Understanding Human Error Key to Crash Probes

The Associated Press reports in "Experts study human errors in air crashes" that "experts who study airplane accidents say the errors that lead to crashes are similar to the everyday mistakes people make, akin to locking keys in the car or forgetting an item on a grocery list."

Jim Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, believes the recent Comair crash is an example. "There are just so many basic things that appear, on the surface, not to have been properly followed," Hall said. "Almost every safety net that was in place was blown through."

The article reports that to figure out what went wrong, human-factors investigators will want to know the basics, such as what the pilots were talking about in the cockpit, along with when the pilots went to bed, how they slept, what they ate and drank and if they were having difficulties at home.