Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Pilot error declines as factor in airline mishaps

The number of airline mishaps attributed to pilot error significantly declined between 1983 and 2002, according to an analysis conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

While the overall rate of airline mishaps remained stable during that time, the proportion of mishaps involving pilot error decreased 40 percent. The rate of mishaps related to a pilot’s poor decision-making declined 71 percent. The researchers attribute the decline to better training and improvements in technology that aid pilot decision-making. The findings are published in the January 2007 edition of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.

“A 40 percent decline in pilot error-related mishaps is very impressive. Pilot error has long been considered the most prominent contributor to aviation crashes,” said the study’s lead author, Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

The study examined 558 airline mishaps between 1983 and 2002. Baker and her colleagues also looked at the circumstances of pilot error, which they characterized as carelessness on the part of the pilot and crew, flawed decision-making, mishandling of the aircraft or poor crew interaction.

Other key findings of the study included:

Mishaps related to bad weather—the most common decision-making error—dropped 76 percent.

Mishaps caused by mishandling wind or runway conditions declined 78 percent.
Mishaps caused by poor crew interaction declined 68 percent.
Pilot error was most common during taxiing, takeoff, final approach and landing of the aircraft.
The mishap rate increased the most when aircraft were being pushed back from the gate or standing still, but pilot error was least common in such mishaps.

Mishaps during takeoff declined 70 percent.

While the overall rate of pilot error mishaps declined, the reductions were offset by increases in mishaps that did not involve error by pilots; some involved errors by air traffic control or ground crews. The researchers also noted that there is a need to improve safety during the times when the aircraft is motionless on the ground or being pushed back from the gate. The study found that mishaps during these times more than doubled from a rate of 2.5 to 6 mishaps per 10 million flights.

“Trends indicate that great progress has been made to improve the decision-making of pilots and coordination between the aircraft’s crew members. However, the improvements have not led to an overall decline in mishaps. The increase in mishaps while aircraft are not moving may require special attention,” said Baker.

Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>