Human Factors

Published on Tuesday 5 February 2019

Human factors are an integral component of a flight. It has to be taken into account on several levels : tiredness, sufficient rest, incidents...All of them are listed on this page.

Ills in the air

Inter-specialism vidéo "Ills in the air"

This video, produced by the French Civil Aviation Safety Directorate (DSAC), was created by the Human Factors Discussion Group (GRFH - Groupe de Réflexion facteurs Humains).

The full relevance of this film becomes apparent in the context of a Human Factors, CRM (Crew Resource Management) training course given by a CRM Trainer using this guide and after acceptance of the following user's charter.

Although based on actual events, this film is purely fictional, with aviation professionals performing their own roles. Some of the behaviours or attitudes may seem exaggerated, but they reflect the true behaviours or attitudes of the persons who experienced the actual event on which this video is based. The role they perform should in no way be interpreted as reflecting their own personality and/or their professional level.

You are asked to focus more specifically on observing the actions and behaviours of the representatives of the different specialisms so that you can discuss the way they interact and consider the efficiency level of the practices used. Finally, as an HF trainer, at the end of this video you are invited to examine the way in which the different participants handled this event.



User's charter

This guide is designed for Human Factors trainers in different specialisms as this inter-specialism video was created with the principal teaching aim of "understanding the work of others better understanding".This guide is not strictly speaking course material; trainers wishing to use this video must build an associated course. This guide is a framework and is designed to prevent misinterpretation of the messages.

Each CRM Trainer or Human Factors Trainer is authorised to use this "Crosstalk" video media and the necessary associated HF TRAINER GUIDE, subject to acceptance of the following conditions:

  • During the introduction the participants are informed of the origin of this video media and of the teaching guide.
  • The elements developed in this HF TRAINER GUIDE and film are presented without modification.
  • These materials are only used for exchanges between aviation personnel and for training purposes to improve the collective promotion of aviation safety.
  • These materials are provided free and cannot be sold.

All broadcasting or distribution of this guide and video on networks and outside the framework of HF training for a dedicated group according to the conditions stipulated above is prohibited and could result in legal action.



Airspace organization

Human-Centered Development of Perceived Complexity Criteria

This document is a draft methodological guide to analyze perceived complexity of installed equipment in a commercial aircraft flight deck. This guide provides a framework for human factors (HF) issues related to perceived complexity (section 2), a methodological approach for assessing perceived complexity (section 3), and a procedure to evaluate perceived complexity (section 4). This information is intended in particular as an aid to AMC 25.1302 for showing compliance to 25.1302, especially step 2 of the proposed methodical approach and paragraph 4.1 (b) of the AMC. Applicability of this information is not restricted to the scope of CS 25 and can also be useful in determining perceived complexity of installed equipment for other purposed (e.g. determination of transition training requirements).

Field data collection about air traffic control normal operations

NOSS (Normal Operation Safety Survey) is an approach associated to an observation based technique, to capture how the ATM system functions in operational conditions, barring incidents, in order to detect the possible sources of risk as soon as possible.
In order to better apprehend this method and to contrast it with the other methods of analysis of observation of the controllers initiated in France, it seemed necessary provide a report on the analysis of the activity in ergonomics of French language (or EWA for Ergonomic Work Analysis) and more specifically on the methods of collection of data such as field observation and interviews. This summary enables a better description of the various observation methods of controllers’ activity in terms of input and limitations and to position NOSS amongst these methodologies. An investigation into experience feedback (REX) methods is also offered to supplement this state of the art on field data collection.

The human factors evaluation of head-up displays (HUD)

This document is a draft methodological guide for the human factors evaluation of head-up displays (HUD). This guide has been developed thanks to the participation of aviation authority certification experts and took benefit of the experience gained during a development and certification programme on-going at the time at Airbus. This document is designed to serve as a guide for the Human Factor based evaluation of symbols used in Head Up Displays. It is meant to be used by authorities and experts in charge of certification, as well as by the designers of such devices, since it is best to involve the certification process as early as possible during the design phase.

