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Read Board: Latest Aviation Safety News

16 Feb 2018: Signalcharlie.net is moving

Wikispaces has made the difficult decision to shut down, as a result we will move signalcharlie.net (hosted on wikispace) over to a blogspot platform. Once we shutter the wikispace in late September the url signalcharlie.net will point you to signalcharlie.blogspot.com. You may see information there as we move key items over, but at times the new blogspot location will be private. If you have a favorite page or file or article on this wikispace platform, I suggest copying it now. Thank you wikispace for a good 10 year run :)

See you at the new blogspot!

FMI: Signal Charlie blogspot

06 May 2017: Where Did Signal Charlie Go?

Wondering what Signal Charlie has been up too? We moved to Florida in 2011 and are immersed in the world of small boat restoration. Still flying, but the days off work are taken up with boating and restorations.

Our specialty is restoration of the early boats from Alcort, Inc. of Waterbury, CT, which include the
Standard Sailfish, pictured here 195? Winnie

Audrey Winnie 23 May copy.jpg

Super Sailfish, pictured here 195? Zsa Zsa

Zsa Zsa sails.jpg

wooden Sunfish, pictured here 1953 Zip, pre production hull number 13

Audrey Zip Summer 2014.jpg

fiberglass Super Sailfish MKII, pictured here 1963 Sweetness


and fiberglass Sunfish, picture here 1965 Wave.

We even published The Sunfish Owners Manual in 2013.

Our other projects included the wooden Sorg 15 Runabout Willow


O'Day Daysailer Cyane


and Drascombe Devon Lugger Onkahye


and 1974 Devon Lugger Roamer, featured in the Aug 2016 issue of SAIL Magazine.


In 2016 we restored Ms. Winnie Davis' 1880s rowboat Barbashela for the Beauvoir Museum in Biloxi, MS. Click here for her restoration log.



and we will finish construction of our Penobscot 14 St. Jacques in 2017. Click here for the construction log.


We were profiled in Jamestown Distributors' Summer 2017 catalog!


I still do aviation accident investigation and help out on risk management projects, so please contact me if you need assistance at lewis.kent@gmail.com.

For More Information please visit our Small Boat Restoration blog.

Fly Smart and Fair Winds!
Kent and Audrey

13 Apr 2015: 2015 Human Factors & Safety Management Seminar and Expo.

June 24-25 Addison (Dallas), Texas, USA. Now in its 7th Year!

Presented by the International Society of Safety Professionals (ISSP) and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. 2 informative days of keynote speakers, workshops and a 2020 Panel discussion. Presentations by Mr. Bob Sharp, Mr. Collin Henry, Dr. Greg Botz, Dr. Sidney Dekker, Honorable Robert Sumwalt, Dr. Tony Kern, Ms. Brenda Tillman, Mr. Dan McCune and Mr. Gerald Kosbab. Plus a cross-industry panel looks back with 20/20 hindsight at their safety management journey and envisions safety management in the year 2020.

FMI and To Register: http://www.isspros.info

I hope to see you there!
Fly Smart!

27 Sep 2014: FAA Safety Briefing Magazine - FREE!

FAA Safety Briefing Sep 2014.jpg
The September/October 2014 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on the world of student pilots and airmen-in-training. As a continuation to our last student pilot-themed edition in 2012, this issue explores additional tips and resources to help provide a successful path to initial pilot certification, as well as provide a refresher to those more experienced aviators.

FMI: Safety Briefing; Subscribe for email delivery

Fly Smart,


In order to develop risk mitigation strategies and tools, it is important to identify hazards associated with runway overruns. A study of FAA and NTSB data indicates that the following hazards increase the risk of a runway overrun:
runway remaining lights.jpg

• Unstabilized approach;
• High airport elevation or high-density altitude, resulting in increased groundspeed
• Effect of excess airspeed over the runway threshold;
• Airplane landing weight;
• Landing beyond the touchdown point;
• Downhill runway slope;
• Excessive height over the runway threshold;
• Delayed use of deceleration devices;
• Landing with a tailwind; and
• A wet or contaminated runway.

The FAA just updated and reissued Advisory Circular AC 91-79A Mitigating the Risks of a Runway Overrun Upon Landing. This advisory circular (AC) provides ways for pilots and airplane operators to identify, understand, and mitigate risks associated with runway overruns during the landing phase of flight. It also provides operators with detailed information that operators may use to develop company standard operating procedures (SOP) to mitigate those risks.

Editor: There has been a great emphasis placed on runway INCURSIONS, now the focus is growing to include runway EXCURSIONS, which include overruns and veer offs. The majority of hull losses in the transport category are from airplanes going off the runway, whether it be on take off or landing. A major portion of GA incidents and accidents invlove runway excursions (Takeoff and Landing Accidents). Just remember that Force = mass x velocity (squared), so the forces involved with stopping a plane are squared, not doubled, for every extra knot of speed carried on a takeoff or landing roll.

Planning for a good landing involves planning for a good stopping as well :)

FMI: ; FAA AC Website

Stop Smart,

01 Aug 2014: Practical Risk Management by Kent B. Lewis

Just published a 45 page handbook on Practical Rick Management, it is the chapter I wrote for Ashgates Implemeting Safety Management Systems in Aviation. 4 case studies from military and civilian aviation are discussed and the risk management process is detailed, from a strategic and tactical perspective. PRM is available in print or for Kindle:

"Risk management is one of the 4 pillars of a safety management system: Policy, Risk Management, Assurance and Promotion.
Practical risk management is about realizing that tragic mishaps lay in our future, unless the multiple hazards that combine to create risk are identified and controlled. The risk management process is the "engine" that drives a generative safety management system (FAA 2008). As part of this system, hazards are proactively identified by systems experts prior to mishaps in order to create information about risk. "Information is best understood within the context where the individuals make choices, i.e. utilize the information" (Leng, 2009). Armed with this unique perspective, better strategic risk decisions can be made, reducing the need for risky and reactive tactical risk decisions. Through valid risk analysis and assessment, preventative measures are crafted and implemented that eliminate or reduce the severity and frequency of mishaps."

