How human error can cause a plane crash

Posted on: June 11th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

In April two pilots flying a Lion Air Boeing 737 into Ngurah Rai Airport undershot the runway and crashed into the ocean in Bali.  The investigation is still open, but preliminary findings did not find fault with the aircraft and suggest that it may have been a poorly trained pilot who made an error.

Pilot error is any decision or action that a pilot takes that leads to or plays a part in an accident.  It could be due to inebriation, inexperience, fatigue, operational problems, or perhaps even poor training.  In the the case of the Lion Air crash, a lack of training and inexperience both seem to have been factors.

According to Boeing, close to 80% of commercial airline accidents are cause by pilot errors.  There are no universal guidelines in place to reduce the chances of pilot error, though there are policies at every airline for how long a pilot can fly, how many co-pilots must be on-board, how many breaks they need to take, etc.  There are also varying requirements for hours of training needed before a pilot can obtain their licence.

Lion Air may need to be revising some of their guidelines set to prevent pilot error soon, or at the very least do more rigorous checking to see that their pilots have been properly trained.

Read more at www.bbc.co.uk


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