Human Factors in Aviation Safety - Essay Example

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On September 21, 2005, a JetBlue Airbus A-320-200 aircraft was diverted to Los Angeles where it landed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The flight was on its way to John F. Kennedy airport in New York from Burbank, California, when it was discovered that the wheels beneath the nose could not be retracted and were turned sideways…
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Human Factors in Aviation Safety
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Download file to see previous pages At the time, it received high-profile attention from the media, which covered the incident on live television (JetBlue plane, 2005; JetBlue passengers, 2005; JetBlue Airways, 2006). The purpose of this paper is to explore the human factor as it relates to this mishap.
The pilot and crew are the first to become the focus of any airline mishap. Other human factors involve maintenance, traffic control and aircraft design. As noted by Wikipedia, "the ability of the flight crew to maintain situational awareness is a critical human factor in air safety" (Air Safety, 2006). A broad definition of situational awareness in flight is observing everything that happens in the immediate area and determining its importance in a complex environment. Initiation of a pilot checklist in 1937 and the relatively new concept of situational awareness have contributed to aircraft safety. Even so, pilot error is considered the most common factor of aviation crashes. Although it is often a factor in midair collisions, additional causes might be due to adverse weather conditions. Crew resource management (CRM) training is another recent effort to reduce pilot error. Terrorism has been added to the human factor list following 9/11/1001, which involved four different commercial aircraft (Air Safety, 2006).
In the case of the 2005 JetBlue mishap, ...
In fact, Robert Boser, editor of Aviation, commended the pilot, Captain Scott Burke, who managed to stop the plane in the middle of the 12,000-foot runway at LAX without having the nose break off. The only damage to the plane was in the front wheel area and no one was injured. Because of sparks and smoke, Burke asked if there was any fire visible, but did not receive an answer from the tower. He therefore used air stairs to disembark the passengers for safety reasons (Boser, 2005). This was his response to an emergency in progress, but was there some way he could have known the problem existed before takeoff
What Were the Contributing Factors
What were the human factors involved in this incident and how well was the emergency handled In addition, why did it happen at all In the case of pilot error, possible factors that could be involved are alcohol use, nicotine addiction withdrawal, error in copying air traffic control clearances, or mental illness. In the JetBlue incident, the pilot and crew were exonerated of any blame and in fact were lauded. Other factors include oversights in aircraft maintenance, mistakes in air traffic control, or weaknesses in aircraft or equipment design. One question in the relatively short history of JetBlue Airlines is whether such a problem has occurred before. And if it has, what was the cause and what human factors were involved
JetBlue has only been in business for six years and offers low fares and extra incentives such as live television, leather seats and wireless Internet, which are not available on other popular low-cost airlines such as Southwest. Because of the passengers' ability to watch CNN on the airline's DirectTV hook up, however, with televisions at every seat, they were able to follow the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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