This project is all my own work and has not been copied in part or in whole from any other source except where duly acknowledged. As such, all use of previously published work (from books, journals, magazines, internet, etc.) has been acknowledged within the main report to an item in the References or Bibliography lists.
I also agree that an electronic copy of this project may be stored and used for the purposes of plagiarism prevention and detection.
I acknowledge that the copyright of this project and report belongs to Emirates Aviation University/Coventry University.
AbstractThe project was aimed at establishing the major effects of maintenance and inspection errors in aviation as a type of human errors. In the report, the type of errors was reviewed as a major cause of aviation accidents and incidents. Primary data was collected through administration of a semi-structured interview questionnaire from the airlines; Air Arabia, Emirates and Etihad while secondary data was collected from the internet with the specific sources being the Boeing and Airbus databases. The research yielded interesting results which were analyzed and the appropriate recommendations offered for future research and also for the improvement of the aviation sector were given.
Table of Contents
TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc457354119 \h 5Additional Materials PAGEREF _Toc457354120 \h 8Acknowledgements PAGEREF _Toc457354121 \h 9CHAPTER ONE PAGEREF _Toc457354122 \h 101.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc457354123 \h 101.1.Background to the Project PAGEREF _Toc457354124 \h 101.2.Purpose of the study PAGEREF _Toc457354125 \h 121.3.Statement of problem PAGEREF _Toc457354126 \h 131.4.Justification of the study PAGEREF _Toc457354127 \h 131.5.Hypothesis PAGEREF _Toc457354128 \h 141.6.Research Objectives PAGEREF _Toc457354129 \h 141.6.1General objective PAGEREF _Toc457354130 \h 141.6.2Specific objectives PAGEREF _Toc457354131 \h 141.6.3Research questions PAGEREF _Toc457354132 \h 151.7.Overview of This Report PAGEREF _Toc457354133 \h 15CHAPTER TWO PAGEREF _Toc457354134 \h 172.Research Approach/Methodology PAGEREF _Toc457354135 \h 172.1.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc457354136 \h 172.2.Approach summary and limitations PAGEREF _Toc457354137 \h 172.3.Research design PAGEREF _Toc457354138 \h 182.4.Case study PAGEREF _Toc457354139 \h 182.4.1.Merits of case study PAGEREF _Toc457354140 \h 192.4.2.Demerits of case study PAGEREF _Toc457354141 \h 192.5.Semi-structured interviews PAGEREF _Toc457354142 \h 192.5.1.Merits of semi-structured interviews PAGEREF _Toc457354143 \h 202.5.2.Demerits of semi-structured interviews PAGEREF _Toc457354144 \h 202.6.Secondary data PAGEREF _Toc457354145 \h 202.6.1.Merits of secondary data PAGEREF _Toc457354146 \h 202.6.2.Demerits of secondary data PAGEREF _Toc457354147 \h 212.7.Primary data PAGEREF _Toc457354148 \h 212.7.1.Merits of primary data PAGEREF _Toc457354149 \h 212.7.2.Demerits of primary data PAGEREF _Toc457354150 \h 222.8.Qualitative and Quantitative analysis PAGEREF _Toc457354151 \h 222.8.1.Advantages of the analyses PAGEREF _Toc457354152 \h 232.8.2.Disadvantages of the analyses PAGEREF _Toc457354153 \h 23CHAPTER THREE PAGEREF _Toc457354154 \h 253.Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc457354155 \h 253.1.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc457354156 \h 253.2.Aviation safety PAGEREF _Toc457354157 \h 253.3.Human factors PAGEREF _Toc457354158 \h 263.4.Human errors PAGEREF _Toc457354159 \h 293.4.1Human error categories PAGEREF _Toc457354160 \h 31CHAPTER FOUR PAGEREF _Toc457354161 \h 594.Primary Data Findings PAGEREF _Toc457354162 \h 59CHAPTER FIVE PAGEREF _Toc457354163 \h 605.Analysis and Discussion PAGEREF _Toc457354164 \h 60CHAPTER SIX PAGEREF _Toc457354165 \h 616.Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc457354166 \h 61CHAPTER SEVEN PAGEREF _Toc457354167 \h 627.Future Work PAGEREF _Toc457354168 \h 62References PAGEREF _Toc457354169 \h 63Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc457354170 \h 68List of acronyms PAGEREF _Toc457354171 \h 68Appendices PAGEREF _Toc457354172 \h 69Appendix 1 PAGEREF _Toc457354173 \h 69
Additional MaterialsAppendix on contains the interview structure used for primary data collection.
AcknowledgementsI would like to pass my gratitude to everyone who helped me throughout the period of this study. I would not have done it without their moral, physical and spiritual support. My gratitude goes to:
I would first like to give thanks to God almighty for giving me the opportunity and resources to get through with this project.
I am thankful to my university for providing the resource and financial support throughout the period of this research.
I am also grateful to my supervisor for the constructive criticism he provided to me in the course of the research and for always offering the proper guidelines to making this project a success.
