Aircraft Accident And Human Factor

Aircraft Accident and Human Factor Research Paper

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The accident involving Flight 1420 that occurred on June 1, 1999, should not have occurred. The flight crew had two human issue failure attributes. First, the accountable events took the mistaken strategy to land under unhealthy climate. Second, the flight crew made a skill-based mostly error by failing to deploy the spoilers for a protected touchdown. The two errors fall underneath the first degree of the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS).


Aircraft accidents are uncommon, which makes this mode of transport the most secure in contemporary times. However, plane accidents occur in some instances. According to the HFACS, such accidents happen due to a number of issues like organizational influences, unsafe acts, unsafe supervision, and preconditions for unsafe acts (Wiegmann & Shappell, 2003). This paper is an evaluation of an plane accident that occurred on June 1, 1999, at Little Rock, Arkansas. The accident concerned Flight 1420.

Key human issue failure

The most outstanding human issue failure is determination error, which falls under the broad class of the HFACS’ stage 1 of unsafe acts. This human factor failure lies under the error subdivision. After the “second wind shear alert was acquired, the flight crew should have acknowledged that the approach to runway 4R shouldn’t continue as a result of the maximum crosswind part for conducting the landing had been exceeded” (National Transportation Safety Board, 2001, p. 167).

Therefore, the trigger, in this case, was the crew’s failure to make the appropriate determination to avoid landing under dangerous climate. Initially, the climate was favorable, and arguably, the flight crew had all the explanations to believe that they may get to the runway earlier than the thunderstorm. However, the thunderstorm escalated quickly, and at this level, the flight crew ought to have modified their plan of action. Unfortunately, the crew did not make this critical decision, which led to the accident.

The second human factor failure is a skill-based mostly error, which additionally falls beneath unsafe acts. Investigations revealed that the spoilers didn’t deploy mechanically as a result of the “reverted rubber hydroplaning didn’t occur in the course of the accident airplane’s touchdown rollout as the spoiler deal with was not armed by both pilot before touchdown” (National Transportation Safety Board, 2001, p. 167). This aspect reveals a lack of requisite skills to deal with such a state of affairs.

Conventionally, spoilers play a crucial position in landing, and they should deploy prematurely for secure landing (Collins, 2013). Therefore, the trigger, in this case, was the pilots’ inability to spread the spoilers. The impact of this shortcoming was the resultant runway overrun of the plane.

The report concludes, “The lack of spoiler deployment was the only most essential issue within the flight crew’s lack of ability to stop the accident airplane throughout the out there runway size” (National Transportation Safety Board, 2001, p. 168). If the crew had the requisite abilities, they might have surmounted the rough weather problem to land the aircraft safely.

The decision error to land underneath dangerous weather most likely created panic, which unveiled the flight crew’s lack of abilities to deal with such a scenario. Therefore, the chain began with poor determination making, which led to improper handling of the plane during landing, thus ultimately inflicting an accident.


Even though air transport is the safest mode of transport within the 21st Century, plane accidents occur at instances. The American Airlines Flight 1420 runway overrun throughout landing happened as a result of two main human factor failures.

The two factors fall beneath stage 1 of the HFACS, viz. determination errors, and talent-based mostly errors, which are categorized under the errors section. The flight crew should have modified their strategy after realizing that the thunderstorm had escalated sooner than anticipated. In addition, the crew should have followed the set touchdown protocols.


Collins, M. (2013). Intentional Safety: A Reflection on Unsafe Flight. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris LLC.

National Transportation Safety Board. (2001). Runway Overrun throughout Landing, American Airlines Flight 1420, McDonnell Douglas MD-eighty two, N215AA, Little Rock, Arkansas, June 1, 1999: Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR-01/02. Washington, DC: NTSB.

Wiegmann, D., & Shappell, S. (2003). A Human Error Approach to Aviation Accident Analysis: The Human Factors Analysis and Classification System. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.





Type Research Paper Pages 2 Words 615 Subjects
Tech & Engineering

Accidents & Protection
Language 🇺🇸 English

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