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Aviation Communication

Between Theory and Practice


Edited By Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Karin Maksymski

This book contains a collection of articles dealing with aviation communication from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective. Its publication arises as a result of the conference «Languages and cultures above the clouds – International English between standardization and everyday aviation communication», which took place on the 4th and 5th November 2010 at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germersheim. The book substantiates and prospectively encourages an exchange between pilots, air traffic controllers, (language) trainers and researchers, i.e. an exchange between theory and practice. Not only does it contribute to the discussion of communication problems, but also to the development of efficient solutions concerning communication in Air Traffic Control.


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Helmut Montag/Martina Sahliger: Incident Investigation or “What Happens when Something has Happened?”


113 Helmut Montag Martina Sahliger Incident Investigation or “What Happens when Something has Happened?” 1 Introduction Regarding the most frequently occurring incidents, it is possible to say that in most cases we have to deal with the phenomenon Human Factors. The E DIN IEC 56(Sec)423 defines Human Factors as follows: “Human Factors ist eine Disziplin, die sich mit dem Entwurf von Maschinen, Bedienung und Arbeitsumgebung befaßt […] Unter Praktikern wird jede technische Maßnahme zur Berücksichtigung des Faktors Mensch und jede technische Arbeit mit Bezug zum Faktor Mensch als Human Factors bezeichnet […] Die Benennung ‘Human Factors’ ist austauschbar mit ‘human engineering’,‘technische Maßnahmen zur Berücksichtigung des Faktors Mensch’ und ‘Ergonomie’.” (Gröner 2006: 2) In regard to this definition, we should specify our term and now distinguish between the broad field of Human Factors in general, and the much more spe- cific field of Human Error (cf. Dekker 2006: x). This paper will try to explain the investigator’s work after an unwelcome incident, dealing with Human Error, rather than the more general term Human Factors. 2 Investigating Persons or Investigating Incidents? At first glance, it looks like the blame is being put on those persons involved in the examined incidents when talking about Human Error. Dekker calls it “The Old View of Human Error” (Dekker 2006: xi). In his monograph, he points out that everybody who is commissioned to conduct the investigation has to be very careful when talking about the incident. Dekker emphasizes that...

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