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10.4 Human Factors Models and Programmes

10.4.2 Define human factors as used in an aviation context.

Human Factors arose originally out of aircraft accident investigation.

There were a rising number of accidents in which there was no obvious technical cause or failure.

The American NTSB reports that 80% of accidents have a human element as their cause rather than a mechanical breakdown or failure.

Since human factors was made a compulsory requirement for all licences, the rate of human related accidents has not changed significantly, but the total number of accidents has reduced.

When reviewing accidents therefore it became very important to consider not only what happened in the accident but also why it happened.  

In other words, what were the human aspects related to the accident?

Human factors now extend far beyond accident Investigation and has moved into the field of accident prevention.

Human Factors is about human performance and human limitations, both in the air and on the ground. 

Human factors encourages pilots to know themselves.


Human Factors Is made up of three main parts: 

  • Aviation medicine, 
  • Psychology and 
  • Aviation Ergonomics.
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