Line Operations Safety Analysis using Naturalistically Gathered Expertise

This document is the third LOSANGE report and aims to :

  • Check the status on the potential implementation of the methodology by airlines
  • Make a list of the different approaches and their links between them (connected actors)
  • Characterise the data collected
  • Assess the needs and their types
  • Propose options concerning the adaptation of the existing concepts of LOSA.

The objectives of the LOSANGE second phase are to :

  • To define requirements for a NOM (Normal Operations Monitoring) approach on the basis of the 10 ICAO criteria
  • To position LOSA as a specific answer to these requirements with the identified limits
  • To suggest alternative elements to some LOSA choices in order to answer to generic criteria as well as to remedy to LOSA limits.

This document is the first LOSANGE report, dealing with a state of the art concerning the LOSA (Line Operations Safety Audit) methodology and a critical analysis of the theoretical basis (TEM Threat and Error Management). This report provides :

  • An analysis of the theoretical and methodological background of the LOSA methodology
  • An identification of the issues encountered when implementing the LOSA methodology
  • An objective review of the methodology strengths and weaknesses

Icing Flight

Pilots must have a thorough understanding not only of flight manual and procedures, but also of the basic principles of icing and its effects on aircraft performances and handling.
The latter is the main objective of this book, which tries not only to explain the correct procedures to be used for cold weather operations, but also to explain why these procedures must be followed.
The main issues of this book are aircraft icing physics and meteorology, effects of icing on aircraft performances and handling capacities, aircraft operations in icing conditions and an overview of ice detectors, ice protection systems and procedures.
The document contains also examples of the complete ice protection-detection system of aircraft representatives of typical aircraft classes : a general aviation aircraft, a commuter, a medium range and a long range jet.
The factual summaries of some well known icing incidents/accidents are also reported as case studies and to stimulate pilots attention on the subject.
This book is addressed to student pilots, pilot instructors as well as graduate pilots. However, since the whole document could be quite long a short leaflet providing a summary of the most relevant information has also been prepared.

Flight deck motion

Cockpit motions induced by turbulence are likely to impair aircrew performance, either by a direct and a short term impact on the task achievement (e.g. tracking) or by the effects of prolonged exposure on fatigue.
The objective of this work is then to provide the JAA the necessary information for a basis to develop an advisory material allowing the certification team to ensure that the induced vibrations are maintained at an acceptable level.

This is the report concerning the development of that information.

In order to provide information in a practical and useful way, the data collected in this study are incorporated in a basic database in which motions features and task components are crossed. It is therefore easy to retrieve published data on the effects of a given motion on a given task.

Helicopter failure

This document is a theoretical study that compares results of the main report phase 2 with expectations from pilots confronted to the same scenarios with older cockpit avionics suites.

The purpose of this study is to provide technical bases from which the helicopter regulations could evolve as regards to correction times for (major or hazardous) failures with catastrophic consequences in the absence of a quick pilot reaction. This report contains a summary of phase 1 scenarios, the results of the simulation tests performed and an analysis of those results.

The purpose of this study is to provide technical bases from which the regulations could evolve as regards to correction times for (major or hazardous) failures with catastrophic consequences in the absence of a quick pilot reaction. The following steps have been completed to establish a basic reference which is the purpose of Phase 1 of this study : FAR/JAR 29 regulations analysis, Definition of failures that need to be studied, Scope of failures to be selected, Experiments with a reference pilot.

Aeronautical maintenance

The purpose of this study is to perform complementary field investigations on impact of changes in aircraft maintenance. Such changes concern :

  • the transition from a logic of expertise to one of cost optimisation,
  • the arrival of new technologies for on board systems,
  • the evolution of the documentation regulating aircraft maintenance interventions.

Head Up Display symbology

Final report of the first year of the study on Head-Up Display symbology. It offers an analysis of JAA/FAA requirements, a status of operational use and a synthesis of Human Factors identified deficiencies in the requirements and in operations.

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