Handbook of Aviation Human Factors

By Daniel J. Garland; John A. Wise et al. | Go to book overview

27
Forensic Aviation Human Factors [Accident/Incident Analyses for Legal Proceedings]

Richard D. Gilson University of Central Florida

When someone has an accident1 with an aircraft, automobile, or with any other system or device, people want to know why. The primary motivation2 for this is the prevention of their own and others' involvement in similar mishaps. Humans do make mistakes with machine systems, and are listed as the probable cause of accidents more often than not.3 But who actually is to blame, why, and how to avert a reoccurrence may not be obvious or easy to uncover. A closer look is often in order through forensic human factors, particularly in such complex systems as aviation.

First there must be an agency review of investigatory findings. If there are no other definitive causes of a mishap such as a mechanical failure, then the operator is likely to become the focus of blame. If the circumstance is truly of an individual's making, then, beyond the determination of personal culpability, further human factors analyses may not be warranted. However, if external factors could have actually induced the behavior, then the problem may not be a one-time occurrence and further analyses are called for. Experts in human factors have long recognized that designs, procedures, and training (beyond mere talent) affect the safe and efficient use of systems. Thus, human decisions made by systems designers, and ultimately by the manufacturers, also influence outcomes and may contribute to or principally underlie the problems.

Courts of law serve as one of several means for determination of cause and blame, and may spawn potential remedies. Because those involved in the judicial process

____________________
1
An accident or mishap refers to an undesirable, unintentional, and unexpected event. However, used herein, an accident (or mishap) is not an unforeseeable random event, totally without cause, as is an act of God. Forensics presumes and seeks out underlying causes or contributing factors and assumes that future care could make such accidents preventable.
2
Certainly there are other less altruistic motivations. The public has almost a morbid interest in aviation accidents, some people involved have mercenary pursuits, and even others may seek vengeance or absolution.
3
Human error as the primary cause of aviation accidents is frequently put at anywhere from 60% to 80%, depending on the source.

-643-

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Handbook of Aviation Human Factors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Human Factors in Transportation ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • I Introduction 1
  • 1: A Historical Overview of Human Factors in Aviation 3
  • References 13
  • 2: Aviation Research and Development: A Framework for the Effective Practice of Human Factors, or "What Your Mentor Never Told You About a Career in Human Factors . . ." 15
  • 3: Measurement in Aviation Systems 33
  • Summary Appraisal 46
  • References 47
  • 4: Underpinnings of System Evaluation 51
  • References 66
  • 5: Organizational Factors Associated With Safety and Mission Success in Aviation Environments 67
  • Conclusion 100
  • Acknowledgments 101
  • References 101
  • II Human Capabilities and Performance 105
  • 6: Processes Underlying Human Performance 107
  • Conclusion 166
  • References 168
  • 7: Automation in Aviation: A Human Factors Perspective 173
  • Conclusion 189
  • Acknowledgments 190
  • References 190
  • 8: Team Processes and Their Training in Aviation 193
  • References 211
  • 9: Crew Resource Management: A Time for Reflection 215
  • Conclusions 230
  • Acknowledgments 232
  • References 232
  • 10: Fatigue and Biological Rhythms 235
  • References 250
  • 11: Situation Awareness in Aviation Systems 257
  • References 274
  • 12: Aviation Personnel Selection and Training 277
  • References 305
  • III Aircraft 309
  • 13: Pilot Performance 311
  • References 323
  • 14: Controls, Displays, and Workplace Design 327
  • Conclusions 352
  • References 353
  • 15: Flight Simulation 355
  • Conclusion 384
  • Acknowledgments 384
  • References 384
  • 16: Human Factors Considerations in Aircraft Cabin Design 389
  • Conclusion 403
  • References 403
  • 17: Helicopter Human Factors 405
  • Summary 423
  • References 428
  • IV Air Traffic Control 429
  • 18: Air Traffic Control 431
  • Suggested Reading 454
  • 19: Air Traffic Controller Memory: Capabilities, Limitations, and Volatility 455
  • References 488
  • 20: Air Traffic Control Automation 497
  • References 515
  • 21: Human Factors in Air Traffic Control/Flight Deck Integration: Implications of Data-Link Simulation Research 519
  • References 544
  • V Aviation Operations And Design 547
  • 22: Human Factors of Functionality and Intelligent Avionics 549
  • Conclusion 563
  • References 564
  • 23: Weather Information Presentation 567
  • References 588
  • 24: Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance 591
  • References 603
  • 25: Human Factors in U.S. Civil Aviation Security 607
  • Epilogue 630
  • References 630
  • 26: Aviation Incident and Accident Investigation 631
  • Conclusion 640
  • References 641
  • 27: Forensic Aviation Human Factors [Accident/Incident Analyses for Legal Proceedings] 643
  • Introduction 644
  • References 668
  • Author Index 669
  • Subject Index 685
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