Faculty Mentor

Sam Butler


The objective of this research was to reveal the impact of human factors on flight safety and provide corrective recommendations that can mitigate human errors in the aviation industry. The method of investigation included an evaluation of the crash of Avianca Airlines Flight 052, which resulted in findings of probable cause of the accident and evaluated how human factors, including a lack of effective communication, stress, fatigue, complacency, lack of awareness, norms, assumptions, and pressure affected the safety of flight. In addition, an analysis of the data and information synthesis was done to arrive at results, conclusions, and recommendations to improve aviation safety. The corrective recommendations that were considered include: (a) promoting human factors awareness to enhance human performance, increase the awareness of hazards associated with flight operations, improve safety consciousness, introduce newly identified hazards, and improve aviation safety; (b) implementation of aeronautical decision making (ADM) and risk management (RM) cognitive tests in flight training curriculum to mitigate threats and errors, improve aviation safety, and help determine pilots’ thinking and reasoning abilities on risk management and decision making; (c) encouragement of a high standard of professionalism in all aviation sectors; and (d) having an excellent reward package for pilots. The conclusion of the study confirmed that a greater understanding of human factors would improve aviation safety due to the enormous impacts human factors have on flight safety and that adequate awareness regarding human limitations will minimize human errors and ensure improved human performance in the aviation industry.



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