I have always been passionate about aircraft and as I got older and began my career in the field of aerospace, in particular the sector of flight test, I have seen several incidents and a few accidents. So I would always ask myself, why did that happen? I have seen all the work that goes into aircraft to make them fly. I have seen a plane be built from top to bottom, nose to tail, I see all the hard work that goes into it and still these things can happen. Is it the pilots fault? Was it a mechanical malfunction? And what about the unmanned aircraft that could not have been the pilot could it? So now I will research it in much further detail. I started by pooling together what knowledge I had and comparing it with other research. I first wanted to familiarize myself with what exactly pilot error is. I found that real pilot errors can only occur in transport-category airplanes that are being flown to the FAR Part 121 standards that govern the major airlines (McClellan 2001). Apparently the reason that true pilot errors can only happen in this highest level of flying is because every reasonably probable circumstance has been addressed in the design and certification of the airplane, the training of the pilots and the operational rules they fly under. So because of redundancy, engineers and airlines usually point the finger at the pilot if something goes awry. An error is an out of tolerance action, where the limits of tolerable performance are defined by the system. Swain and Guttman 1983. This is an interesting definition because it allows the system response to determine whether an error has occurred. Whittingham (2004) says “human error is a deviation from normal or expected performance, the deviation being defined by the consequence. The consequence is some measurable characteristic of the system whose tolerable limits have been exceeded, rather than the human action that contains the error. However, after the error has been made, the human action within which...
References: Al-Amoudi, A. A. (1998). HUMAN FACTORS IN AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE (Doctoral dissertation, California State University Dominguez Hills). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.libproxy.db.erau.edu/docview/304468219?pq-origsite=summon#
Koring, P. (2014, July 25). Huge thunderstorms pose big risks but bad weather alone rarely causes jetliners to crash - The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/dont-blame-the-weather-planes-crash-when-pilots-cant-avoid-poor-conditions/article19770851/
McClellan, J. M. (2001, July 16). What is Pilot Error? What is Pilot Error? Retrieved from www.flyingmag.com/what-pilot-error
Palmer, B. (n.d.). Can turbulence cause a plane crash? Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/06/can_turbulence_cause_a_plane_crash_.html
Whittingham, R. B. (2004). To err is Human. In The blame machine: Why human error causes accidents. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.
Why Planes Crash - National Geographic Channel - UK [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://natgeotv.com/uk/why-planes-crash
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