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The Human Element in AviationJanuary 4 – Human factors: It’s a topic discussed at most aviation safety seminars, as well as a fundamental subject during pilot and mechanic training. Yet, despite widespread awareness of the importance of human factors in safety, it continues to play a key role in a majority of today’s aircraft incidents and accidents.

Encompassing everything from fatigue and workload management, to integrating the latest advances in technology, the topic of human factors covers a wide spectrum. The FAA Aviation News team, along with staff members of the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) teamed up to produce an issue dedicated to this important subject.

Headlining the issue is the article, “The Importance of the Human Element,” written by Dr. Thomas R. Chidester and Dr. Carla A. Hackworth. The article provides readers with a solid foundation on human factors and addresses the question several might ask:  Why should I care? The article also discusses how CAMI research helps explain and pinpoint human factors that may lead to an error.

“When errors do occur, FAA experts try to understand the factors that led to those errors,” the article states. “One important goal is to determine whether a given error is a one-time error or a potential pitfall for other people.”

For more information on how FAA human factors research helps improve your safety, go to: www.faa.gov/news/aviation_news.