followed by situational awareness being at 40 percent and in the larger perspective poor skills accounted for 36 percent of them. Following this point, human error can be pointed out as a main cause for fatal aircraft accidents in the past and even in the recent times. Although there has been great steps that have been taken in order to train aircrew and enable them to avoid human errors in aviation, human errors continues to be a major cause of aircraft accidents. It has been established that prevention as well as understanding of human error as a main challenge to aviation safety has become an issue of concern (Walters & Sumwalt, 2000).

Above and beyond, there have been other researches that have been pointed out to human error as to be the main cause of the fatal accident realized. Taking the example of the fatal polish crash that killed the Polish president along with 95 others, it has been pointed out that the main cause was human error (Moore& Scislowska, 2010). According to reports, the pilot was informed of the bad weather and going against the instructions given, the plane crashed. In this case, the plane had no technical problems and thus the only cause that would have caused the crash would be the human error. Besides this, there is the most recent Indian fatal air crash by Air India Boeing 737-800 plane that killed 158 people (Ap Mangalore, 2010). This has been attributed to human error. At this point, it is important to state that human error has continuously been associated with fatal aircraft accidents and although efforts have been applied in order to know how best the problem can be addressed. It has only proved to be an exercise in futility.

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Saxton & Boguet (2008) argues that, although human error is a leading cause to fatal aircraft accidents, it should be noted that this is not enough reason to stop at it. In this regard, the reasons that precede the making of the error should be taken into consideration in order to establish the real cause of human error in order to be better placed to address this challenge to aviation as earlier on highlighted. Arguably, 80 percent of all the accidents that were taken in the research had an associated precondition. As such, high percentages of fatal aircraft accidents were caused by adverse mental states, personal readiness and adverse psychological states. In order to address human error as a major cause of fatal aircraft accidents leading to deaths of many, it is required that research should be done in order to establish the conditions that precede these errors.

In addition to this point, Baker et al (2008), asserts that pilot error has become a major cause of fatal aircraft accidents and there is need for it to be addressed. Accordingly, there has been an attempt in the recent decades that has been done in order to reduce pilot error in flight operations. Evidence from research has shown that reductions in pilot errors that involve decision making and crew coordination can lead to reduction of human error as a key player in causing of fatal aircraft accidents. In this connection, there should be training and technological advances in order to curb the lack of good decision making by facilitation of correct decisions as well as good operation (Walters & Sumwalt, 2000). Improved decision making by pilots and better crew coordination can lead to prevention of human error causing fatal aircraft accidents.

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Following the information that has been provided, it is important to state that human error has become a major drawback as well as a major cause of fatal aircraft accidents. In spite of the many other factors that inevitably lead to fatal aircraft accidents, human error is the leading cause. In consistent with this, it is required that major steps and attempts should be made in order to address human error in terms of memory and perception of both audio and visual aspects as a challenge to aviation industry (Shorrock, 2005).

In addition, there are several issues that need to be addressed in order to well understand and prevent human error. Human error in fatal aircraft accidents has become a most mentioned vocabulary at the occurrence of the related cases. In order to face this challenge however, the preconditions that lead to these errors need to be addressed. As well, there is need for the training of the aircrew in order to ensure that they are aware of the possible human errors they can make and how well they can avoid them and ensure that such accidents that have occurred in the past do not recur. There is should be a human error identification of the traffic controllers through which the challenge can also be addressed (Shorrock & Kirwan, 2002).

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Pilots should also be trained as well as taught on how to make quality and right decisions, avoid skill based errors by becoming more skilled and again ,by avoiding perceptual errors among others. In particular, human errors relating to memory and attention need to be addressed for efficiency and reduction of related fatal air crashes. Although human error is a great challenge to aviation safety, it is required that an understanding of the whole issue is achieved along with effective prevention strategies being implemented to address the problem. Additionally, failure while aircraft are standing and during push-back which have increased deserve special attention altogether.


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