Posts from the “Factores Humanos” Category

The pofessionalisation of Human Factors in Aviation: some reflexions

Posted on 25 abril, 2018

Today I have had the opportunity of participating as speaker in the Aerotelecom Forum organised by students of the EETAC (Escuela de Ingeniería de Telecomunicaciones y Aeroespacial de Castelldefel-Barcelona), after been proposed by the COITAE (Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Técnicos Aeronáuticos) to the organizers.     I have  participated on name of the Human Factors Eng Group of the RAeS (Royal Aeronautical Society), to which I belong since last year  representing Habock Service & Support. Between the objectives of this specialist group is the promotion of the Human Factors in universities to future generations of professionals, so it was a great chance to do it in Spain (and in particular in the university where I studied).     While preparing the presentation I had…

Fatigue Management in Aviation Maintenance

Posted on 21 mayo, 2017

That fatigue is present in our daily live is known. Also, that it can be a contributing factor to incidents and accidents in aviation. However, how much the professionals, organisations and regulators know and do about it? Why is such complex? How proactive are organisations about Fatigue Risk Management?


If something I learned last week when I attended to the conference that the RAeS organised at Cranfield (Staying Alert: Managing Fatigue in Maintenace) is that Fatigue Management has three legs: the individual, the organisation and the regulator. I travelled to UK to maintain my currency as Aviation Maintenance Human Factors, but also because it was a unique occasion to learn from professionals and specialists sharing their knowledge, experience and advice about this topic. A great forum; I really congratulate the RAeS, and specially the Human Factors Group, to organise events like this.




In any case, and to be honest, I believe that many delegates as me were attending because the Fatigue Management is not regulated yet for Aviation Maintenance Organisations. And we wanted to know what is going on. And indeed, it has been some movement already. The FAA issued on December 2016 the Advisory Circular Nº 120-115 (Maintainer Fatigue Risk Management). Is not mandatory, but it is a good start to be introduced about the topic, understand how fatigue can be a safety hazard in aviation and how and why organisations should be implementing Fatigue Risk Management. Also, I recommend the FAA website Fatigue Risk Management as it is plenty of material.


During the day, we reviewed different accident reports were fatigue had been a contributing factor. For example, the loss of control in Nevada of an AS30B2 (N37SH) with a fatal end (the report can be found in the NTSB website: NTSB/AAR-13/01). It mentions how the performance of the mechanic and the inspector was degraded by fatigue, which contributed to the improper securing of the fore/aft servo connection hardware, the improper installation of the hydraulic belt, and the inadequate post maintenance inspection.

From the report, both the mechanic and the inspector did not have time to adjust to an earlier shift than normal, which lead experiencing fatigue. Also, the mechanic had an inadequate amount of sleep and the inspector had a long duty day.


These are cases were, between the multiple contributing factors, fatigue is present… again. So, in absence of a regulated time of duty for maintainers, what can organisations proactively do? Speakers from different aviation maintenance organisations shared some measures that have put already in place as:

  • integrated Fatigue Risk Management in their Safety Management System
  • deliver training about Fatigue Management to everyone in the maintenance organisation (integrate with Human Factors training)
  • include Fatigue in risk assessments
  • perform analysis of shift patterns
  • issue working time policies that consider Fatigue Risk Management
  • plan controlled breaks
  • design facilities accordingly to facilitate rest
  • fatigue reporting mechanisms
  • reward schemes for good suggestions.


I left the event having learned how important is considering fatigue as a safety hazard and how important is raising the awareness of professionals and organisations as it is a shared responsibility being “fitness for duty”.


Conference in Aviation Human Factors

Posted on 12 noviembre, 2016

This week I have attended to the 2 days conference about Human Factors in Aviation Safety organised by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).   Thanks to the CIEHF, it has been possible that Human Factors practitioners and specialists of the Aviation sector meet and share knowledge and experiences. It is the second conference about Human Factors in Aviation I attend, the first one organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), and it has been a great opportunity to do networking and meet ex-colleagues from Boeing. Specialists from the academic world, the industry, government, organisms, etc. have exposed results of investigations, conclusions and recommendations.   There has been a major presence in the programme of papers related to the Air Traffic…

“Think Out of the Box”. Otro método de aprendizaje en Factores Humanos

Posted on 27 octubre, 2016

Durante el periodo trabajando en Inglaterra me formé como Instructora en Factores Humanos en Mantenimiento Aeronáutico y asistí a cursos y a conferencias. Hay un  aspecto que encontré especialmente interesante, se utilizaban “case studies” de diferentes sectores como el ferroviario, naval, nuclear, sanidad, etc., aunque la audiencia fuera del sector de la aviación.  Hay una expresión anglosajona que dice …  “think out of the box”. Que significaría algo así como: piensa diferente, desde otra perspectiva, de forma creativa.   Por este motivo, pienso que en los cursos de Factores Humanos es especialmente útil poner ejemplos y estudiar casos de otras industrias, ya que ayuda a la audiencia a que entienda que los Factores Humanos están presentes sea cual sea el ámbito y analizarlos desde otra perspectiva, fuera…

La Cadena de Error en Mantenimiento

Posted on 16 julio, 2016

En uno de mis anteriores post,  traté el error humano y la importancia de entenderlo, como el síntoma de problemas más profundos y el punto de inicio de la investigación. Además, no sólo está presente en nuestro entorno profesional, sino también en nuestra vida cotidiana y nos sorprenderíamos de cuántas veces al día cometemos errores. La clave es, que no siempre se cometen en el mismo contexto y a pesar de que el error sea el mismo, las consecuencias no serán las mismas. Sin embargo, la mayoría de accidentes e incidentes se producen por una concatenación de errores relacionados con factores humanos; es lo que se conoce como la Cadena de Error. Si tan sólo se hubiera roto un eslabón  de la cadena, aplicando…