Human error is implicated in most, if not all, aviation accidents. Accident investigators, therefore, need information, tools, and procedures to discover the role human error has played in an accident/incident being investigated. This course teaches the required material for investigators (a) to identify the human error issues involved in an accident wherever they occurred (e.g., in the cockpit, ATC, management, maintenance, etc.), and (b) to know when and how to call on the required Human Factors experts for further analysis.
The course starts with a brief review of the role of human error in aviation accidents using the SHELL, Reason and Helmreich models from an investigator perspective as organizing frameworks. A taxonomy of unsafe acts (organization, supervisor, and operator) is presented. The course then focuses on what the investigator needs to know about the individual human and the various factors which tend to make humans make mistakes including the ability to process information, deal with a physiologically challenging environment, and perform within a potentially sub-optimal workplace. Training and negative transfer, as well as procedures, will also be presented as additional factors leading to human error.
Although human error has been implicated in 70 to 80% of all civil and military aviation accidents, most accident reporting systems are not designed around any theoretical framework of human error. As a result, most accident databases are not conducive to a traditional human error analysis, making the identification of intervention strategies onerous. What is required is a general human error framework around which new investigative methods can be designed and existing accident databases restructured. Indeed, a comprehensive human factors analysis and classification system (HFACS) has recently been developed to meet those needs. Specifically, the HFACS framework has been used within the military, commercial, and general aviation sectors to systematically examine underlying human causal factors and to improve aviation accident investigations.
Building on the material presented, the course will then provide an integrated discussion summarizing from an investigator's perspective current understanding about causes of human errors and what mechanisms should be in use for their reduction. The course concludes by providing the accident investigator with a systematic framework and process to identify human error issues involved in an accident as well as the factors which may have led to those errors.
Who Should Attend
How You Will Benefit
The Human Factors in Accident Investigation Course consists of 4.5 training days (36 classroom hours). Students receive a textbook, class notes lecture outlines, additional reference material and a Certificate of Completion. The classes start each morning at 0800 and end at noon on the last day.