Aircraft Maintenance Technology

AUG-SEP 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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20 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY FROM THE FAA INCREASING THE HUMAN FACTORS IN MAINTENANCE SAFETY MANAGEMENT Government and industry joined forces in a workshop that identified ways to improve the integration of human factors and safety management systems By Dr. Bill Johnson In August, government and industry joined forces in a workshop that identified ways to improve the integration of human factors and safety management systems. Dr. Bill summarizes the activity and outcomes. The Opportunity Maintenance organizations, large and small, have formalized their safety management with safety management systems (SMS). Many embrace SMS and the benefits because it is a regulation. However, by regulation or not, organizations appreciate that SMS enhances not only the safety benefits but also economic efficiency. Early identification of hazards and addressing risk means that costly errors, worker injury, flight delays, and more, are minimized. Knowing that human error is the most likely cause of negative maintenance events, an SMS must consider human factors. The workshop defined the “Pain Points” related to integration human factors into SMS. The ultimate goal was to recognize current best practices and to write a specification for new tools and processes that help ensure HF-SMS integration. Delegates The Federal Aviation Administration, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation–Transportation Safety Institute, and the Aircraft Electronics Association were the workshop co-sponsors. This mix of organizers ensured the participation of large and small airlines and MROs from the Americas and Europe. Airline maintenance organizations were American, United, and Avianca (Columbia). Maintenance organizations (MROs) included Lufthansa Technik (Germany), Summit Aviation, Flightstar, and Brant Aero (Canada). Boeing and the Thales Group provided a manufacturer’s perspective. Of course, Dr. Bill had a reasonable cast of industry and government human factors practitioners on hand. Everyone attending was active in corporate safety, SMS, and/or human factors. It was an ideal group to fulfill the workshop goal. “Pain Points” The medical doctor often starts a patient interaction by asking your general condition. Then, the doc may continue a diagnosis by asking “Does anything hurt”? Do you have any pain points? Are you too heavy or light weight? Are you exercising and eating properly? Is health near the top of your priority list? How can you improve your health? That way the medical practitioner can react to your current condition, offer proactive advice to continue good health, and even predict the risks in your current life style. That’s what an SMS does. That’s what we did on the first day of the three-day meeting. Many delegates presented the status of their current safety management efforts. Then the group collaborated to list the pain points. Many of the general “pain points” were derived from a group-created listing of common post-maintenance discrepancies. See Tables 1 and 2. Table 1: Example List Common Post-Maintenance Discrepancies Inspection/test not completed Lock-out/tag-out error Loose fittings/lines Paperwork not complete Improper parts installed The Day 1 deliberations showed that many of the post-maintenance discrepancies and pain points were identical, but of different scale, between the airline DR. WILLIAM B. JOHNSON is the FAA Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance Systems. His comments are based on nearly 50 years of combined experience as a pilot/mechanic, an airline engineering and MRO consultant, a professor, and an FAA scientific executive.

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