Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance

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  • Topic: United Airlines Flight 232, Air safety, Aloha Airlines Flight 243
  • Pages : 9 (1266 words )
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  • Published : April 27, 2013
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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

CVTC

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

CVTC

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

CVTC

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 for over 25 years; I know what I’m doing...” CVTC

Dirty Dozen - Complacency
Safety Nets
Always follow checklist(s) &/or squawk cards Never work from memory Be sure to vary your routine periodically Be aware of the dangers of complacency

CVTC

Dirty Dozen - Distraction
Phone calls Personal Issues Water Cooler Talk

CVTC

Dirty Dozen - Distraction
Safety Nets
Use a detailed checklist Always finish the task Double-inspect the work Use torque seal &/or safety wire Record or tag uncompleted work When you return to the task, always go back three (3) steps

CVTC

Dirty Dozen – Fatigue
What is Fatigue?
The body’s normal reaction to a physical or mental stress of a prolonged duration There are two types Acute – short duration; cured with good night’s sleep Chronic – occurs over a long period of time; long recovery

CVTC

Dirty Dozen – Fatigue
Causes of Fatigue
Long hours of labor (any type) High-intensity stress Large temperature variations Noise – above 80db for long duration Sufficient intensity vibration for long periods STRONG lighting

CVTC

Dirty Dozen – Fatigue
Symptoms of Fatigue
Enhanced stimulus required in order to respond Attention reduced Memory diminished “Withdrawn” mood Circadian Rhythm inconsistencies

CVTC

Dirty Dozen - Norms
“I don’t care how you did it there, we’ve done it this way for years!” Outdated/inadequate company policies

CVTC

Dirty Dozen – Norms
What are “Norms” exactly?
The way of doing business that’s not approved, but it’s been done locally for so long that it’s now a “Norm” ALWAYS work IAW the appropriate tech data, or if needed, have the manual revised Be aware that “Norms” do not make it right CVTC

Dirty Dozen – Pressure
“Get it to the gate!!!” Too tightly scheduled deadlines Flat-rated Work Orders that maybe should have been rated

CVTC

Dirty Dozen – Pressure
Safety Nets
Stop! Assess the situation Look at the situation rationally
Can I safely do the job on time? Have I...
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