Archives For human factors

Interesting documentary on SBS about the Germanwings tragedy, if you want a deeper insight see my post on the dirty little secret of civilian aviation. By the way, the two person rule only works if both those people are alive.

For those interested, here’s a draft of the ‘Fundamentals of system safety‘ module from a course that I teach on system safety. Of course if you want the full effect, you’ll just have to come along. 🙂

BMW HUD concept (Image source: BMW) Those who cannot remember the past of human factors are doomed to repeat it…

With apologies to the philosopher George Santayana, I’ll make the point that the BMW Head Up Display technology is in fact not the unalloyed blessing premised by BMW in their marketing material.

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The BEA third interim report on the AF 447 accident raises questions

So I’ve read the BEA report from one end to the other and overall it’s a solid and creditable effort. The report will probably disappoint those who are looking for a smoking gun, once again we see a system accident in which the outcome is derived from a complex interaction of system, environment, circumstance and human behavior.

However I do consider that the conclusions, and therefore recommendations, are hasty and incomplete.

This post is part of the Airbus aircraft family and system safety thread.

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One of the areas of human factors in design is the physical layout of a seated workstation or control console to suit the functional reach capabilities of the user population. Should be simple right? Wrong.

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The right attitude


How the design of the Apollo Command Module Attitude Reference Indicator illustrates the importance of cultural cliches or precedents in coordinating human and software behaviour.

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Reflections on design errors in the human machine interface

Having recently bought a new car I was driving home and noticed that the illuminated lighting controls were reflected in the right hand wing mirror. See the picture below for the effect. These sort of reflections are at best annoying, but in the worst case they could mask the lights of a car in the right hand lane and lead to a side swipe during lane changing.

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