only human

human factors and psychology stuff for anyone interested in making things easier, safer and more enjoyable to use

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 

Sobering report on human factors issues leading to a midair collision

In this paper, we provide an analysis of the event, highlighting fundamental human and system errors that occurred that night: errors that contributed to the worst midair collision in recent history



This is an excellent summary of the key issues to be learned from this disaster. There has been a number of changes to Eurpoean air traffic operations to try to address these issues, but as usual the human related issues are (arguably) the hardest to deal with.

The report suggests that a number of system and human 'errors' combined to produce the midair collision. Some of the key human factors issues highlighted are:

- issues surrounding divided attention
- trust in automation
- decision making in time pressured situations

When I get more time, I'll expand on these and bring you a little more insight into the complexity surrounding each issue.
Full 4 page report
Orignial news reports of the crash

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