FMI: Practical Risk Management print; Practical Risk Management kindle

Fly Smart,
Audrey and Zip Smile SS 2014.jpg
Sunfish Skipper identifying me as a hazard to her navigation :)

25 Jan 2014: 6th Annual Aviation Human Factors & Safety Management Systems Seminar - 24-25 June 2014 Dallas TX

The International Society of Safety Professionals and Robertson Safety Institute at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University are pleased to host the 6th Annual Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Seminar in Dallas, TX, June 24-25 2014 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. This year there will also be pre and post seminar training offered, and attendees to the Seminar will receive ISSP and ERAU Certificates. D. Smith, Curt Lewis, Dan McCune and Steve Buckner have stepped up to gather another great group of speakers and exhibitors this year, so reserve your seat early!
FMI: 6th Annual HF & SMS Seminar

See you there!

16 Nov 13 NTSB Safety Seminar on Managing Weather Related Risks for Visual Flight

image: NTSB
WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is presenting a seminar highlighting the lessons that have been learned from the NTSB’s investigations of general aviation (GA) accidents involving weather related risks of flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

Historically, about two-thirds of all GA accidents that occur in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) are fatal—a rate much higher than the overall fatality rate for GA accidents. Unfortunately, the circumstances for these accidents are often similar to accidents which have occurred before. This suggests a need for more awareness in the piloting community about the risks involved in VFR into IMC flight.
For this seminar, the NTSB has partnered with other organizations also committed to enhancing GA safety – the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Federal Aviation Administration – who will be participating in this event. Attendees will hear from representatives of these groups on what actions can be taken to reduce the risk of being involved in a VFR into IMC incident or accident.
NTSB Board Member Earl Weener will be a featured presenter, and attendees will have the opportunity to talk with Member Weener, NTSB investigative staff and other presenters.
cessna206.jpgThis seminar is the third in a series of safety seminars focused on General Aviation accidents and designed for pilots, mechanics and other members of the GA community, not a news media event. Pilots participating in the FAA’s WINGS program will receive credit for attendance.
The safety seminar will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the NTSB Training Center, 45065 Riverside Parkway, Ashburn, Virginia 20147. The event is free and open to the public but is limited to 200 attendees; early registration is highly recommended. The doors will open at 8:30 am. A state or federal government issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, is required for entry to the building.
Those interested in attending the seminar can register at: https://www.ntsb.gov/academyregistration/private/registernp.aspx?id=SAFETYSEMINAR-120713&MKey=87574
Related Information:
NTSB Safety Alert: Reduced Visual References Require Vigilance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2b1R00PLMIs

NTSB Safety Study: Risk Factors Associated with Weather-Related General Aviation Accidents: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SS0501.pdf

Editor: There are still over 400 fatalities each year in GA, this seminar is a great step towards reducing that number.

Fly Smart,


And as Herb says:

1) Use a checklist

2) Look outside

3) Never fly hard IMC in a single engine airplane

22 Jul 13 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar July 23-24, Dallas Texas, Frontiers Of Flight Museum

Our out of town guests are arriving and the Museum is ready. There have been several new exhibits added since our last meeting, including a complete Southwest Airlines 737, "The Spirit of Kitty Hawk" We still have a few seats left if you are able to attend, so come on out. See you there!
FMI: Seminar 2013

Fly Smart

01 Jul 13 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar July 23-24, Dallas Texas, Frontiers Of Flight Museum

Zip and Audrey Clouds.jpgOur fifth annual interactive seminar to discuss research issues, academic challenges, and system advances for human factors and safety management systems in the real-world of operations. The goal is to meet and share information cutting across operational domains: Part 91, 121, 135, 141, 142, 147, fixed-wing and rotorcraft, airports, ATC, dispatch and maintenance. 16 phenomenal speakers will discuss operational learning lessons and research progress. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns and needs for human factors tools and safety system solutions, and also will receive Wings credit and/or 16 hours of continuing professional education. Come join us for a great two day seminar in Dallas this Summer!
FMI: Seminar 2013

Hope to see you there,

15 May 13 Mark Your Calendar, Saturday, June 8: Southern Region Helicopter Safety Summit; HeliWorks, Pensacola Airport (PNS)

SAR_Hoist.jpgAttend this exclusive summit on Jun 8 at Heliworks Pensacola and increase the level of safety in your helicopter operations! Share best practices and learn strategies for mitigating risk. Join HAI, IHST and the FAASTeam in driving DOWN the accident rate! Be part of the solution and reduce incidents now!

FMI: FAASTeam Event Details,
Seminar Presentations
Fly Smart and see you there!

