Human Error and Commercial Aviation Accidents: An Analysis Using the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System

The Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) is a theoretically based tool for investigating and analyzing human error associated with aviation accidents and incidents. This study uses HFACS in extending previous examinations of aviation accidents to include specific aircrew, environmental, supervisory, and organizational factors associated with two types of commercial aviation (air carrier and commuter/on-demand) accidents. Using data obtained from both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, 6 pilot-raters classified aircrew, supervisory, organizational, and environmental causal factors associated with 1020 commercial aviation accidents that occurred over a 13-year period. Results showed that the majority of accident causal factors were attributed to aircrew and the environment, with signficantly fewer associated with supervisory and organizational causes. Comparisons were made between HFACS causal categories and traditional situational variables such as visual conditions, injury severity, and regional differences. The findings provide support for the continuation, modification, and/or development of interventions aimed at commercial aviation safety.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 227-242
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046565
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 22 2007 11:35PM