Title: Guidelines for a mobile tool to address human factors issues in aircraft maintenance

Authors: Phillip Tretten; Jörgen Normark

Addresses: Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden ' Division of Industrial Design, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden

Abstract: Highly specialised personnel are dependent on others and diverse systems to perform error-free aircraft maintenance. Research has shown that the maintenance process can be improved to reduce errors and increase usability by using a mobile tool. The goal of this project was to draw on theories of user-centred design to explore what human factors issues for maintenance personnel can be addressed by a mobile tool to make the most out of maintenance planning, execution and follow-up. Military aircraft maintenance personnel at an air force unit were interviewed and observed. The following six problem areas that could be improved by the use of a mobile tool were identified: several information sources must constantly be consulted; information is constantly transferred between different locations and media types; technical documentation can be inconsistent and hard to access; there are strict hierarchies and certifications of personnel; the means of recording and transferring communicative information are insufficient; and there can be a long lag time for updates, error reporting and feedback of actions. A correctly designed mobile tool could solve these problems by combining all the information sources and recording relevant maintenance information.

Keywords: aircraft maintenance; human factors; human error; maintenance; user interface.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2019.104593

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2019 Vol.6 No.3, pp.208 - 226

Received: 28 Dec 2018
Accepted: 17 May 2019

Published online: 21 Jan 2020 *

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