29 Mar 13 Bell HELIPROPS Newsletter Published

Bell_Helicopter.jpgBell Helicopter, Textron Inc. safety publication, Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program or HELIPROPS, designed for helicopter pilots is available electronically online. Bell’s newsletter Human AD Airworthiness for Humans is published in English and Spanish and is distributed to readers in approximately 123 countries. A popular feature of the newsletter are articles from helicopter pilot’s own experiences flying in “unusual situations;” all for the purpose of exchanging safety information, best practices, etc, pilot to pilot. The web site, www.heliprops.com is a free resource for pilots, mechanics, owners - operators, students and enthusiasts. From the web site readers are able to download the Human AD newsletter, HELIPROPS Safety Posters and the “History of Helicopter Safety,” authored by Helicopter Safety Consultant, Roy Fox. The FAAST program is committed to the reduction of helicopter accidents and encourages FAAST members as well as other airmen to review this valuable source of safety information.
The latest Volume 23 No. 2" issues of the HELIPROPS newsletter is now available at: HELIPROPS

Fly Smart,

29 Mar 13 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Photo Library

The NOAA Photo Library has been built so as to capture the work, observations, and studies that are carried on by the scientists, engineers, commissioned officers, and administrative personnel that make up this complex and scientifically diverse agency.

Check out some great pics: NOAA Photo Library

Fly Smart,


...and if you see something like this microburst over the runway, delay your takeoff or landing, consider holding or a divert...

22 Feb 13 Student Pilot Who Hit SUV Earns His Ticket

Image: WFAA TV
From AOPA Flight Training: "On final approach to landing at Northwest Regional Airport in Texas, Will Davis felt a thud, but he didn’t think he had hit anything substantial. “The plane did not try to veer off course until the wheels hit the ground,” he recalled. “Once I landed, the plane was out of control. It skidded for a while down the runway and eventually off the side of the runway in a grassy area.” After he got out of the Cessna 172 he learned he had collided with an SUV driving on a road near the runway. Neither saw the other coming. The incident threatened to end Davis’s dream to become a pilot—this was his first solo cross-country. Davis talks to AOPA about the November 2012 accident, the lessons learned, and his private pilot checkride this month. Read More...Flight Training.jpg

Editor: Flight Students can sign up for 6 free issues of AOPA's great Flight Training magazine. Sign up here
Fly Smart,

12 Feb 13 "Pieces of history" still soar at Opa-locka airport

Florida Air Transport.jpg
Taimy Alvarez, SunSentinel / February 3, 2013
From Ken Kays's blog: "It's where old planes come to roost. Opa-locka Executive Airport is home to about a dozen large propeller planes, such as Douglas DC-3s and Convair 340s — planes that originally flew for the airlines or the military in the 1940s and 1950s. Although aviation enthusiasts consider them classics, suitable for museums, these "freight dogs" and "sky trucks" still work for a living, flying cargo or spraying dispersants over oil spills.
"Because it's a piece of history, it's slow and noisy," said Keith Kearns, a pilot for Florida Air Cargo, referring to the 1940 DC-3 he flies almost daily to the islands. "It's like flying a truck with no power steering."
Opa-locka Executive is home to a handful of companies that operate the large propeller aircraft — planes rarely seen at other South Florida airports. Also scattered across Opa-locka's ramps are numerous retired jetliners, such as Boeing 727s and DC-10s, waiting to be scrapped.

FMI: Ken Kaye Sun Sentinel

Editor: I love stories about old planes and the people who keep them flying. Come to our 2013 seminar at Frontiers Of Flight Museum (Dallas) in July and meet Chuckie Hospers, owner of the Vintage Flying Museum at Meacham Field (Ft Worth, TX). She is a great supporter of the Wings program and hosts a monthly seminar at her Museum. And while you are in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex, visit the Cavanaugh Flight Museum and the C. R. Smith Museum.


17 Jan 13 FAA Safety Alert For Operators: Manual Flight Operations

IMG_1306.JPGBackground: A recent analysis of flight operations data (including normal flight operations, incidents, and accidents) identified an increase in manual handling errors. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) believes maintaining and improving the knowledge and skills for manual flight operations is necessary for safe flight operations.
Discussion: Modern aircraft are commonly operated using autoflight systems (e.g., autopilot or autothrottle/autothrust). Unfortunately, continuous use of those systems does not reinforce a pilot’s knowledge and skills in manual flight operations. Autoflight systems are useful tools for pilots and have improved safety and workload management, and thus enabled more precise operations. However, continuous use of autoflight systems could lead to degradation of the pilot’s ability to quickly recover the aircraft from an undesired state.
Operators are encouraged to take an integrated approach by incorporating emphasis of manual flight operations into both line operations and training (initial/upgrade and recurrent). Operational policies should be developed or reviewed to ensure there are appropriate opportunities for pilots to exercise manual flying skills, such as in non-RVSM airspace and during low workload conditions. In addition, policies should be developed or reviewed to ensure that pilots understand when to use the automated systems, such as during high workload conditions or airspace procedures that require use of autopilot for precise operations. Augmented crew operations may also limit the ability of some pilots to obtain practice in manual flight operations. Airline operational policies should ensure that all pilots have the appropriate opportunities to exercise the aforementioned knowledge and skills in flight operations.


Fly Smart,

16 Nov 12 NTSB Most Wanted List: Improve General Aviation Safety

NTSB_logoFrom the NTSB:

"What is the issue?

While commercial aviation continues to have a strong safety record of 2 years without a fatal accident, the NTSB continues to investigate about 1,500 accidents each year in general aviation. In many cases, pilots did not have the adequate knowledge, skills, or recurrent training to fly safely, particularly in questionable weather conditions. In addition, the more sophisticated "glass" cockpit displays present a new layer of complications for general aviation pilots. And not only are pilots dying due to human error and inadequate training, but also they are frequently transporting their families who suffer the same tragic fate.

cessna206.jpgWhat can be done . . .

