December 31, 2007 | Barb Carr

Pilot error rate ‘significantly declined’…accident rate remains stable

A recent article published indicated that pilot error for U.S. air carriers is down 40%. Pilot error has been a “prominent contributor” to aircraft mishaps as stated by the author of the study published in the January 2008 edition of “Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine”. The author attributes improvements in Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) techniques, pilot training, and flight deck technology for reduction in pilot error. With that said, I have one question:

1. The accident rate did not drop with a 40% reduction in pilot error. If pilot error was the primary root cause why not?

If you find yourself blaming the the pilot, operator, or doctor in your company repeatedly for failures, you may need to a reassess your investigation robustness. You can always find data to support your conclusion of blame, but this comes with a price. You ignore data that is in conflict with your initial cause assessment. Unfortunately feedback for this error comes too late. If you would like additional information for removing the blame factor in order to conduct a proper incident investigation, contact us at System Improvements, Inc to discuss TapRooT®.

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