Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Department of Human Factors & Systems

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Human error has been implicated in 70 to 80% of all civil and military aviation accidents. Yet, most accident reporting systems are not designed around any theoretical framework of human error. As a result, most accident databases are not conducive to a traditional human error analysis, making the identification of intervention strategies onerous. What is required is a general human error framework around which new investigative methods can be designed and existing accident databases restructured. Indeed, a comprehensive human factors analysis and classification system (HFACS) has recently been developed to meet those needs. Specifically, the HFACS framework has been used within the military, commercial, and general aviation sectors to systematically examine underlying human causal factors and to improve aviation accident investigations. This paper describes the development and theoretical underpinnings of HFACS in the hope that it will help safety professionals reduce the aviation accident rate through systematic, data-driven investment strategies and objective evaluation of intervention programs.


Oklahoma City, OK

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Additional Information

Dr. Shappell was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this report was published.