In our general aviation accident investigations, the NTSB sees similar accident circumstances time after time. Adequate education and training and screening for risky behavior are critical to improving general aviation safety. For example, guidance materials should include information on the use of Internet, satellite, and other data sources for obtaining weather information. Training materials should include elements on electronic primary flight displays, and pilots should have access to flight simulators that provide equipment-specific electronic avionics displays. Knowledge tests and flight reviews should test for awareness of weather, use of instruments, and use of "glass" cockpits. And there should be a mechanism for identifying at-risk pilots and addressing risks so that both the pilot and passengers can safely fly.
Human error in general aviation accidents is not solely a pilot problem. Aircraft maintenance workers should also be required to undergo recurrent training to keep them up to date with the best practices for inspecting and maintaining electrical systems, circuit breakers, and aged wiring.


General aviation has the highest aviation accident rate within civil aviation. The rate is 6 times higher than for small commuter operators and 40 times higher than for transport category operations. Although the overall general aviation accident rate has remained relatively steady at an average of 6.8 per 100,000 flight hours, the components of that figure have changed dramatically over the last 10 years. In particular, personal flying accident rates have increased 20 percent, while the fatal accident rate has increased 25 percent over the same 10-year period. The NTSB sees this statistic play out frequently, having investigated an average of 1,500 general aviation accidents each year, in which more than 400 pilots and passengers are killed annually."

FMI: NTSB Improve GA Safety, AOPA Air Safety Institute

Editor: GA safety can be improved through human factors education and training, and adoption of a a systematic approach to operational safety. Starter subjects can be the Special Emphasis Items of the Practical Test Standards (PTS). More information needs to be shared, taught and tested for these items and added to FAA publications, or this wikispace :). This education should start day one for new pilots and continuing education developed to supplement training for current pilots. All Pilots in Command should operate with a professional attitude.

Knowledge is power, and we know Power + Attitude = Performance.

Fly Smart,

31 Oct 12 Helicopter Emergency Services (HEMS) Survey

Anonymous survey examines the opinions and associations if any, of air medical rotor- and fixed-wing pilots with regard to their organization's safety culture, the support of safety by management, and use of technology to enhance operational safety.

Link to survey is posted on the National Emergency Medical Service Pilot Association (NEMSPA) website http://www.nemspa.org/ or use direct link to survey is: http://www.hostedsurvey.com/takesurvey.asp?c=NCUHEMS2012.

Will share results with HEMS community. If you have any questions, please email tnbuck1@msn.com or call 817-939-6496

Fly Safe..!

15 Sep 12 RAS Conference: Building Fatigue Management Into SMS

Royal_Aeronautical_Society.jpgThis conference is designed to provide information and guidance on the role of Human Factors as part of a Safety Management System, focusing on Fatigue Management System tools (FRMS). This reflects increasing industry concern and regulatory activity, particularly FTL provisions in OPS 0.55 which state that operators must establish a fatigue risk strategy as part of their SMS.
Capt. Daniel Maurino, whose internationally recognised work at ICAO included more than ten years defining the authoritative ICAO SMS model, will introduce the SMS concept and explain its relationship to HF and FRMS. Other speakers will discuss specific fatigue issues and risk in scheduled operations, military and GA sections, and examine specific FRMS applications.

Who Should Attend: The conference will be useful for anyone involved in SMS and FRMS implementation or having a specific interest in Fatigue in safety-critical environments, including: Flight Ops, Safety Managers, Risk Assessors, CRMI/Es, HF Researchers (Applied Psychology, Ergonomics), Safety-critical industries and professions (health care, police, power, rail) concerned about fatigue and related issues

Sponsorship: The Flight Ops and Training committee are grateful the support provided by Virgin Atlantic Airlines and the FRMS Group.

FMI: Royal Aeronautical Society

Fly Smart (and get some sleep before you go),

14 Sep 12 Aviation Medical Examiner's (AME) Guide

cessna206.jpgHeading to see the Doc? Need some information to educate yourself and reduce the number of visits? The FAA has an online Guide that provides pertinent information and guidance needed to perform the duties and responsibilities of an Aviation Medical Examiner.

FMI: AME Guide

Thanks to my Reddoch Williams, M.D., for telling us about this valuable resource that saves us time, money and adds years to our life!

Fly Smart,

13 Sep 12 Aviation Human Factors and SMS Seminar, September 13-14, Pensacola FL

IMG_0998.JPGOur 4th Annual Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar kicks off today at the Pensacola International Airport. The presentations will be held in the main terminal conference room, which is on the second floor by the Airport Administrative Offices. Registration starts at 8 and there will be coffee and tea in the morning.

photo.JPG16 speakers are ready to give updates on programs and research in their respective areas of expertise. The seminar is free and there a still a few seats open. Come on out and enjoy an informative and fun day at the airport. We have a great group gathering and an abundance of information to share.

FMI: Seminar 2012

See you there!

07 Sep 12 New Issue of FAA Safety Briefing

arrow.jpeThe Sep/Oct 2012 issue of FAA Safety Briefing explores the critical role of the aviation educator. Articles focus on flight instructor requirements and best practices as well as the many tools and educational resources that can help sharpen teaching skills.

The link to the online edition is: http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2012/media/SepOct2012.pdf

FAA Safety Briefing is the safety policy voice for the non-commercial general aviation community. The magazine's objective is to improve safety by:
· making the community aware of FAA resources
· helping readers understand safety and regulatory issues, and
· encouraging continued training

Read up and Fly Smart,

26 Jul 12 National Naval Aviation Museum Online Database

SAR_Hoist.jpgEver wondered what all was in the National Naval Aviation Museum? You can search the list of cataloged items on the aviation collections' database, found by visiting the NNAM's website, scrolling over Explore/Exhibits and Collections and clicking on Search the online database. There are options for a basic search, advanced search and detailed search.
New items are added to the database every day.

