Human Factors in

Design for Systems Safety

09 July 2009

A Conference presented by the

Royal Aeronautical Society Human Factors Committee

at the Royal Aeronautical Society, 4 Hamilton Place, London

and co-sponsored by the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors


There have been a number of perplexing accidents in recent years that have posed the question as to what extent the design of the systems have contributed to the outcome. The reason why these questions have been raised is that the analysis of the causes of the accidents have suggested pilot behaviour that was extremely atypical and certainly difficult if not impossible for designers to predict. The two accidents that demonstrate this are the Helios Boeing 737 and the TAM Airbus 320 accidents.

In the Helios accident the crew became hypoxic before correctly identifying the warning sound as referring to a failure in cabin pressurisation rather than takeoff configuration. In the TAM accident the crew failed to select idle thrust on one of the engines on landing and ran off the end of the runway. A possible reason for this was that the Captain, aware that the thrust reverser was unserviceable and used to an auto-throttle system where levers do not move, just left the throttle lever in the Climb (normal flight) detent position.

Aim of Conference

The aim of this conference, which has been developed jointly with the UK Ergonomics Society, is to share industry knowledge and experience from a wide audience on the importance of human factors in design so that systems are safer.


– Exploring any conflict between safer design and design for certification.

– Examining how much is compromise a key issue in design.

– Recognising the need for comprehensive operator input.

– Understanding new regulations in HF certification.

Who Should Attend

The seminar is intended for Design and Development Managers, Operations Directors, Regulators, Systems Developers, Ergonomists, Applied Psychologists and Scientists.

Programme and Presentations

Presentations are available from the Royal Aeronautical Society Conference Office in the form of Proceedings.

Time Presentation Author
0830 Registration, Coffee
0900 Chairman’s Opening Remarks
0910 New regulations in HF Certification Prof. Don Harris (Cranfield University)
0955 Human Factors considerations in the design of next generation weather Radar Systems Ratan Khatwa (Honeywell)
1040 Coffee Break
1100 The role of Human Factors in the acceptance and certification of the Eurofighter Typhoon head equipment assembly Laird Evans (BAe Systems)
1145 TBA Dr. Alan Jacobsen (Boeing Flight Deck Design Group)
1230 Luncheon
1330 Flight crew training for both advanced & basic flight deck systems Airline TBA
1415 Airbus Design Florence Reuzeau (Airbus)
1500 Tea Break
1520 Impact of dynamic mission management is on mission survivability, effectiveness and timeliness Robert Taylor (Dstl Farnborough)
1605 Design issues in recent accidents TBA
1650 Chairman’s Closing Remarks
1700 Close of Proceedings

New regulations in HF Certification