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Human Errors In Aviation Industry

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1.Define Human Error and Efficiency.

2.Classifications of Human Error Define each term.

3.Why Human Errors are happening? Reasons for Human Error.

4.How to avoid Human Error Precautions what others have say.


1.Human Error and Efficiency

Human Error being one of the most talked about thing in aviation industry is defined as the series of some actions which were planned but that failed to achieve the consequences which were desired and thought of without any interference or intervention from any agency, being it a third party. (Reason, 1990, p.17). However the expression "human error" does not help in the anticipation and examination of aviation occasions; in spite of the fact that it demonstrates to us where the framework didn’t work out  it doesn't reveal to us anything about the makes that drove the disappointment. Additionally the expression "human error" has been leading to aeronautics mischances. In the cutting edge way to deal with flying wellbeing, human error and efficiency go hand in hand. Moreover human efficiency being the main factor which considers the life and death situation in aviation is defined as the ability of using your skills to make sure that the desired and planned actions reach their consequences leading to positive results. 

2.Types of Errors

In the course of past many decades, there have in great development in air transport which has actually lead to more efficiency from the sides of human. Of course the technology has helped to increase the efficiency but yes there are many errors from the side of humans in the aviation industry. They have been explained as follows:

Endogenous error. This sort of an error arises from within an individual; which can be from any kind of a random, unknown and an event which can’t be predicted or a sort of a cognitive event like mistake in calculation of the speed at which the takeoff should have been done to do it in a stipulated time.

3.This kind of an error which arises from within a single person happens because if there have been no double check and the human makes a mistake in slight judgment also, it can led to bad landings, issues in takeoffs and even mishaps. Thus checking should be taken as a separate redundant action. Along these lines, the checker is not deluded into an indistinguishable flawed thinking from the individual who initially made the mistake. If there would have been the twofold check been performed autonomously, as a repetitive capacity without earlier information of the pilot's occupation, thus he/she can have more efficiency. (ICAO - INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION, 2003).

Exogenous error. An exogenous error is the one which emerges from conditions in the environment but externally. This is some condition, which is equivalent to bad weather, complex undertaking attributes, or vague introduction of data. Here there should be predictive checks done and thus these errors can be not done if there are Double checks. These checks are quite frequently less fruitful in distinguishing exogenous blunders than endogenous mistakes, notwithstanding when the check is performed autonomously.

A portion of a similar outside elements that at first prompted the errors are frequently still present, and individuals with comparable preparing could without much of a stretch commit a similar error amid the twofold check. Thus these errors can be managed even though they are created through outside conditions. (ICAO - INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION, 2003).

Example to cover both endogenous and exogenous errors:

A combination of faulty hardware and human error had led to a tragic Frisco helicopter crash that took the life of the pilot in 2015, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

This actually explains how there is basically endogenous and exogenous errors can affect and take lives of people along with passengers. This you won’t say that is a being done by the human or the external environment- there total effort is also way too high. (Queen, 2017)

There have been several reasons due to which there have been many causes due to which the errors led to various fatal accidents. Only six percent of errors occur during the cruising but afterwards, 42 percent happened at the time of the landing or descent. (Robert Helmreich, who runs the University of Texas Human Factors Research Project)

Errors of Problem Detection- These errors are due to the problem detection problems. Whenever anything happen in the aviation, there was no proper diagnostics done in order to actually find the issue and rectify it. These can be rectified with proper skills of noticing details and much more.

Errors in Problem Diagnosis: These errors happen when the diagnosis happened but didn’t actually provide any results to get to the root of the problem and solve it. These can be avoided if and only if there is a proper procedure followed for the check process and diagnosis.

Errors in Planning and Execution: These errors basically deal with the kind of planning and execution is done at the level of execution and planning before the aircraft takes off or lands.

The Mechanical failure and pilot error caused a 2012 air crash which has killed so many is also because of the planning and execution.

Other like perceptual, cognitive, communicational and organizational errors are due to like optical illusions, issues at the mental level in judgment, disturbance in phones, systems etc.


Different sorts of human errors in aviation:

The least difficult categorization of human mistake is part them into errors of omission or commission (Kern, 1998).

Omission - Errors of omission happen when team individuals neglect to carry out a required errand.

Commission - Errors of commission happen when group individual’s carryout an assignment erroneously or accomplish something that is not required.

Later researchers further differentiated human error as (Strauch, 2004: Reason, 1990);

  1. Slips - Which occur in case in the issue of execution
  2. Lapses - Which occur when a pilot gets distracted or doesn’t tick the proper checklist
  3. Mistakes - Which occur when actions are related and adhering to a plan which is inadequate
  4. Violations – Deviation from safety procedures is there, then this error occurs.

Reason (1990) also said that the errors which are done by humans in aviation is not done in vacuum. For instance pilots may be consciously attempting to perform perfectly, but human errors can still occur. This is because other factors, or antecedents, can influence the operator’s performance (Strauch, 2004). These antecedents can include;

Why human errors are happening?

  • The external environment,
  • The equipment which are being used
  • Organizational cultures.
  • Errors in Aviation

Early mental analysts viewed individuals who blundered as being less viable because of oblivious drives. Ways to deal with human error correction and administration tending to focus on fault, preparing and conceivably discipline (McDonald, 2003).

4.Present day models and strategies

How to avoid human error (precautions):

Crew Resource Management (CRM)

Focuses on interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit.

Single Pilot Resource Management (SPRM)

This is a sort of Customer Relationship Management software. This CRM like software focuses more on situational awareness, managing the workload and even various decisions related to aeronautical and automation management.

Line Operations Safety Audits (LOSA)

LOSA are designed to collect data on crew performance, and then do an analysis of all the possible reasons and other data.

Safety Management Systems (SMS)

SMS is for reducing human error by seeing and observing the reasons and causes of the same and also by managing risk in the workplace.

Threat and Error Management (TEM)

A model developed to help understand, and explain, the interaction between safety and human performance, within an operational context.

Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA)

MEDA is a program created by Boeing to build the estimation of discoveries from any examinations concerning wrong support methodology.



KERN, T. (1998). Flight discipline. New York: McGraw-Hill.

McDONALD, N. (2003). Culture, systems and change in aircraft maintenance organisation. In G. EDKINS & P. PFISTER (Eds.), Aviation: Selected contributions to the Australian Aviation Psychology Symposium 2000. (pp. 39-57). Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

REASON, J. (1990). Human error. New York: Cambridge University Press.

STRAUCH, B. (2004). Investigating human error: Incidents, accidents and complex systems. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

ICAO - INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION (1989). Human factors digest no 1. Fundamental human factors concepts. Circular 216-AN/131. ICAO (Montreal, Canada), 1989.

UNITED KINGDOM CIVIL AVIATION PUBLICATION (CAP) 716: Aviation Maintenance Human Factors (EASA Part- 145). Disponibil la adresa docs/33/CAP716df


Guidelines for Aircraft Maintenance Manual Doc 9824 AN/450. Disponibil la adresa fs/ICAOHF.pdf

Tyson, P (2006), Pilot Room For Error.


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