Human errors in Korean A300B4-622R plane crash

6 June 2016

Accident analysis is the process undertaken in order to establish the causes of accidents in order to prevent similar kinds of accidents from occurring in future.  Crew failures and crew resource management have increasingly lead to more crashes than mechanical problems.

In August of 1994 a Korean airbus A300B4-622R overrun the runaway and caught fire after disagreements between the pilot and the co-pilot.  No passenger was hurt as they were all evacuated through the cockpit windows but the air craft was totally written off.  I hereby put down an insight of the accident highlighting the poor CRM and human factors that greatly lead to this accident

Human errors in Korean A300B4-622R plane crash Essay Example

To begin with the communication process was very poor.  The co-pilot doubt about the length of the runaway indicate that there was inadequate briefing on the landing conditions of the destination.  The co-pilot, to add to that, lacks inquiry qualities in that he does not ask about the length of the runaway but instead decides that his decision of it being inadequately long is correct.  Lacks self critique is evident by deciding to go round without involving the pilot which eventually results to the crash.  He pulls back the yoke saying “go round” to the captain who responds by saying “get your hands off …….get off!”.  In addition, there is lack of common decision in the length of the runway, to go round or to proceed landing which leads to the crash that could have otherwise been prevented (Weir, A. 1999,  pp.55-123).

Secondly, team building and maintenance is absent evidenced by the co-pilot deciding to act on a different line compared to the pilot.  The pilot sees no sense to explain or answer the co-pilot’s question as he is asked severally on whether to go round.  Interpersonal relationship between the pilot and the co-pilot are also very poor as the co-pilot is not ready to obey the pilot on the landing of the plane on the runaway.  The follower ship concept is fully absent with the pilot inability to put commands and the other crew following the instructions for safe landing of the plane.

According to Weir (1999), the work load is poorly managed, within the crew in the plane.  To begin with, they do not have enough information on the landing particulars of the runaway.  They have not been either briefed or the whole data is totally unavailable which prompts the co-pilot to conclude that according to him the runaway is insufficient for the air bus to land.  The workload distribution, in addition is not coherent as it is not clear who is supposed to asses the runaway suitability for the plane to land.

Weir (1999) adds that, team coordination is fully lacking with poor decision making by the co-pilot and the pilot regarding the landing of the plane due to the length of the runaway.  The co-pilot solely decided that the runaway will not be sufficient for the air bus to land.  There is poor coordination of the actions which pilot and the co-pilot takes as little information is given by any of the two the his colleague.

The pilot tells the co-pilot to get off his hands while the co-pilot decides  not to land.  The co-pilot defied the pilot’s decision by deciding not to follow his orders and grabbed the throttles, pulled back the yoke ready to go round making the plane to move beyond the runaway and crashing before catching fire.  This shows the clear inability of the co-pilot to make proper estimates of the landing distance required for their plane to land.

Cultural effects are also to blame for the Korean Airbus crash in 1994.  The Korean pilot without explaining to the co-pilot, may have been undermining him culturally as it is seen by him just giving orders and ignoring his questions.  The co-pilot on the other hand wanted prove himself not culturally inferior by being Asian, therefore proceeded to act without regarding his orders.  From the cultural background, the arrogant co-pilot shows disregard his Canadian pilot without clear premises of why actually they should not land.

Conclusion

This plane crash could have simply been avoided if only the human error could have been reduced.  The plane was in good conditions but lack of proper crew resource management system was the key to the crash thereby endangering the large number of people and the high investment alongside threatening the reputation of the country’s airline.  The CRM through re-code events helps in the analysis of the accidents resulting from the crew behavior and the overall human error.  Knowledge of all underlying accident factors is necessary with specific investigation very important in the whole final decisions making.

References

Weir, A. (1999). The Tombstone Imperative: The truth about air safety. London: Simon and Schuster.

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