Causes Of Aviation Accidents

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The accident on McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, N215AA of 1991 is a good example of an aviation accident that occurred majorly due to human factors. This paper aims to analyze the main causes involving human factors that lead to the crash. The two core factors associated with the accident include; fatigue and situational stress. Both crew members sustained long duty day that exceeding the maximum waking hours. Additionally, the prevailing weather conditions placed them in a stressful environment. Consideration by airline companies to ensure the wellbeing of their personnel both psychologically and physically is recommended. This report presents the causes and effects with respect to the chain of events in a coherent, concise and
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Fatigue is also a major precondition for unsafe acts. In the case at hand, there was no recorded evidence from the CVR that either of the crew members was exhausted. However, from the yawn recorded, it appeared that either the captain or the first officer was fatigued. While it was not readily available to determine whether they were fatigued, through the post-accident interviews, it was mentioned that self-evaluation of fatigue or of another person by a fatigued person was not dependable. However, it was noted that both crew members had been awake for at least 16 hours prior to the accident. This is more than the efficient waking day and it is stated that, at this point, the lapses in concentration and vigilance become more rampant. This has also been reported to be a major cause for both decisional and tactical errors. This long duty day (number of hours awake) may have significantly contributed to their fatigue and lack of proper decision making capabilities (Shappell & Wiegmann,…show more content…
Fatigue drastically lowered their ability to consider other viable options. Due to fatigue, the team was more concerned about landing and not any other course of action such as diverting or even delaying the landing. Furthermore, due to fatigue, the first officer was incapable of confirming that the auto spoilers had been armed for landing. Furthermore, the captain failed to realize, despite his experience, that he had not requested for flaps 40 and not completed the before landing checklist. This, therefore, made their course of action more precarious and finally resulted in the accident.

Conclusion The role of human factors in aviation accidents cannot be understated. It is crucial to note that instances such as the one discussed could be avoided by ensuring that the flights crew members are at peak performance, both physically and psychologically. Human factors, generally lead to lack of concentration and loss of focus on the core objective. Furthermore, it restricts the person from thinking about other variations or alternatives to the current situation. It is, therefore, advisable that airlines ensure they manage their personnel in a manner that does not predispose them to such

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