Handbook of Aviation Human Factors

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

typically have no training in human factors or in aviation, forensic human factors experts specializing in aviation are needed to analyze, explain, and give probabilistic opinions, so that judges and juries can make informed decisions. Although litigation is considered by many as a negative, a positive outcome may be to help prevent further occurrences.


INTRODUCTION

Opening

An airplane crashes and someone dies. Federally mandated investigations are launched to determine the probable cause(s) and to uncover any regulatory violation(s). Recommendations for rule changes or penalties may follow. These are prospectively aimed at preventing similar mishaps. Civil legal actions may also follow but are more retrospective as they look for specific blame and seek compensation for losses.

Both avenues, governmental and civil, pursue recourses/remedies but from different perspectives. Governmental investigations are typically public, fact finding, and directed at categorical reporting and statistical manipulation. Usually only recurrent accidents evoke response to the underlying issues in question, human or machine, and then only after there is some general consensus that a fix is needed and proper.

Civil actions, however, are typically private, cloistered, argue the meaning of specific facts already known, and focus on alleged errors. The very adversarial nature of the "civil" process places the individual pilot and system(s) under extreme scrutiny to force justification of their respective actions and design. As each matter is settled either by mediation or by verdict, the precedent becomes a deterrent for similar incidents.

Taken in tandem, both approaches provide real-world feedback about practical human factors issues, with regard to the merits of a system design and its use. Clearly, these postcrash analyses are the last resort, coming too late for those involved, but are preferable to inaction if a real problem exists.

Government agencies do have the weight of law behind mandated changes, but must wait to amass statistical evidence and to make a persuasive case concerning the relatedness of what appear to be similar crashes. The process of proposed rule making has to overcome many checks and balances designed to guard against unnecessary fixes or unwanted regulation that might arise from a truly isolated mishap, that is, a sampling error.

Civil lawsuits, on the other hand, evaluate single cases, but carry no regulatory authority. Indeed, the fact that many final judgments in civil lawsuits do not eventually become law suggests governmental dismissal of the cause as an act of God or as a unique event generally unlikely to reoccur (e.g., preventable carelessness). It is also possible that there were flaws in the final judgment because of a lack of knowledge or distortion of the meaning of facts about aviation or human factors. The extent to which the judgment was valid, yet not made regulatory, may serve as warning to designers and users alike that certain actions or inaction may carry the added risk of penalties.

Human factors experts in aviation can assist in all these processes, from postcrash analysis and through recommended remedies. However, because it is the civil legal system that most often (vs. government agencies) retains human factors experts for aviation forensic services, this chapter focuses primarily on civil proceedings in an attempt to provide the reader with an understanding of the issues involved.

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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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