This paper describes the unique environment and safety challenges for pilots who fly singleengine air tanker (SEAT) firefighting aircraft, and the highlights from a human factors (HF) analysis of SEAT operations conducted in 2009. The HF analysis used the FAA’s Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) because of its broad examination of HF issues and prior use in aviation. We examined operations, training, and the applicable safety reports, and we interviewed or received anonymous surveys from 71 stakeholders – pilots, supervisors, and managers. The analysis yielded 63 recommendations, many of which were adopted for the 2010 fire season. Despite a busier fire season in 2010 compared with 2009, SEAT safety improved. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) attributes this improvement, in part, to the adopted recommendations.
& Kemper, C.
(2009). Single-Engine Firefighting Air Tanker Human Factors. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 1-6.