T-34_CCBayThe research staff of the Emil Buehler library can also conduct limited research for patrons not able to visit the facility in person. So that researchers may better respond to queries, requests should be submitted in writing via electronic or standard mail or using facsimile. The library is able to provide photocopies, including reproduction of manuals and blueprints, photographic prints, digital images, and audio CD-ROMS, and DVDs. Written cost estimates for reproduction are provided to patrons on a case-by-case basis.

uh-1n-okinawa.jpgEmil Buehler Naval Aviation Library
National Naval Aviation Museum
1750 Radford Blvd., Suite C
Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida 32508
Phone: (850) 452-3604 , extension 3122
Email: ebuehler.navalaviation@mchsi.com

FMI: NNAM Online Database, Emil Buehler Library

Sea_Ranger.jpgFly Smart, and Semper Fi,
Winged Aug 14, 1987

25 Jul 12 Subscribe to Curt Lewis' Flight Safety Information Newsletter

Flight Safety Information Newsletter & Journals - is a free service of Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC and is provided to over 30,000 subscribers worldwide. Flight Safety Information (www.fsinfo.org) provides a free daily electronic newsletter on current topics concerning flight safety from around the world. The newsletter consists of article summaries from newspapers, websites, and other industry sources containing information on the latest accidents, incidents, recommendations, and industry information. Flight Safety Information Journal also produces periodical journals with a focus on current trends, technologies, and elements of safety. Follow the link in the top center of www.curt-lewis.com website or follow this direct link: http://tinyurl.com/7ae7mas

to subscribe to the daily newsletter.

Fly Smart,

19 Jul 12 FAA Runway Safety Webpage Update

Runway_Incursion.pngThe FAA has a new webpage for runway safety. There is a lot of great information there, links to animations and the 2012-2014 Runway Safety Plan. You can also link to airport diagrams and an new "Hot Spots" list.
Hot Spots - A hot spot is defined as a location on an airport movement area with a history of potential risk of collision or runway incursion, and where heightened attention by pilots and drivers is necessary. By identifying hot spots, it is easier for users of an airport to plan the safest possible path of movement in and around that airport. Planning is a crucial safety activity for airport users — both pilots and air traffic controllers alike. By making sure that aircraft surface movements are planned and properly coordinated with air traffic control, pilots add another layer of safety to their flight preparations. Proper planning helps avoid confusion by eliminating last-minute questions and building familiarity with known problem areas.

FMI: FAA Runway Safety

Fly (and taxi) Smart,
PS: The Runway Safety Office recently received the DOT Secretary's Safety Award. Great job!!

17 Jul 12 International Helicopter Safety Team: Top 10 Ways You Can Prevent Helicopter Accidents

external image general.gifCHICAGO - The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), a worldwide organization leading a multi-year effort to reduce the civil helicopter accident rate, has developed 10 key recommendations aimed at reducing accidents and injuries. These proposals can help owners, pilots, instructors, mechanics, and all members of the helicopter community.
  1. Install cockpit recording devices.
  2. Improve Autorotation Training.
  3. Add Advanced Maneuvers to Simulator Training.
  4. Emphasize Critical Issues Awareness in Training.
  5. Enhance Aircraft Performance & Limitations Training.
  6. Strengthen Emergency Procedures Training.
  7. Implement a Personal Risk Management Program.
  8. Establish a Mission Specific Risk Management Program.
  9. Follow and Confirm Compliance of ICA Procedures.
  10. Implement a Strong Quality Assurance Maintenance Program.



Editor: The IHST does great work and has a lot of free information on human factors and SMS. Check them out!
Fly Smart,

16 Jul 12 Latest NASA ASRS e-Callback Published

NASA_ASRS.jpgASRS’s award winning publication CALLBACK is a monthly safety newsletter, which includes de-identified ASRS report excerpts with supporting commentary in a popular “lessons learned” format. In addition, CALLBACK may contain features on ASRS research studies and related aviation safety information. Editorial use and reproduction of CALLBACK articles is encouraged. We would appreciate any appropriate attribution of this information. ASRS thanks the aviation community for its interest in and support of CALLBACK.

July Callback

Subscribe to CALLBACK for FREE!
Subscribe to CALLBACK for FREE!

Forward to a Friend
Forward to a Friend

Contact the Editor
Contact the Editor

Fly Smart.

15 Jul 12 FAA Moves to Address Pilot Training on Stalls, Surprises

Air-France-447-rudder.jpgFrom USA Today 12 Jul 12: "The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday a rule under development will require pilots to get training to react better to stalls and surprises, following a recent report detailing those problems with an Air France crash. Michael Huerta, FAA's acting administrator, said after lengthy development that the rule would be completed in 2013. But he said airlines can begin updating their simulator training now so that pilots become more familiar with recovering from stalls. "We want to give pilots more and better training on how to recognize and recover from stalls and aircraft upsets," Huerta told a conference of the Air Line Pilots Association.
The pace of improving pilot training has frustrated relatives of the 50 people killed in the Colgan Air in February 2009, the last commercial fatalities in the United States. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed the Buffalo crash on pilots overreacting to warnings the plane was going too slow and yanking up on the turbo-prop's controls. In a July 5 report, French investigators blamed an Air France crash that killed 228 people in June 2009 on pilots stalling their plane and failing to recover after several pieces of air-speed equipment froze. The plane's engines worked fine as it fell for more than 3 minutes before crashing into the Atlantic.

