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Human Factors

Human Factors

Sample Answer 

Human Factors

Pilot Error that led to the 1977 Tenerife Air crash

The Tenerife air crash between Pan Am aircraft and KLM aircraft resulted from a combination of several factors, with human factors, pilot errors, being the major contribution. First, these two planes were in Tenerife after an unscheduled landing and packed closely while the rest of runway 30 was clouded with planes following other unscheduled flights being diverted there. The runway had poor visibility, and since the taxiways were congested with planes, only back-taxi would allow room for take-off. These two planes had been delayed for two hours and were in a hurry to leave after the airport reopened.

KLM taxis ahead of Pan Am’s 747 and was followed closely on the taxiway after a short while. The poor visibility made Pan Am’s aircraft miss the runway intersection, setting it on a path of collision with the KLM ahead of it on the taxiway (Aviation safety Network, 1997). KLM’s pilot was visibly irritable, as was noted by the air controller, and he erroneously began to take off before he was permitted. Once the Pan Am’s pilot noted that the other Boeing 747 was on take-off while they were still taxiing, he notified the air traffic controller, who tried to communicate with KLM to abort take-off. Unfortunately, the VHFs used at the time only allowed for one-way communication, and there seemed to be interference with the transmission as the microphones were pressed both at the same time. The human factors include; the first officer missing the information that the runway was not clear for take-off, and the Pan Am’s pilot only saw the plane’s lights emerging from the fog at 2000 feet at full speed and had little time to react (Smith, 2017). KLM tried to leapfrog, and its midsection was destroyed by Pan Am’s aircraft, and it exploded into a fire killing all the 248 passengers on board.


Aviation Safety Network. (1997, March 27). Flight safety aviation. Retrieved from

Smith, P. (2017, March 27). The true story behind the deadliest air disaster of all time. Retrieved from The Telegraph:


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6.4 – Web Research Discussion: Human Factors – Tenerife Airport

.To participate in this Web Research Discussion, first watch the video below.

Human Factors

Human Factors

Then address the following:

  • Search the Internet for additional information that supports Learning Objectives 1 and 2 of this Module as they related to the Tenerife aircraft accident.
  • Write a 250-word summary describing how the video/human factors/CRM related to the Tenerife accident.
  • Post the URL of the website(s) you selected along with your summary as an entry in this forum.
  • Comment on the discussion of at least oneof your peers.

Module Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Differentiate among the topics that are typically included in CRM programs.
  2. Describe the evolving concepts of Crew Resource Management.
  3. Illustrate the principle of the Aeronautical Decision Making Model
  4. Explain the aeromedical factors that are essential features in the lives of aviation professionals.

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