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Patterns of Threat and Error Management in Regional Airlines
Abstract Airlines have traditionally relied upon accident and incident investigation reports to further their understanding of safety and crew performance. However, these reports only capture rare and dramatic events and, whilst sometimes discovering systemic shortcomings, are only useful in a proactive sense if the findings are representative of events and behaviours in normal operations. Whilst causal factors vary, it has been generally accepted in the airline industry for nearly three decades that more than 70% of accidents involve flight crew error. Similarly it is generally accepted that for every accident it is probable that there have been multiple examples of similar circumstances which did not result in an accident but may have been a "near miss". Due to the fallibility of self - reporting and inadequacies in incident reporting requirements, many of these events go unreported. If normal operations are monitored effectively, it is possible to diagnose crew behaviours and develop proactive safety interventions. Thus, airlines may be assisted in discovering how close they are to the edge of the safety envelope, without breaching that envelope. The University of Texas and the LOSA Collaborative have developed techniques for auditing normal airline operations using the taxonomy of Threat and Error Management (TEM) through a project called the Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA). The project has studied major carriers and established a database (the LOSA Archive) which aggregates crew TEM performance against a series of accepted metrics. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has endorsed the LOSA methodology as a recommended practice for monitoring normal operations in airlines through the publication of ICAO Document 9803. Worldwide year on year accident data from the International Air Transport Association indicate that accident rates are significantly higher in regional airlines than in major carriers. This new research project uses established methodology to study patterns of Threat and Error Management in regional airlines and compares them with the data for major carriers contained in the LOSA Archive. It is supported by a grant from the Civil Aviation Authority of Australia.
Aviation Education and Research Conference Proceedings
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified