Reversible Versus Irreversible Errors

Another way of categorising errors is to determine whether they are reversible or irreversible. The former can be recovered from, whereas the latter typically cannot be.

For example, if a pilot miscalculates the fuel he should carry, he may have to divert to a closer airfield, but if he accidentally dumps his fuel, he may not have many options open to him.

A well designed system or procedure should mean that errors made by flight crew are reversible. Thus, if a flight crew member incorrectly selects fuel feed which results in an imbalance, the aircraft systems should generate an appropriate alert.