A growing body of research has been directed at the human factors of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) flight operations, yet up to now, virtually no attention has been given to the human factors of UAS maintenance. The aim of the current research program was to identify the challenges facing the maintainers of small unmanned aircraft systems. Unlike their counterparts in conventional aviation, UAS maintenance technicians are responsible for the functioning of an entire system, comprising airborne and ground-based components. Challenges include absent or poor maintenance documentation, the need to make frequent decisions about salvaging components, difficulties in troubleshooting software problems, the maintenance of radio control model aircraft components, and the potential unfamiliarity of UAS maintenance personnel with the culture and practices of the aviation industry. A “dirty dozen” list of UAS human factors is proposed.
Herwitz, S. R.,
& Gallaway, G. R.
(2009). Human Factors in the Ground-Support of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 2009 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 20-25.