Chain of events (aeronautics)
In aviation, a chain of events, often called the error chain, is a term referring to the concept that many contributing factors typically lead to an accident, rather than one single event. These contributing actions typically stem from human factor-related mistakes and pilot error, rather than mechanical failure. A study conducted by Boeing found that 55% of airline accidents between 1959 and 2005 were caused by such human related factors, while only 17% of accidents were caused by mechanical issues with the aircraft.
The Tenerife Disaster, the worst accident in aviation history, is a prime example of an accident in which a chain of events and errors can be identified leading up to the crash. Pilot error, communications problems, fog, and airfield congestion (due to a bomb threat and explosion at another airport) all contributed to this catastrophe.
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- Willits, Pat. Guided Flight Discovery: Instrument/Commercial. Mike Abbott, Liz Kailey, and Jim Mowery. Englewood: Jeppesen. pp. 1–31. ISBN 0-88487-274-2. OCLC 145504766. Retrieved August 2007.
- Boeing (May 2006). "Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents Worldwide Operations" (PDF). Aviation Safety Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Retrieved August 2007.
- "The Deadliest Plane Crash (transcript)". NOVA. PBS. October 2006. Retrieved August 2007.
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