Capstone paper - Running head EVALUATING HUMAN FACTORS...

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Running head: EVALUATING HUMAN FACTORS 1 Evaluating Human Factors in Aviation Related Accidents and Incidents by Melissa Brown A Research Project Submitted to the Worldwide Campus In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement of Course ASCI 490, The Aeronautical Science Capstone Course, for the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics Degree Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University June 2016
EVALUATING HUMAN FACTORS Abstract 2
EVALUATING HUMAN FACTORS Evaluating Human Factors in Aviation Related Accidents and Incidents Planning vs. Execution Human error can occur during either the planning stage or execution stage. In the planning stage, if an adequate plan is perfectly executed, it will still result in a failure. Mistakes are the result of planning failure and are more likely to occur with those who have little knowledge or experience. These mistakes can be either rule-based, which is applying inappropriate rules to a specific situation, or knowledge-based, resulting from trial and error due to inexperience or a lack of training or education. Slips and lapses are part of execution failures and normally occur during routine activities. A slip occurs through complacency. Individuals may be extremely experienced and knowledgeable, but may not be as focused or cautious when executing an action. Lapses can occur with inexperienced individuals or anyone not paying attention. Lapses include losing one’s place in their operations or even forgetting the plan. (Human Error, 2016) The key in preventing both planning and execution failures is recurring training and ongoing education when doing the same operations daily for long periods of time, focus is lost, and safety stops being a priority. It is important to keep people trained on human error and how it is dangerous. Contributing Factors to Human Error There are many contributing factors to human error including, but not limited to, situational awareness, workload, training and experience or expertise, familiarity, memory, and fatigue. Situational awareness is not knowing what is around you and can occur for various reasons. The pilot may become disoriented due to physiological factors, or perhaps it is too dark to see the terrain outside. On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr. crashed his Piper Saratoga into the Atlantic Ocean when flying his wife and sister-in-law from Essex County Airport (CDW), Fairfield, New Jersey, toward Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY), Dukes County, Massachusetts. 3
EVALUATING HUMAN FACTORS He was an inexperienced visual flight rules (VFR) rated pilot with a total of only 310 flight hours which included simulator training. Only 55 of the 310 hours were flown at night. On the night of the crash, Kennedy became disoriented and was unable to determine the direction of gravitational pull. Because he was flying over the water at night, he could not see where the ocean met the horizon of the black sky. When flying at a level attitude, he believed he was climbing. Because of this, Kennedy ignored the attitude indicator and lowered his pitch. The

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