Human Factor Training: Learning from tragic incidents of the past to minimise human error

What human factor training means for us at Nubis Aviation

Many aviation accidents and failures are a result of human error rather than mechanical breakdown.

The current practice for all organisations requires aviation personnel to be taken off shift for 3-5 days every two years to fulfil human factor regulatory requirements - a significant burden both physically and economically.

Nubis Aviation provides a solution through continuous learning that allows for personnel to remain on shift via the option to train in a number of smaller, monitored and measured online training sessions over the 2-year period that together make up the requirements of the aviation regulations. 

Continuous learning allows for greater productivity through enhanced information retention which inevitably reduces the risk of human error and optimises safety for all. 

Through our developments of an innovative support platform and training program via a unique Learning Management System allows greater adaptation to address specific human factor needs and particular incident training to ensure complete relevancy to organisation culture and employees.

By understanding human behaviour and performance on a continuous basis will help better the environment in which we live and work.

A tragic plane crash from last year has brought further light to the importance and the constant need for human factor training.

Plane crash in Nepal linked to human error – what can we learn from this tragedy?

In March 2018, a plane operated by Bangladeshi airline US-Bangla crashed on landing in Nepal’s Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport killing 51 people.

The cause of the incident varied from the day of the crash and throughout the investigation process. However, all accounts point to human error.

Initial reports link the incident to miscommunication between the pilots and air traffic controllers.

There seemed to be confusion between landing on runway 02 and 20 evidenced by the audio recordings.

This questions human factors such as whether our alphabetical and numerical aviation system is enough for clear communication and the danger or error of labelling runways so similar.

Do we require both verbal and written communications to and from the pilots and air traffic controllers to ensure clarity? Or was this a fault of individual communication?

Further reports highlight the difficulty of navigating through and between the mountains on landing in Kathmandu.

There appeared to be further misunderstandings between whether the pilots were attempting a visual land instead of utilising the instrument landing systems.

It appeared that the female first officer had little flying experience and had never attempted a land in Kathmandu Airport.

Evidently, human error in the cause of the crash somewhat sits in placing underqualified aviation personnel in critical roles.

Human factor training complements all other regulatory standard training – you cannot have one without the other.

The female officer seemed to lack the required aviation training across all requirements.

Later findings by Nepal’s Accident Investigation Commission report disputes between the captain and other members of the airline alongside failure of the crew to follow standard procedures at critical stage of flight.

A stressed and emotional on-board environment added to the loss of situational awareness.

In this case, greater human factor training towards the relationships and attitudes of employees to ensure respect and critical teamwork on and off board was required.

Additionally, the flight’s captain was said to have suffered from mental illness including depression.

However, he had been cleared fit to fly civilian aircrafts.

Further audios uncover the captain’s emotionally unstable conversations in critical phase of flight combined with evidence of smoking cigarettes in the cockpit.

Therefore, human factors go beyond our professional skills, but how we maintain our well-being and the importance of being physically and mentally fit to work in the industry.

How we feel in our mental state can affect our professional work and cost lives.

As tragic and incredibly sad the Nepali crash may be, it helps us to understand the importance of human factors in aviation training.

It a complex and evolving continuous learning course but crucial in ensuring the safety of lives today and in the future.

Adaptable human factor training to suit you or your organisation

The Nepali case looked at specific human factor training that could have helped towards avoiding the crash.

At Nubis, we provide greater focus on tailored human factors training services to suit individual or organisation needs.

Human Factors for Aviation Maintenance Part 145 - 40% off for a limited time (Only $90) enter #WELCOME40 at check out after sign in: click here

Contact us at to find out more.

Training beyond regulatory standards

We feel the success of our continuous human factor training goes hand in hand with developments outside the scope of regulatory training.

That’s why we have created the course ‘Re-Focus Your Mind’.

Based on research from psychology and physiology, our 'Re-Focus Your Mind' online course improves the working environment and culture for aviation personnel including management, flight & cabin crew, ground staff and maintenance management through learnt stress reliever techniques and exercises. 

Find out more about 'Re-Focus Your Mind' here