One cannot but encounter the fact that aviation maintenance is likely to be affected by a variety of human factors; and a peculiar thing consists in that the list of these factors go beyond the limits of fatigue. The focus here lies in arguing that it actually incorporates numerous trials that people are forced to pass through on a daily basis. It is important to highlight the fact that the obstacles affect the individuals in many distinct ways. Considering aviation maintenance professionals, one has to understand that their capabilities are far from being uniform, and, consequently, they tend to respond to similar situations differently. Significantly, each person identifies certain weaknesses and strengths throughout life; and, therefore, there is a high probability that in the sequence of force majeure events, aviation maintenance occurs as the place where serious malfunctions frequently lead to severe consequences.
Contemplating upon aviation maintenance personnel, one should take into consideration the fact that they are usually exposed to pressure while facing numerous challenges. Surely, a hectic schedule that aviation maintenance techs are obliged to regularly cope with cannot but negatively influence the way they perform their primary functions. It becomes apparent that unprecedentedly complex items that maintenance professionals often collide with while doing their job bring in fatigue; likewise, the pilots combat fatigue due to “…long duty days, multiple flight segments, sleep loss, the time of day of the operation.” (Rosekind et al., p. 24) It is important to pinpoint that an overall feeling of tiredness increases the chances of human errors, which automatically emerge to be life threatening. The point is that these very errors may potentially lead to aviation accidents, which means that aircraft maintenance career encompasses many serious rules to follow.
Certainly, one can distinguish many different types of fatigue, which usually imply a combination of physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion. As for physical fatigue, one should know that it has been much associated with excessive tiredness caused predominantly by sleep disorder that, in view of Akerstedt, affects the coordinated activity (2003). Regarding emotional fatigue, it is important to admit that aviation maintenance professionals tend to experience this feeling in case the pressure in the workplace rises dramatically; it is inevitable that a busy schedule, inadequate deadlines, and difficult tasks occur as the key factors contributing to emotional fatigue. The last but not the least, mental fatigue that each person may potentially have consists in facing both physical and emotional tiredness, which can result in extremely unsafe outcomes.
One cannot help but become aware that the number of fatigue-related crashes is large enough to take a raft of measures, which would minimize the chances of human errors within the area of aviation maintenance. It becomes clear that countless errors that maintenance professionals often make lead to many casualties. After numerous surveys on the nature of fatigue, some scientists advance an argument that a feeling of extreme tiredness affects an individual’s cognitive ability. Concerning cognition itself, one has to vividly see that it is closely related to people’s reasoning and overall awareness. In view of many widely-acknowledged scientists, to come to understanding the framework of fatigue, it is important to draw a particular attention to sleep deprivation even though the other aforementioned factors are not less influential. An increased focus on sleep disturbance should not be underestimated from the perspective of a negative effect on a daily functioning in the workplace. Despite the fact that insufficient sleep appears to be an integral part of aviation maintenance career, the problem of fatigue due to the lack of sleep has still to be given serious attention, since hundreds of people’s lives are at stake.
Among the human errors in aviation maintenance due to fatigue, it is important to make mention of British Airways Flight 5390 in 1990. To be precise, a wrongly-installed windscreen could lead to disastrous consequences; and although the official report made an emphasis on many factors that resulted in the given incident, fatigue seemed to play a decisive role here. To put it another way, one has to understand that the aircraft mechanic who was responsible for installing the panel of the windscreen failed to cope with fatigue. Evidently, sleep deprivation influenced the mechanic in a way that he selected inappropriate size bolts. It is also important to take a notice of Air Midwest Flight 5481. In accordance with official reports, it became apparent that the crash took place due to elevator travel damage. To make it certain, maintenance mechanics responsible for checking aircraft’s system were seen to have extremely poor knowledge about aircraft inspection services. In addition, it is important to mention that fatigue could possibly affect their quality of performance as well.
To conclude, fatigue-related accidents occur as a burning issue today, and an increased focus on an appropriate fatigue risk management makes sense. Despite the fact that human errors are not likely to be entirely eradicated, it is high time to elaborate on revolutionary new approaches to designing high-quality aviation maintenance services. Indisputably, the task performance has to respond to 21st century environment and meet the highest standards in terms of safety. To minimize the chances of fatigue-related accidents, one should pay special attention to “…modifying and sustaining new behaviors and attitudes toward fatigue.” Banks et al., 2013, p. 13) There is dire need to offer a flexible work schedules in order to endow aviation maintenance professionals with an opportunity to restore energy and be full of enthusiasm, respectively. At last, since aircraft maintenance professionals “…face a particular risk of fatigue.” (Hobbs et al., 2011, p. 1), senior management has to be aimed at propagating and implementing the rules of how to combat it, making an emphasis on a balanced diet, physical training, and sufficient sleep.