Colgan_Q400.jpgScott Maurer of Moore, S.C., who has pushed for safety measures since his daughter Lorin died in the Colgan crash, said the Air France report "underscores the dramatic need to better train our pilots to react to emergency situations, and in particular to not be so heavily reliant on the automation in the cockpit."
Huerta told pilots that new training under the rule that is being developed would simulate problems that might happen in actual flight, rather than in a highly choreographed scenarios of current training. "We can't lose sight of the importance of training on the core aspects of flying, such as crew management, stall recovery or other events that could occur when there is a change or a loss in automation," Huerta said."

FMI: USA Today, Flight Deck Automation Workshop

Fly Smart,


11 Jul 12 HF & SMS Wings Seminar Pensacola FL Sep 13-14

FAASteam.jpgRegistration is open for the 4th Annual Seminar, to be held in Pensacola FL September 13-14. Please visit the Seminar page for more information on our great line up of speakers and to reserve your seat.

2012 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar.

See you there!

10 Jul 12 Farewell To Dr. Robert Helmreich, A Great Human Factors Pioneer and Safety Advocate.

image: UTHFRP
The following was posted by Steve Predmore on the LinkedIn site: "Friends, We lost one of the great pioneers of applied psychology over the weekend. Dr. Robert Helmreich passed away at his home in Marble Falls, TX. Many of us owe our professional passion and success to "Dr. Bob." Bob was the consummate scientist, teacher, and mentor--patiently and gently guiding all who were honored to work with him toward excellence. Mostly, though, he was our friend. Wherever you are, please say a prayer and raise a glass in thanks."

Editor: Dr. Helmreich left a great legacy and will always be remembered. We owe him a deep debt of gratitude.

06 Jul 12 Latest Edition of Bell Helicopter Safety E-Newsletter HELIPROPS Available Online

UH-1N_FormationThe Bell Helicopter, Textron Inc. safety publication, Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program or HELIPROPS, designed for helicopter pilots, is now available electronically online. Bell’s newsletter Human AD, Airworthiness for Humans, is published in English and Spanish and is distributed to readers in approximately 123 countries. A popular feature of the newsletter are articles from helicopter pilots' own experiences flying in “unusual situations;” all for the purpose of exchanging safety information, best practices, etc., pilot to pilot. The web site, http://www.heliprops.com, is a free resource for pilots, mechanics, owners/operators, students and enthusiasts. From the web site, readers are able to download the Human AD newsletter, HELIPROPS Safety Posters and the “History of Helicopter Safety,” authored by Helicopter Safety Consultant Roy Fox.
FAASteam.jpgThe FAASTeam is committed to the reduction of helicopter accidents and encourages FAASTeam members as well as other airmen to review this valuable source of safety information.
The latest edition, Volume 22, No. 4, of the HELIPROPS newsletter is now available at:

Editor: Thanks to the folks at Bell for your great support of aviation safety!

Fly Smart,

21 Jun 12 New Runway Safety Resource

52F_RI.jpgA New Chapter has been added to the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK) entitled,Runway Incursion Avoidance. This chapter, contained in Appendix 1, provides the information pilots will be tested and checked on in the Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot PTS, effective June 1, 2012, and also in the soon to be released CFI and ATP PTS's, which include a required Runway Incursion Avoidance TASK. The new Appendix, which will be available online soon, can be reviewed by clicking on this link (or cutting and pasting the link into your browser): https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2012/Jun/PHAK_-_Appendix_1.pdf
In light of the fact that General Aviation accounts for 80% of runway incursions, and in respect to pilots accomplishing a 14 CFR section 61.56 Flight Review, it is imperative that the required items listed within the PTS, appropriate to the level of pilot certificate held by the pilot completing a Flight Review, be presented to the pilot. Flight instructors play a key role in this regard!
Further, prior to the use of the appropriate PTS, it is strongly urged that CFIs thoroughly know the content of the new chapter of the PHAK, and also utilize recently revised AC 61.98B, Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check, (which can be reviewed by clicking on this link or cutting and pasting the link into your browser: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2012/Jun/AC_61-98B.pdf) to ensure that the pilot completing a Flight Review is knowledgeable and proficient in what is required today to ensure the safety of flight.

FMI: PHAK, Runway Safety
Fly Smart,

20 Jun 12 NTSB Issues Safety Alert To Pilots On Limitations Of In-Cockpit Weather Radar Displays.

NTSB_logoWASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday issued a Safety Alert to warn pilots using in-cockpit FIS-B and Satellite Weather display systems that the NEXRAD "age indicator" can be misleading. The actual NEXRAD data can be as much as 20 minutes older than the age indication on the display in the cockpit. If misinterpreted, this difference in time can present potentially serious safety hazards to aircraft operating in the vicinity of fast-moving and quickly developing weather systems.

NEXRAD mosaic imagery depicts weather conditions from multiple ground radar sites. The NEXRAD "age-indicator" on the cockpit display indicates the time that the mosaic image was created, not the time of the actual weather conditions. The NEXRAD image is always older than the actual weather conditions.

Tornado_Lightning.jpgThe NTSB has cited two fatal weather-related aircraft accidents in which NEXRAD images were displayed to the pilot that were presented as one-minute old on the age-indicator, but contained information that was up to five to eight minutes behind the real-time conditions.

In addition to raising pilot awareness on this issue, the Safety Alert also reminds pilots of the importance of obtaining a thorough preflight weather briefing.

FMI: Safety Alert

Fly Smart!

