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Technical Paper

Maintenance Descrepency Reporting: Human Factors Issues

One of the most common barriers to the timely disposition of maintenance discrepancies involves communication difficulties between pilots and technicians. These barriers occur at virtually every operational level of the aviation industry from general aviation to airline. Well intentioned yet incomplete or misdirected communication often results not only in frustration, excessive down time, and recurrence of the problem, but also fosters unhealthy (and inaccurate) stereotypical notions about the overall competence of each group. This paper focuses on a two-phase study designed to identify which human factors impede pilot - mechanic communication and which factors promote pilot - mechanic communication. The project was coordinated by a joint faculty - student research team from the Department of Aviation Technology at Purdue University.
Technical Paper

Using Target Performance Indicators as a Training and Evaluation Tool

Most airline maintenance human factors training programs miss the mark when it comes to producing optimal behavioral and procedural changes among participating maintenance professionals. While there are many causes for training outcomes which are less than desired and anticipated, principal among these are the failure of most programs to address the pragmatic learning needs of those technicians as adult learners. Attention to andragogical principles such as clear learning goals, readily apparent relevance and direct applicability of material, immediate feedback, learner directed inquiry and self assessment can contribute greatly to achieving optimal results. A program currently under development at Purdue University utilizes a combination of classroom instruction, group discussion, and learner participation in aviation maintenance scenarios as a method for improving human factors education.