PRESSURE | The Dirty Dozen: Common human error factors in aircraft maintenance mishaps

  • Published
  • By Safety Directorate
  • Headquarters Air Education and Training Command

Pressure is to be expected when working in a dynamic environment, especially in combat. However, when the pressure to meet a deadline interferes with our ability to complete tasks correctly, then it has become too much. It is the old argument of quantity versus quality; and in aviation, we should never knowingly reduce the quality of our work. Pressure can be created by lack of resources, especially time, and from our own inability to cope with a situation. We may come under direct or indirect pressure from the organization/company, from clients and even our colleagues. However, one of the most common sources of pressure is within us. We put pressure on ourselves by taking on more work than we can handle, especially other people’s problems, by trying to save face and by positively promoting superpowers that we do not possess. These poor judgments are often the result of making assumptions about what is expected of us.

Learning assertiveness skills will allow a worker to say “No! Stop!” and communicate concerns with colleagues, customers and the organization. These skills are essential. When deadlines are critical, then extra resources and help should always be obtained to ensure the task is completed to the required level of quality.

The bottom line is that we need to generate airpower at the right time and place to achieve the desired effects in combat. However, a task done poorly may cause mission failure, and an on-time failure is still just that … failure.

Pressure is just one of the aircraft maintenance Dirty Dozen. For the full list, click here:


NOTE: Below is a link to the Airman Safety App (ASAP), which provides Airmen the opportunity to report safety-related risks and close calls using the Airman Safety Action Report. Anyone, anywhere, with almost any device can quickly and easily report safety-related problems involving personnel, equipment or property. Remain anonymous if you wish. Reporting is the first step to obtaining a solution for improvement. Reporting is simple and only takes between 3 and 10 minutes. Click on the link below to start your report. It’s fast and easy!