By David Beaty.
The Human Factor in Aircraft Accidents - Investigations into the causes of aircraft accidents have for decades focused on what happened and who did it - very rarely Why? It is the question Why? that David Beaty has addressed here, fighting the misnomer of pilot error and propounding that the cause should be sought deeper inside human beings who make apparently simple human errors.
Former RAF and airline pilot Beaty (Eagles) investigates planes, pilots, and airline disasters that are commonly categorized under pilot error, a catchall that Beaty finds misleading. Instead, he sees most air accidents as the result of the "collective mistake," where the culprit is rarely one person. Pilots certainly can err, especially when their egos take precedence over standard procedures. But copilots, airline management, air traffic controllers, maintenance crews, aviation designers, and stewardesses can make blunders that lead to horrendous accidents or exacerbate minor ones. Beaty's expert analysis of the events leading up to past catastrophes reveals how seemingly insignificant occurrences can develop into the most terrible outcomes--as evidenced by the 1977 runway collision at Tenerife in the Canary Islands that took 583 lives. Though probably not the book to take on a long flight, this is necessary reading for an informed air-traveling public. Brian McCombie
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: The Crowood Press UK; New edition edition (May 5, 1995)