Aircraft Maintenance Technology

APR-MAY 2018

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MAINTENANCE ERROR DECISION AID (MEDA) is a structured process for investigating events caused by maintenance technicians and inspectors. As a jointed effort by Boeing maintenance human factors experts and industry in the early 1990s, MEDA was intended to help airlines shift from blaming maintenance personnel for making errors to systematically investigating and understanding why the errors had occurred. MEDA offers an organization means to learn from its mistakes. Since its inception in 1995, MEDA has been adopted by more than 800 organizations around the world. The MEDA process has set the standard worldwide for maintenance event investigation and has been recognized for its significant contribution to aviation safety (e.g., The Sir Frank Whittle Safety Award by the International Federation of Airworthiness). HOW DOES MEDA WORK? MEDA is based on the philosophy that errors and violations result from a series of contributing factors (anything that can affect how the mechanic does his/her job) in maintenance operations, such as misleading or incorrect information, design issues, inadequate communication, time pressure, and so on. Most of them (as high as 90 percent) are under management's direct control. Once they are identified, the organization can take actions to eliminate those contributing factors to prevent similar events from happening again. Visually, this is how the MEDA process works. It's a reactive process. The event occurred, a maintenance organization has to decide the event was caused by mechanic/inspector performance, and then find the mechanic/inspector who did the work or who observed the work being done to interview them. The investigator typically knows what the system failures are before he/she conducts the interview. For example, mechanic did not connect the hose correctly and the system started leaking. There was a bolt missing on the side of the pump. Through the interview, the investigator talks to technicians to get the contributing factors and their ideas for process improvement. Some follow-up interviews may be needed. For example, mechanic said "I went to the store but a part was not available. There is another part that was compatible, so I used it. Later on I found that the part was not compatible." So in this situation, the investigator may want to go to the store to find out how they determine the part compatibility. www.AviationPros.com 7

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