I am also grateful to my family and friends for the moral support they gave me through the course of this research.
Finally, I am grateful to everyone who provided me with the information and data used for the research i.e. the interviewees, the Boeing and Airbus staff who contributed to the provision of this data.
CHAPTER ONEIntroductionThe following chapter is aimed at providing the main scope of this study, in it the background of the project will be presented, a justification of the study will then be stated and finally the research objectives will be outlined together with the hypothesis of this study.
Background to the ProjectThe Everglades accident (1972) is one of the most popular flight accidents in history. The pilots of this aircraft were engaged in a problem solving situation following a landing gear warning light (Wickens et al., 1997). In this scenario, one of the pilots unknowingly disengaged the auto-pilot by touching the steering column causing the aircraft to descend swiftly. As the pilots were pre-occupied with the indicator in the cockpit, an ambiguous question from a controller on the ground did not hint that their plane was descending. Instead the pilots and the controller engaged in a cross-purpose communication which led to the crashing of the plane in the Everglades swamp (Bove, 2002). This is evidently an illustration of how aviation security can be easily compromised by a simple miscommunication between the pilots and the controllers. Categorically such a miscommunication can be termed to as a human error.
Even though air transport is considered to be about 14 times more reliable than road transport, research shows that passengers of a flight are approximately 10 times more anxious than road transport passengers (AFRAZEH & BARTSCH, 2007). This emphasizes the need of aviation (flight) safety through improving the coefficient of reliability and in the bigger picture, reducing and/or completely eradicating the overall flight accidents and incidents which are highly propagated by unaddressed human errors.
Flight safety is of crucial importance in flight industry and in public opinion. Notably, the safety is hinged on not only the air plane and its navigation system (including the technical or the hardware parts) but also on the human factors associated with the aviation sector specifically with the hardware and the technical parts. The interaction can be referred to as the man-machine system. Technical and social sections of an aviation framework interact mutually so as to make the flight systems successful. The Technical system comprises the aircraft and the communication systems therein incorporated in navigating the aircraft from the control towers. On the other hand, the social section is comprised of all the crew members and logistic personnel and their interactions. Moreover, the aviation system is comprised of the environmental factors which influence the effectiveness of the man-machine system (flight work system) in an aviation setup. The environmental factors therein include regulation for various operational and passage corridors, radiation and other natural factors such as the weather and climatic conditions (AFRAZEH & BARTSCH, 2007).
For flight safety to be upheld there is a need for the integration of the technical and the human section such that they function as a unit. Therefore reliability of both the technical and human section is paramount. Technical reliability in this case refers to the quality attributed to a given systems (equipment) behavior within a specified period of time under an identified condition of use with all the environmental factors considered. Human reliability on the other hand refers to human competence for the delivery of special duties in a specified framework within a given acceptable period of time that is considering all the physical and psychological abilities not forgetting the eligible skills and experiences, moral and characteristics peculiarities associated with the subject person (AFRAZEH & BARTSCH, 2007). A vivid relationship of the insofar mentioned sections and factors can be drawn from the block diagram illustrated by figure 1.
Clearly, the safety of everyone involved in the aviation sector is paramount. Human reliability is an essential aspect in the aviation sector and it can only be observed if and only if human errors are minimized or eradicated in the whole aviation process. This can be attained through proper arrangement of the entire aviation process both chronologically and efficiently (AFRAZEH & BARTSCH, 2007).
Figure 1: An illustration of the interaction of the contributing factors to flight safety (AFRAZEH & BARTSCH, 2007)
Purpose of the studyThe study will be important in that it will help develop an overview of the human errors associated mainly with the Air Transport Maintenance and Inspection. In so doing, an error management strategy will be developed such that it will benefit the aviation maintenance and inspection sector. An exploration of these errors and the development of an error management framework will help the aviation organizations curb any future misshapes resulting from human errors which are mostly major causes of air travel accidents and incidents.
Statement of problemThe aviation sector is growing at a high rate in terms of popularity and usability. Thorough inspection and maintenance of the aircrafts and all the associated facilities is therefore impeccable. The challenge associated with this activity is however the involvement of human personnel who are very prone to errors and thus make the aviation sector vulnerable. These errors (human errors) are the main causes of fatal accidents and incidents that unfold in the aviation sector claiming so many fatalities. The problem is that there is lack of the perfect error management/ control strategy. An exploration of an effective error management framework is therefore important in a bid to develop such a framework.
Justification of the studyBased on the background theory provided, it is evident that aviation safety is an impeccable aspect for smooth air transport. The maintenance and inspection sector in aviation is one of the sectors that are most susceptible to human errors. Human beings are vulnerable to errors since they adapt and/or respond differently to circumstances such as fatigue, time pressure and many others. In this case the human beings are prone to making mistakes during their activities such as maintenance and inspection of the aircraft in the aviation sector. These errors are the main causative factors of incidents or fatal accidents that occur in the aviation activities. Consequently a study of the human errors and their countermeasures is highly important. The study therefore sets out to study the human error associated with maintenanc...
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