Great title - shame about the cover. Indeed, the content is about as horrible as the prospect of a pilot with no clothes on. However, this is no crew-hotel kiss and tell story, it's about accidents. Airliner disasters have proved a profitable publishing topic over the years and David Beaty pulls no punches with both cockpit crew and management in exposing thinking patterns behind a number of well-known airliner crashes. For example, airlines become extremely agitated at the mere suggestion that pilots enjoy a drink or three, yet the American pilot of a Japanese Airlines cargo boarded his DC-8 blind drunk and predictably ended up in a mass of flames and wreckage not far from his takeoff point. In a true spirit of flightdeck denial, his colleagues who were at the bar at the same time said they hadn't seen him drink a thing. However, witnesses not known to him personally spoke otherwise. The entire crew were wiped out. David Beaty manages to avoid the mundane implications ! of Cockpit Resource Management cliché and has produced a great read that will entertain both ATP's and PPL's. Excellent.
I was excited to read this book because I had at last found someone who was able to identify and discuss behavioural phenomena that I had noticed about myself while engaged in stressful outdoor activities: i.e. diving, flying or skydiving. I used to think it was only me and was not even aware of, for example, the word "laterality" until I read Beaty's book. I think his analysis of air accidents has wider applications in any field of human endeavour. By reflecting and becoming more aware of how we respond under stress we can achieve more through scientific analysis. One thing I found puzzling is why Beaty made no reference in the bibliography or text to another well-known book on the subject. I refer to Pilot Error, edited by the late Ronald Hurst. Was it because Beaty objects to the term "pilot error", or was it because Hurst does not refer to Beaty's work in his book? Is there some kind of professional rivalry involved or does Beaty refuse to acknowledge Hurst's contribution because he was not a pilot? There's something going on there and I'm curious to know what it is.
This book has a lot of good things going for it. It is written in a precise but also entertaining and rich language, so reading is very informative but not as tiring as it could be. The author reviews different aspects of 'human error' (in contrast to 'pilot error') and gives short stories of about 100 real crashes as examples of all kinds of human mistakes in the cockpit. All the 'classic' crashes are reviewed again, but also many I didn't read about until now. Where necessary or usefull examples include cases in other industries as well. So the book gives a good overview of different fail mechanisms in humans. What I did not like so much were some Freudian references to the 'mothers womb' or so in places that didn't really call for it. There also were some other rather strange pseudo-psychological guessings. Then, while human mistakes were explained well, there was little about what should be done to reduce their impact. And then there were some rather obvious nationalistic strains.
Der Autor beweist tiefgehende Kenntnis der Materie sowohl im Bereich der Psychologie wie auch im Bereich der Luftfahrt. Das Buch arbeitet die verschiedenenen Ursachen des Versagens des "Faktors Mensch" auch für den Laien verständlich auf. Jeder Pilot sollte dieses Buch gelesen haben, man beginnt, über eigene Fehler nachzudenken.
This is a well-researched book on how human factors affect aviation workers. It's not restricted to pilots. Maintenance workers, management, politicians, manufacturers are all affected by the psychological factors detailed in the book. Many of the concepts occur in everyday life to everyone. There were several times when the author talks about concepts like laterality which happened to me personally, even if I've never been involved in aviation work. Highly recommended.
This book is a must-read! Not only for pilots. It shows the effects humans contribute to air accidents. It is not only concerned with "pilot error" but also describes *how* these errors are caused. All aspects are "illustrated" and explained according to accidents which had happened. A widely spread wiev on psychology and a deep sight in aircraft-disasters history make this book readl worth the money.
A very thought-provoking look at the aviation business, with new perspectives on old ideas. These new insights give much cause for thought, and should not lightly be ignored by anybody working in the aviation business. The main slant of the book is about the human involved, and considers aspects that affect the human (in the cockpit).
Apart from being well-written and showing testimony of a lot of critical research, it is astonishing, how the author's findings can also be applied to the life o a non-pilot, non-crew member, non-aircraft technician. So taking a step back and transferring his thoughts elsewhere brings the additional rewarding reading experience.