Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance

Tags: Aviation accidents and incidents, Aviation safety, Sleep

Human Factors In Aircraft Maintenance
Jon Byrd
Director of Aviation Coosa Valley Technical College Rome, Georgia

What is Human Factors?
70-80% of aircraft accidents are due to human factors – JAA, May 2001 Maintenance contributed to 15% of commercial jet accidents – Boeing, 1995


Maintenance Human Factors
20-30% of in-flight engine shutdowns & 50% of delays/cancellations are caused by human error – Boeing, 1997 48,800 non-airworthy aircraft are dispatched each year as a result of maintenance error – Marx, 1998 Ramp accidents cost over $2 billion annually – Ramp Safety Vol.11:3 CVTC

Dollars & “Sense”
Avg. cost of an in-flight engine shutdown is $500,000 Avg. cost of a flight cancellation is $50,000 Avg. cost of a return to gate is $15,000 Avg. ground damage incident costs $70,000 One airline estimates $75-$100 million/year is lost Airline Transport Association estimates that ground damage costs $850 million/yr CVTC

Accidents w/ Maintenance Error
American Airlines Flight 191 – 1979 Aloha Airlines Flight 243 – 1988 United Flight 232 – 1989 Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) Flight 532 – 1995 Air Alaska Flight 261 – 2000 Paul Wellstone (B100) crash – 2002 Spectrum Aeronautical LLC - 2006 CVTC

General & Corporate Aviation
• Little to no data is available
• Huge industry push yet we get pushed aside

• With little focus we have to work harder • Safety Managers will have to adapt and adopt


The Human Element (“Hu”)
“We’re only human...” We *will* make mistakes... The key is to minimize errors, but how?


The “Dirty Dozen”
Complacency Distraction Fatigue Norms Pressure Stress Lack of Assertiveness Lack of Awareness Lack of Communication Lack of Knowledge Lack of Resources Lack of Teamwork CVTC

Dirty Dozen - Complacency
“I don’t need to go get the tech data; I’ve done this a hundred times...” “No need to pull that panel. Last time I checked that linkage had plenty of grease...” I’ve been an aircraft mechanic...
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