Convergent Performance CEO Tony Kern thinks it’s time the aviation industry moved past the old adage that “to err is human.” In his recent book, The Blue Threat, the human-factors expert argues that to err is in fact “inhuman.”
In a report titled “An Overview of Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) concludes, “The errors of maintenance technicians are the visible manifestation of problems with roots deep in the organization. Yet until recently, maintenance personnel were overlooked by the human factors profession.
In FY 2005, there were 327 runway incursions, of which 29 were serious Category A and B incidents, according to the FAA’s regional administrator for the Western-Pacific region. Testifying before Congress earlier this week, Bill Withycombe said that in terms of error types, there were 169 pilot deviations, 105 ATC operational deviations and 53 vehicle/pedestrian deviations.
International authorities have noted repetitive oceanic errors recently, including “gross” navigation errors (25 nm or more), large altitude deviations (300 feet or more) and erosion of longitudinal separation. “Repeated errors present recurring hazards and pose threats to overall flight safety,” NBAA said.