Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme
The Human Factors

The Human Factors

Posted on 13.04.2023 by Rupert Dent


EditionDUASFB 7


It’s all about the mental and physical capabilities, limitations and actions that relate to how we interface and perform in the environment safely, comfortably and effectively – or not…

Welcome to Drone FEEDBACK Edition 7. This is our first newsletter of 2023 and there are some very instructive Human Factors and Just Culture occurrences in this Edition. Amongst others, they include an Emergency Services Drone colliding with a Cessna 172 aircraft on final approach to an aerodrome, a 28kg Drone filming at the Henley Regatta that ran out of fuel (battery), dropped vertically and narrowly missed passengers sitting on a boat. The common link? Human Factors.

Published just before the Christmas and New Year period, we were delighted to see that in the latest issue of CAP 722, Edition 9.1 (as well as the AMC and GM issued on 7th December), the availability and purpose of CHIRP is set out in legislative material. As many of you will know, we have been anticipating these documents for a while, so it was an excellent year- end bonus to see them in print! We very much hope that this will encourage voluntary reporting of Human Factor and Just Culture occurrences from the world of Drone Operations.

Finally, we wanted to include an end of season element to this issue. Although Winter is receding behind us, there are some common Winter Operations themes that pilots might still want to bear in mind as we transition towards Spring. They include:

    1. The performance of your batteries is likely to reduce as outside air temperatures decline. Older batteries are likely to experience a larger decline in performance.
    2. Even light precipitation may freeze on your propellers. This adds weight and will reduce their aerodynamic performance.
    3. Cold hands and fingers may reduce dexterity. Gloves may do the same!
    4. Snow can confuse those Drones that use sonar sensors as an altitude input. Consider turning them off, so the aircraft is just using a barometric input to calculate its altitude, if you are flying over a layer of snow.
    5. If your Drone usage has reduced during the winter, don’t forget to check for software updates whilst you have an internet connection and before your next flight.

As in previous editions, we would again like to thank those who have taken time to send in a report. Without you, others would have missed out on learning something. We are very grateful to those that have altruistically shared the benefit of their experience.

With Spring ahead of us and a return to warmer weather, less fog and more suitable weather for flying, there is undoubtedly some optimism in the air! Safe flying.

Rupert Dent, Drone/UAS Programme Manager

The Human Factors - CHIRP
The CHIRP Charitable Trust

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