Human Errors on a Plane
It’s rather disappointing to acknowledge the fact that the word’s aviation incident is also defined in several websites as a constant occurrence other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft, which impinge or could impinge the safety of operations. After endless weeks of research, I came to the conclusion that human error was the main fault behind the countless number of ‘accidents’ and crashes which in the long run has caused millions to perish. Most of these ‘accidents’ however were based upon; airplane mechanics, cargo occurrences, collisions, the flight crew, and the air traffic controllers.
Primarily, an aircraft mechanic is responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft, installation of new parts, and safety inspections and there errors are usually directed toward airframe failure, design error, engines, flight surfaces, instruments, pressurization, systems, and undercarriage. Though all aircraft’s must be inspected by a qualified mechanic before each flight which is designed to check all the essential systems required for takeoff, landing, and basic flying- it seems that, from the accident reports I have read, most of the planes were deemed safe, when in fact, they genuinely were not. An airplane consists of many parts such as the horizontal stabilizer, turbine engine, wing, winglet, cockpit, fuselage, slats spoiler, aileron, flaps, the rudder, vertical stabilizer, the elevator as well as many other complexes, varying parts, which must be handled and constructed carefully. If not cared for or manufactured legitimately, it could cause serious damage to the plane as well as disrupt the aviation operation.
As said in the article ‘Analysis of aircraft weight and balance related safety occurrences’, by G.W.H. van Es, “Each year there are a number of aircraft accidents related to weight and balance issues. Such accidents have occurred onboard aircraft weight and balance systems could resolve most of the weight and balance problems identified in the present study.” The article states that there are various factors involved in weight and balance accidents such as errors in the load sheet, shifting of cargo, incorrect loading and etc. Additionally, it gives us a brief explanation on weight and balance and how it refers to the weight of an aircraft and the location of the centre of gravity. It also informs us on how all aircraft’s are designed and certified to operate within certain weight and balance limits and how exceeding these limits can be dangerous. Unfortunately each year a number of accidents take place in which the aircraft involved exceeded the weight and balance limits or in which weight and balance issues affected the flight adversely.(Keep in mind that the article was written by a well informed author who had great knowledge in the fields of safety and security as well as flight operations.)
A collision is every pilot and or passenger’s worst nightmare and one of the most dramatic types of aviation accident. Mid-air collisions are almost always due to human error, and are said to be entirely preventable. Pilots receive training to avoid potentially dangerous situations, but when this preparation is overlooked fatal consequences may occur. During a three-year study of midair collisions involving civilian aircraft, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) was able to conclude from the study that no pilot regardless of experience is immune to mid-air collisions, and most collisions occurred during pleasure flights with no flight plan filed. This study only further emphasizes that mid-air collisions are a result of pilot shortsightedness, human error, and can be avoided.
When pilots are negligent or have glitches while on the job, hundreds of lives are at risk of being terminated. Pilots receive extensive training designed to prepare them to handle a wide variety of situations, but there are times when fatal errors are made. Pilot error accounts for 37 percent of all airplane accidents from 1950 through 2004. There are a variety of errors pilots and flight crew can make that result in aviation accidents, such as, a lack of planning, faulty maneuvers, and in some cases simple irresponsibility. Some procedures pilots are required to master before earning their license include steep turns, slow flight, stalls and stall recovery, spins and spin recovery, as well as forced landings. Sometimes, however, even the licensed pilot’s will make errors that can and or will cause serious damage or even death to unsuspecting victims. Pilots are also responsible for ATC and navigation as well as fuel management, which if disregarded could cause serious upheaval in the aircraft as well as during flight. Prior to the flight, pilots are required to check flight plans, ensure that the aircraft’s controls are operating efficiently and calculate the required fuel for the flight. They are also responsible for checking the weather conditions and briefing cabin crew. In many cases the pilot(s) will make ghastly mistakes which, unfortunately, cause many complications during flight.
“The National Airspace System (NAS) is a vast network of people and equipment that ensures the safe operation of commercial and private aircraft. Air traffic controllers work within the NAS to coordinate the movement of air traffic to make certain that planes stay a safe distance apart. Their immediate concern is safety, but controllers also must direct planes efficiently to minimize delays. Some regulate airport traffic through designated airspaces; others regulate airport arrivals and departures.”—source: bls.gov. Regrettably so, the air traffic controllers do not always ‘coordinate’ the movement’s of the plane thoroughly and or precisely. A large percentage( about 37%) of aviation accidents occur on land during landing and takeoff due to the misleading orders directed from the air traffic controllers.
The truth on the matter is that we as humans are affecting the operation of flight with our many errors. In total about 87% of plane accidents and crashes are due to human error, the other 13% is either pending under unknown or as we like to call it ‘a strike of bad luck’ or personally, my favorite, ‘freak accident’. I was able to determine that most of the accidents, however, where due to pilot error. Through endless weeks of research and questionings, I came to the conclusion and understanding that we must be more thorough and precise as well as cautious when handling, or flying, an aircraft.
|Total Pilot Error||58||57||42||44||53||46||50|
|Other Human Error||0||8||9||6||8||8||6|
The table above is compiled from the PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database and represents 1,300 fatal accidents involving commercial aircraft, world-wide, from 1950 thru 2009 for which a specific cause is known. Aircrafts with 10 or less people aboard, military aircraft , private aircraft and helicopters are not included.
"Pilot error (weather related)" represents accidents in which pilot error was the cause but brought about by weather related phenomena. "Pilot error (mechanical related)" represents accidents in which pilot error was the cause but brought about by some type of mechanical failure. "Other human error" includes air traffic controller errors, improper loading of aircraft, fuel contamination and improper maintenance procedures. "Sabotage" includes explosive devices, shoot downs and hijackings. "Total pilot error" is the total of all three types of pilot error (in yellow). Where there were multiple causes, the most prominent cause was used.
- Airline Safety
- Aviation Safety Network
- Federal Aviation Administrations: Aviation Data & Research
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- National Transportation Safety Board
- PlaneCrashInfo: Accident Reports/Databases
- Research and Innovated Technology Administration (RITA) Bureau of Transportation and Statistics
- Hise, Phaedra. Pilot Error: The Anatomy of a Plane Crash. 2002.
- Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (located in Alabama)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Fairbanks International Airport (located in Alaska)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (located in Florida)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (located in Georgia)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (located in New York)
- McClellan-Palomar Airport (located in California)
April 26th, 2013 at 04:34pm
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September 21st, 2012 at 04:28am
September 18th, 2012 at 06:49pm