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Judgemental errors in aviation maintenance
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8693-3431
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3827-0295
2019 (English)In: Cognition, Technology & Work, ISSN 1435-5558, E-ISSN 1435-5566Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Aircraft maintenance is a critical success factor in the aviation sector, and incorrect maintenance actions themselves can be the cause of accidents. Judgemental errors are the top causal factors of maintenance-related aviation accidents. This study asks why judgemental errors occur in maintenance. Referring to six aviation accidents, we show how various biases contributed to those accidents. We first filtered aviation accident reports, looking for accidents linked to errors in maintenance judgements. We analysed the investigation reports, as well as the relevant interview transcriptions. Then we set the characteristics of the actions behind the accidents within the context of the literature and the taxonomy of reasons for judgemental biases. Our results demonstrate how various biases, such as theory-induced blindness, optimistic bias, and substitution bias misled maintenance technicians and eventually become the main cause of a catastrophe. We also find these biases are interrelated, with one causing another to develop. We discuss how these judgemental errors could relate to loss of situation awareness, and suggest interventions to mitigate them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Judgemental error, Heuristics, Aviation maintenance, Situation awareness
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Operation and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76544DOI: 10.1007/s10111-019-00609-9ISI: 000492918800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074656365OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76544DiVA, id: diva2:1366308
Funder
Luleå Railway Research Centre (JVTC)Available from: 2019-10-28 Created: 2019-10-28 Last updated: 2019-12-18

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Illankoon, PrasannaTretten, Phillip

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