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Technical Paper

A Suitable Platform for Storm Penetration, Risk Analysis for the SPA-10 Aircraft Modification

The SPA-10 project, sponsored by U.S. National Science Foundation, is to acquire and qualify a replacement for the retired T-28 “storm penetration” aircraft previously used to acquire meteorological data to enable understanding and modelling of mid-continent thunderstorms. The National Science Foundation selected the Fairchild A-10 (bailed from the U.S. Air Force) as the platform to be adapted to perform the storm penetration mission to altitudes of eleven kilometers, and funded Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) as prime contractor. An expert panel conducted a review of the SPA-10 project in 2014 and recommended a risk analysis addressing hazards to the aircraft and pilots, such as icing, hail, turbulence and lightning. This paper presents the results of the risk analysis performed in response to this need, including recommended mitigations.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of an Integrated Display with a Cognitive Guidance Prompt for Improving the Safety of Landing Operations

The paper considers an approach for improvement of the safety of landing operations through the development and implementation of LCD-based display, integrating all necessary information and providing it to a pilot in the most convenient, cognitive and relevant form. This information includes both a set of traditional gauges with all relevant constraints optimized in form, place, and color from a pilots’ standpoint, and the outputs from a perspective system supporting pilot’s control actions, providing continuous cognitive prompt in the view of recommended near-optimal road-in-the-sky (calculated for the current conditions in real time). The paper describes general ideas of a proposed integrated indicator and explains its images and symbols. It also includes the results of this indicator testing on a specialized simulator and in a real flight on board a transport aircraft Antonov-72.
Technical Paper

Maintainer Perceptions of Naval Transport Aircraft Maintenance and Flight-Line Operations

In order to address a Naval Fleet Logistics Support (VR) Wing Commander’s request to proactively uncover safety factors in VR maintenance operations, a prototype climate survey was taken by VR Wing maintainers in 13 squadrons. Nearly 800 surveys were tabulated, and the results were analyzed using a model for high reliability organizations. Overall, the preliminary analysis of the survey data pointed out some potential areas in the VR Wing and each of its aircraft communities for intervention.
Technical Paper

Human Factors Analysis of Naval Transport Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Line Related Incidents

To study maintainer error, the Naval Safety Center’s Human Factors Accident Classification System (HFACS) was adapted for Maintenance Related Mishaps (MRMs). The HFACS Maintenance Extension (ME) successfully profiled the errors present Naval Aviation Class A MRMs. In order to assess its suitability for studying major and minor airline accidents, a post hoc analysis was conducted on 124 Naval Fleet Logistics Support (VR) Wing maintenance related mishap, hazard, and injury reports. Two judges separately coded the 124 VR Wing incidents; a Cohen’s kappa of .78 was achieved, indicating an “excellent” level of agreement. Generally, HFACS-ME was able to profile maintainer errors found in more minor incidents and the factors that contribute to them. Common factors observed include errors attributed to third party maintenance, inadequate supervision, failed communications, skill-based errors, and procedural violations.
Technical Paper

Distributed Maintenance Error Information, Investigation and Intervention

This paper describes a safety information management system designed to capture maintenance factors that contribute to aircraft mishaps. The Human Factors Analysis and Classification System-Maintenance Extension (HFACS-ME), an effective framework for classifying and analyzing maintenance errors that lead to mishaps, incidents, and personal injuries, is the theoretical foundation. An existing desktop mishap application is updated, a prototype web-based model is developed, and an Asynchronous Distributed Learning (ADL) module is conceptualized. These tools facilitate data collection, organization, query, analysis, and the reporting of maintenance errors that contribute to aviation mishaps. Together they represent a complete, robust system for analyzing aircraft maintenance mishap related factors anywhere at anytime.
Journal Article

A Multifaceted Investigation and Intervention into the Process of Flight Clearance for UAS Experimental Flight Test

Unmanned aviation systems (UAS) acquired for US Navy for military roles are developed in the context of NAVAIR's rigorous and well-established policies, procedures and processes employed in the acquisition and development of manned aircraft. A key process is the preparation and approval of interim flight clearances (IFC) prior to flight test to ensure the aircraft is airworthy and thus safe to operate. Due to the perceived risks of UAS experimental flight test, the use of this process has been mandated for all Navy organizations, including use of commercially available UAS in research projects. This policy has proved to be a challenge, impeding and discouraging the use of UAS in research and experimental projects. Currently, the cost of compliance is unaffordable and IFC preparation and approval time are inconsistent with research cycle time expectations.