According to the data collected by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), since 1960 the number of aircraft accidents resulting from a human error has increased from 20% to a staggering 80%. Up to 15% of these accidents are attributed to mechanical or engineering faults. Airlines are updating their fleets and adding new aircraft as rapidly as ever and the number of passengers and flights is on a steep increase. Needless to say, it keeps increasing the already heavy workload for the aviation technical personnel even further and, according to FL Technics Training, will continue to do so in the nearest future. Therefore, highly qualified technical personnel have become an imperative for airlines seeking to avoid human errors negatively affecting the aviation industry.

“Highly qualified specialists are essential for maintaining safe and reliable aviation services. A single faulty part, a missing component or an unperformed necessary check may lead to an irreversible outcome. Not only do technical maintenance errors affect aviation safety but they may also bring considerable financial losses to airlines. A single Boeing 747-400 flight cancellation, for instance, may cost up to USD 140 000 while a delay of the same aircraft flight may knock an airline back by USD 17 000 per hour,” explained the Deputy Head of FL Technics Training Dainius Sakalauskas.

Most of aviation errors occur due to a lack of elementary technical knowledge. For instance, in 2003 an Air Midwest aircraft crashed shortly after the takeoff. Pilots were simply unable to control the pitch of the aircraft. There were two reasons for this. Firstly, the aircraft was overloaded and had an aft centre of gravity that exceeded limits. Secondly, the elevator control system did not have the full range of nose-down travel, due to incorrect rigging that had occurred during a maintenance visit just over 24 hours prior to the accident. As many as a third of all similar technical personnel mistakes can be explained by the lack of technical training.

“In any case, in the world of rapidly developing technologies the aviation industry would be simply incapable of functioning without a considerable input from technical personnel. According to Boeing forecast, in the next twenty years, due to aircraft fleet expansion and increasing passenger flows, the industry will require more than half a million aircraft technical maintenance personnel. The qualification and professional readiness of aircraft mechanics and engineers must meet the requirements of both today’s and tomorrow’s aviation. Therefore, adequate basic training is only the first step towards shaping a highly qualified specialist,” commented D.Sakalauskas.

According to D.Sakalauskas, investments in new technologies and specialized labour force development would play a big role in minimizing errors arising from human factor and ensuring a decreasing number of accidents resulting from faults made by technical personnel.

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