13 Leave a Trace

“A spokesmanfor the Kennedy family has declined to comment on reports that a federal investigation has concluded that pilot error caused the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr, his wife and his sister-in-law. The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to finish its report on last year’s crash and release it in the next several weeks. Rather than use the words ‘pilot error’, however, the safety board will probably attribute the cause to Kennedy’s becoming ‘spatially disoriented’, which is when a pilot loses track of the plane’s position in the sky.” 1

Underspecified Labels

“Human error” as explanation for accidents has become increasingly unsatisfying. As mentioned earlier, there is always an organizational ...

Get The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.