Tag Archive: human error

Who failed in Crash of Flight IX-812?

The report on accident of Air India Express Flight IX-812 highlighted several factors which resulted in the tragic loss of 158 lives [1]. Limiting to the human factors alone, there were both physiological limitations of the crew and failure of crew resource management (CRM), besides organisational shortcomings.

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Safe 2011 – Looking Back

The year gone past – 2011 – should be considered reasonably safe as per the statistics released by Aviation Safety Network [1]. It is heartening to note that third lowest number of fatalities (507, excluding 14 on ground) occurred due to a total of 28 fatal airline accidents, the second lowest number in aviation history …

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Loss of Control: Human Factors in Air France Flight 447

Investigating the crash of Air France Flight 447 [1], from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, into the Atlantic Ocean on 01 June 2009, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA = Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile) released an interim report on 29 Jul 11. This …

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Orientation & Pilot Training – Likely Lacunae!

James Doolittle made history on 24 September 1929, when he took off, flew a distance of 20 miles and landed an airplane by instruments alone [1]. The array of instruments included the Sperry Horizon, precursor of the artificial horizon, which still remains the essential instrument for maintaining orientation in flight. 

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Eject! Eject! Eject! – Human Factors in Delayed Ejection

Once the decision to abandon the aircraft is taken, the only action required is to fire the seat by pulling the seat-firing handle. This does not take more than a second or two, yet Air Forces the world over have lost pilots, experienced and rookie, because they waited too long to eject. The human factors …

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Lost It, Situational Awareness!

Situational Awareness “can be conceived of as the pilot’s internal model of the world around him at any point in time” [1]. Conventional flight requires the pilots to glean information from the instrument panel and other auditory inputs, interpret it and draw inference to maintain their situational awareness and in turn ensure safe flight. And …

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The Birds come Flocking – Aero India 2011

The eighth edition of the biennial Bangalore air show, Aero India 2011, is upon us. This five day aerospace and aviation business show shall run from 09 to 13 Feb 11 in the aerospace capital of India. Close to 100 aircraft and related systems shall be on display, with 675 exhibitors participating from almost 45 …

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Ah! Piloting in the arms of Bacchus

Drinking occasionally or regularly by the pilots, but restricting it to couple of small pegs, remains a matter of individual choice and social acceptance. But aviation safety and alcohol do not go together. In an interesting instance at Heathrow Airport, a Delta Airline pilot forgot what his destination was! His blood alcohol levels were found …

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Lost Sleep – Compromised Safety

One of the often neglected but vital predisposing physiological factors in aviation is sleep, rather lack of sleep. The commercial pilots are governed by their duty schedule and the military aviators have the uncertainties of the operational deployment to blame for the loss of sleep. Although there may be regulations and guidelines, including FDTL to …

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Boeing and the Checklist

In 1930s, Boeing was successful in offering their Model 299 to the US Army Air Corps, winning against Martin’s Model 146 and Douglas’ DB-1 aircraft. On the fateful day of 30 October 1935, the aircraft stalled during climb after take off. The test flight crew consisted of Major Ployer Hill and Lieutenant Donald Putt, as pilot and …

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