14 Jun 12 NASA Ames Flight Cognition Laboratory Hot Topics: Upcoming Research Reports

NASA Ames.gifFrom the NASA Flight Cognition Lab website: "Combining our interests in aviation operations, safety, skilled performance and cognitive psychology, we will from time to time post a “hot topic” of cross-disciplinary interest. This will be a short (1 to 4 pages) discussion of research ideas or operational issues.

Our goal in posting a “hot topic” is to gather perspectives from our broad readership and to foster an ongoing discussion about issues and questions involving cognitive processes in real-world settings such as aviation operations. Hot topics may range from a theory of prospective memory, to practical countermeasures that may help individuals remember to perform deferred tasks, to the ways that concurrent task demands affect crew performance. We hope that the aviation community will find these discussions useful in understanding how cognitive processes affect aviation operations, and we hope that these discussions will help cognitive scientists understand operational issues to which their work might contribute.

We invite your thoughtful feedback and comments on each hot topic when it appears, and we encourage you to submit opinions, anecdotes, personal experiences, and ideas that relate to each topic. The author of each article will compile a summary of the responses received and post it under that article before the next hot topic is presented. At the bottom of each article will be a link that will allow you to email your response."

FMI: NASA Flight Cognition Laboaratory

Editor: Check out the great information on the website. There are presentations that can be downloaded and other resources available FREE of charge. Barbara and Key are pilots as well as and are great supporters of safety initiatives for the aerospace community.
Fly Smart,

01 May 12 Helicopter Pilots Professional Safety Program

image: Bell Helicopter
The Bell Helicopter, Textron Inc. safety publication, Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program or HELIPROPS, designed for helicopter pilots, is now available electronically online. Bell’s newsletter Human AD, Airworthiness for Humans, is published in English and Spanish and is distributed to readers in approximately 122 countries. A popular feature of the newsletter are articles from helicopter pilots' own experiences flying in “unusual situations;” all for the purpose of exchanging safety information, best practices, etc., pilot to pilot. The web site, http://www.heliprops.com, is a free resource for pilots, mechanics, owners/operators, students and enthusiasts. From the web site, readers are able to download the Human AD newsletter, HELIPROPS Safety Posters and the “History of Helicopter Safety,” authored by Helicopter Safety Consultant Roy Fox.
The FAASTeam is committed to the reduction of helicopter accidents and encourages FAASTeam members as well as other airmen to review this valuable source of safety information.
The latest edition, Volume 22, No. 3, of the HELIPROPS newsletter is now available at:

Editor: My good friend John Williams at Bell puts this publication together, he is a tireless safety advocate and great aviator. Check it out!

Fly Smart,

24 Apr 12 Thanks a Million from NASA ASRS

NASA_ASRS.jpgOn March 21, 2012 the Aviation Safety Reporting System processed its one millionth safety incident report. This milestone is dramatic affirmation of the program’s vitality, its broad recognition throughout the entire aviation community and confirmation of the value of the safety alerts, publications and research data that it returns to its stakeholders and the flying public. On behalf of the entire ASRS staff, I would like to extend a special Thank You to everyone who
utilizes and supports the program; your safety contributions have made this accomplishment possible.
Linda Connell,

FMI: NASA ASRS, e-Callback
Editor: Sign up today for the free electronic newsletter, delivered monthly. It will steer you in the right direction :)

Fly Smart,

18 Apr 12 Speakers Set for 2012 Seminar in PensacolaIMG_3810.JPG

Mr Steve Buckner, FAA Safety Team Regional Program Manager, Helicopter EMS Culture Survey
Dr Anthony Ciavarelli, Human Factors Associates High Reliability Organizational Safety Effectiveness Management
Dr. Dan Boedigheimer, Flight Options, Pilot Professionalism
Mr. Dan Cilli, FAA Southern Region Runway Safety Program, Air Traffic Control Perspective
Captain Robert Conway, U.S. Navy School of Aviation Safety, Aviation Safety Commander's Course
Ms. Kathy Fox, Transportation Safety Board Canada, The Relationship between SMS and Good Corporate Governance
Dr Steven R. Hursh, Institutes for Behavior Resources, Aviation Fatigue Risk Management Tools
Mr. Steven Lasday, SMS for a Modern GA Flight Training Organization
Mr Kent Lewis, Signal Charlie, Human Factors in Accident Investigation: Learning Lessons from Colgan 3407
Mr. Dan McCune, Embry Riddle University, Using HFACS in Real Life
Mr. Stephen Powell, Healthcare Team Training, CRM: The Intersection of Change Management and Safety Management in Healthcare
Mr Shawn Pruchnicki, The Ohio State University, Graduate Studies in Human Factors
Ms. Christine Remmo, American Airlines, Employee Safety within a SMS
Mr H. -P. Schuele, FAA Safety Team Representative, Single Pilot CRM and Safety Risk Management
Dr Scott Shappell, HFACS Inc., Human Factors Analysis and Classification System Real World Lessons
Dr. Reddoch Williams, Senior FAA Aviation Medical Examiner, Common Aeromedical Issues Q & A

IMG_0137.JPGRegister today to reserve your seat! Seminar 2012

See you in Pensacola!

Sea_Ranger.jpg29 Mar 12 Aviation Human Factors and SMS Seminar:

Real-World Flight Operations and Research Progress

Thursday September 13 - Friday September 14, 2012

Pensacola, Florida 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days

Planning is underway for the 2012 seminar!

Our fourth annual interactive seminar to discuss research issues, academic challenges, and system advances for human factors and safety management systems in the real-world of operations. The goal is to meet and share information cutting across operational domains: Part 91, 121, 135, 141, 142, 147, fixed-wing and rotorcraft. 16 phenomenal speakers will discuss operational lessons learned and research progress. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns and needs for human factors tools and safety system solutions. Come join us in a great venue for two days of professional networking!

