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Archive for the ‘Human Factors’ Category

NASA Aviation Safety Reporting Program

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Here’s a brief I found on NASA ASRS, a confidential reporting system that is improving our aviation system. The program is funded by the FAA and administered by NASA. Due to its existence outside the fiscal scope of both organizations, funding has always been a critical issue for this program. There is no more effective weapon against aviation mishaps than ASRS and the quality information that it generates. When you talk about system safety and human factors research, you have to mention the ASRS program, or you will explode. Check it out. It deserves your interest and support.


NASA ASRS Check out their site, fill out a report, search the database, read Callback

Written by Clark

March 27, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Human Error by James Reason

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I just received the book Human Error by James Reason, which focuses on the understanding of human error mechanisms. It is in its 17th printing, 1990-2006. If you have not read this book, leave this webpage immediately, go to amazon and order it…now…do it. Then come back here.
Any time you read about latent and active error, you are reading about the works of Reason and Rasmussen, and about what happens when theory meets practice.
Here’s a Personal Perspective ppt presented at a Human Factors seminar in Helsinki 2006. Enjoy.

Fly Smart

Written by Clark

March 24, 2007 at 8:48 pm

FSF Basic Guide to Human Factors

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From the FSF Basic Guide to Human Factors, a quick recap on development of CRM…

“CRM has been used with in the aviation industry for more than 20 years undergoing several evolutions.
1st evolution: emphasized changing individual styles and correcting deficiencies in individual behavior with a heavy focus on psychological testing.
2nd evolution: represented a focus on cockpit group dynamics, was more modular, and dealt more with specific aviation concepts related to flight operations.
3rd evolution: came a broadening of scope, specifically, training began to take into account the characteristics of aviation systems in which crew must function and expanded to areas out side the cockpit (e.g., cabin crews, maintenance personnel),
4th evolution: came integrating and proceduralization.
5th evolution: represents an awareness that human error is inevitable and can provide a great deal of information (Bowers et al., 2001). “CRM is now being used as a way to try to manage these errors by focusing on training teamwork skills that will promote (a) error avoidance, (b) early detection of errors, (c) minimization of consequences resulting from CRM errors. Programs are beginning to go beyond error management to include a focus on threat recognition and management. (Bowers et al., 2001, p. 642).”

FSF Basic Guide to HF developed by Curt Lewis (no relation) and Sylvia Hughes.

Threat and Error Management is the latest generation. There are also some interestng comments on perception, memory and mental models. New systems will need to consider not only shared mental models of humans, but also the interface with the next advancements in automation.

Written by Clark

March 21, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Human Factors for Maintenance

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Here is an awesome presentation on Human Factors for Maintenance prepared by Joe Schmaltz of Bell Helicopter, which he presented at a local FAASTeam conference. The conference was hosted by the FAASTeam Program Manager in Ft Worth, Steve Buckner and coordinated by John Fullingum, a FAASTeam Rep. Bell Helicopter generously donated use of their academic facility, then gave a hangar deck and flight line tour.

Here is Joe’s great ppt on Human Factors for Maintenance
Bell 412EP
Fly Smart

Written by Clark

March 19, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Posted in Human Factors

Threat and Error Management in a Nutshell

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The Threat and Error Management Model was developed by Dr Bob Helmreich and the UT Human Factors Project and is the 6th Generation of CRM

Here’s the model in a nutshell…

Focused on future events


-Operational factors-Aircrew, supervisory, maintenance, ATC,…

-Environmental factors-Turbulence, low vis, ice, rain, night time…

Operational and Environmental factors are managed through proper planning at…

-Strategic Level-Flight Ops Manual, OpSpecs, Aircraft Manuals, Training

-Tactical Level-Contingency options, Resource Management

Effective communication is key, before, during and after event

Focused on current and past events

First Goal: Avoid

-Develop plan

Second Goal: Manage

-Manage workload
-Maintain Situational Awareness & Assessment

Third Goal: Mitigate

-Limit adverse consequences


Comparing actual flight path and system performance to
intended path and performance

Ensure actions result in desired outcome

Error avoidance – Detection – Mitigation

One tool to use = “CAMI”
Confirm automation input
Activate system
Monitor performance
Intervene to prevent undesired states

TEM is the next generation of Team Resource Management

Here is a TEMM ppt prepared by the UTHFRP with two case studies.

Fly Smart

Written by Clark

March 18, 2007 at 8:58 pm

How’d ya Like to be a Ground Controller at JFK?

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Listen to this ATC tape, and see if you can pick out who is flailing, who is trying to help out and who is getting snippy. Think about how you would react in this situation, from ATC and the pilots’ standpoint. What Human Factors are at work here? What are the Threats, and how can they develop into Error? What are the consequences of Error if two jumbos collide on the ground? How would you manage this hazard (and “stay away from JFK” doesn’t count”)!
Professionalism goes a long way here, in keeping the situation stabilized and avoiding another Tenerife.

JFK ATC on a good day. Like the guy says, go visit a tower someday if you can. These folks do some amazing things in their 4 dimensional world, and have my utmost respect.

Written by Clark

March 18, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Human Factors for Dummies

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I was asked by my local FAASTeam Program Manager to to create a presentation on Human Factors (HF). Every mishap has HF roots, and the goal of a robust safety program is to identify HF hazards and develop mitigation strategies that prevent mishaps.

Written by Clark

March 14, 2007 at 4:30 am

Posted in Human Factors

Human Factors Gurus

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Human Factors Associates, Inc. (HFA) started as a small firm in 1994 that provided consulting services to industry and government in the traditional fields of human factors engineering and training system development. Incorporated in September, 2002 by Dr. Anthony Ciavarelli, the company’s primary business is to provide organizational assessment and intervention strategies designed to improve performance of people and their organizations.

Learn more at HFA

Dr C taught Aviation Psychology at the Naval Postgrad School Aviation Safety Officer course and has been at the forefront of system safety development for the military and commercial aviation communities.

Written by Clark

March 12, 2007 at 11:22 am

Posted in Human Factors