Growing up, I always wanted to become a pilot. However, where I come from, Rwanda, there was no aviation school by the time I went to college. In addition to that, it was more complicated to apply for a US visa to train in piloting than to attend a four-year college. So here I am at Tufts University majoring in Human Factors Engineering instead.
However, I appreciate being introduced to the field of human factors because it has brought so much into perspective that I would not have learned if I had only concentrated on piloting. In fact, in case I chose to pursue my dream of becoming a pilot, I will operate very well as I will be applying the understanding of the human psychology in regards to the functioning of a plane.
In the blog today, I would like to share with you about three applications of human factors and ergonomics in aviation that I was able to read in the article ” Human Factors Contribution to Aviation Safety” that was written by Dumitru and Boşcoianu (2015).
First, human factors are applied in aviation to manage human error. In order to reduce errors and mistakes a pilot may do, aviation human factors engineers are supposed to design the airplanes in a way that will be very clear to the pilot to avoid confusion that may lead to errors hence risking lives of many people.
In addition to that, an airplane that is designed following proper human factors and ergonomics should make it easy and fast for the pilot to process information. For example, in case of emergencies airplanes should have outstanding heuristics in order to instantly take appropriate measures before massive damages.
Finally, human factors in aviation play a big role in avoiding fatigue. Air transport enables traveling very long distances without resting for pilots. Therefore, pilots need to use airplanes that are human-centered designed i.e do not add more unnecessary, tiresome tasks.
This was all for today. I hope you learned a little bit about why human factors and ergonomics are very important in aviation and many other related fields. In the following blogs, I will continue to explore opportunities for having the knowledge about human factors. Stay tuned!