Human Factor / Safety
Aviation; Evaluating Operational Incidences in Aviation
In the case, the Operations Department has already acquired clear complaints on the type of aircraft and type of leak problem. According to the description, it is a hydraulic leak in the aircraft. In addition, consulted inspectors and technicians argue that the source of the leakage is a ‘hidden’ fitting in the aircraft, which is difficult to investigate and resolve. Therefore, determination of the fitting as the primary cause behind the leakage has already been done. The investigator has taken advantage of the expert opinion, experience, and knowledge given by the inspectors and technicians. The remaining function in determination of the root cause is secondary collection of data in order to increase certainty of the initial find.
Accessibility of the fitting is a complex and difficult function given its ‘hidden’ attribute. Because of the complexity, the best approach is task analysis, where the investigator interacts with the end users in their specific job settings (Maddox 16). In this, there is elimination of end user data collection errors. Data collected goes to determine important user tasks and niches in operations system design. The analyst must employ a specific set of checklists suitable for the target jobs under investigation in order to extract sufficient information concerning the accessibility problem. The analyst may also request one of the technicians to demonstrate the complexity in tightening the fitting.
In determination of what inspectors and technicians need to do in order to tighten the fitting causing the leak, the analyst will follow the same procedure in question 2. First, he or she must perform a task analysis for the inspectors and technicians in their normal work environment. The analyst will incorporate a set of checklists that guides in the job and task evaluation process. Important to note is that the checklist guideline applied is different from that used in question 2, as they are unique to inspectors and technicians only. The analyst will then employ link analysis in order to design the suitable lay out for tightening the fitting. Link analysis gives the locus of each activity reducing the distance inspectors and technicians have to move in order to resolve the leakage problem (Maddox 14).
Determination of secondary factors in the leakage scenario is complex given that the faulty component does not reflect all aspects of maintenance. Therefore, one has to perform a walkthrough evaluation that examines the entire system and its products. Inspectors and technicians will have to perform a series of sequential steps in order to identify problems arising from human factors (Maddox 17). An external expert observer is included in order to note areas, steps, and tasks where human factor problems may occur. Walkthroughs are time-consuming processes that require audio-visual recording instruments. However, this method is ineffective in examining faults that are not procedural.