Location: Pensacola, FL
Hotel: Crowne Plaza, room rate &119
Dates: Sep 13-14 (tentative), 8-5 each day
Cost: $250 USD

We expect 16 speakers and have a great venue in the Crowne Plaza, part of the historic L&N train terminal.
The hotel's Llocation in Pensacola, FL is unmatched. Known as the "City of Five Flags", Pensacola was the first city established in the US. Located in the historic downtown district, Crowne Plaza® Pensacola Grand Hotel seamlessly blends our vibrant past with today's modern amenities. Our main lobby entrance is the 1912 L&N Passenger Depot furnished with period antiques. With free Wi-Fi access and a Business Center, you can achieve optimal productivity. Our hotel's location in downtown Pensacola, FL is ideal for your Florida vacation. The Naval Aviation Museum, featuring more than 150 restored aircraft, is a must-see. History buffs won't want to miss touring Historic Pensacola Village and Seville Quarter. And save time for the spectacular white sandy beaches and Florida sun when you're our hotel's guest.

FMI: Seminar 2012

Fly Smart,

05 Mar 12 NTSB Chairman Offers Support for National Sleep Awareness Week

Alarm_ClockNTSB Press Release: For decades, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated accidents and incidents,across all modes of transportation where fatigue was a causal or contributory factor. National Sleep Awareness Week (March 5-9) and the start of daylight savings time on Sunday, reminds transportation operators and the public to focus on fatigue.

IMG_0599.JPG"While alcohol is often associated with impairment, operating a vehicle while fatigued can be just as deadly,"said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "As we move the clocks forward an hour this weekend, transportation operators need to plan for adequate sleep on Sunday night and every other night to safeguard the travelling public." On Saturday, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) released its 2012 Sleep in America poll. For the first time, the NSF asked transportation professionals about their sleep habits. Many admit to struggling with sleep.

IMG_0826.JPGAccording to NSF, nearly one-fourth of pilots and train operators admit that their performance is affected at least once a week by sleepiness. Moreover, one in five pilots acknowledge a serious error, and one in six train operators and truck drivers say that sleepiness has led to a "near miss". "The results of the NSF poll should serve as a literal 'wake-up call'," Hersman said. "Inadequate sleep puts lives at risk - we see this over and over in our accident investigations. Improving the quantity and quality of sleep can improve safety and ultimately save lives."

NTSB_logoManaging human fatigue has been on the NTSB's Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements since the list was first created in 1990. As a result of our accident investigations, the Safety Board has issued nearly 200 fatigue-related recommendations to address diverse areas including: hours of service requirements, scheduling policies, education and training, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, research, and vehicle technologies.


Sleep Smart,

03 Mar 12 Accident Record of Technologically Advanced Aircraft (TAA)

image: k. lewis
From the AOPA TAA Reportt: "As the number of technologically advanced aircraft has increased, reports of accidents involving them have also accumulated. Whether their accident risk differs from that of conventionally equipped airplanes has remained unclear. Now the near-complete transition of new aircraft production from traditional to electronic instruments provides an opportunity to make direct comparisons between the two in longestablished model lines as well as between those aircraft and newer designs that went to glass early in their production histories. With enough accident data, those comparisons can be extended to the analysis of possible causal factors and the role of potentially confounding differences in aircraft design, typical flight conditions, and patterns of use."


Editor: There are many conclusions to be drawn from the report. One is that aircraft handling, the basic stick and rudder skills, are key to preventing takeoff and landing accidents. And the usefulness of tools like TAWS and EFIS depends on the skill and air sense of the user. Knowledge, skills, resources and experience form the foundation that prevents mishaps. For a good read, check out Dr Jame's Reason's book on //Human Error//.

Fly Smart

26 Feb 12 Flight Safety Foundation Unstable Approach Survey

Air_France_358The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is requesting pilot input in a study under way to explore the relationship between unstable approaches and go-arounds. Recent studies have reaffirmed that more than 30 percent of all aviation accidents are runway excursions. Many of these excursions result from unstable approaches. Although some unstable approaches result in go-arounds, for a variety of reasons others continue to land.
To find strategies to reduce the associated runway excursion rate, FSF has launched a project to research and analyze issues associated with unstable approach and go-around decision making. The survey should take approximately 25 minutes and will assist the Flight Safety Foundation in better understanding decision making during unstable approaches at or below stable approach height.
FSF plans to publish the results of the project in several public forums, which you will be able to review in the future. Please understand that no personally identifying information is collected survey respondents are completely anonymous.
FSF Survey

Land Smart!

23 Feb 12 NASA Aviation Safety Program

NASA_AVSP.jpgThe NASA Aviation Safety Program is working on eight technology strategies:
  1. Make every flight the equivalent of clear-day operations.
  2. Bring intelligent weather decision-making tools, including worldwide real-time moving map displays, to every cockpit
  3. Eliminate severe turbulence as an aviation hazard
  4. Continuously track, diagnose and restore the health of on-board systems, leading to self-healing and "refuse to crash" aircraft
  5. Improve human/machine integration in design, operations and maintenance
  6. Monitor and assess all data from every flight for both known and unknown issues
  7. Increase survivability when accidents do occur
  8. Anticipate and prepare for future issues as the aviation system evolves

Fly Smart with the help of the good folks at NASA!

22 Feb 12 How To Host A World Class Safety Seminar

Young Eagles Vintage Flying Museum
There are some new FAASTeam Reps out there and they may be wondering how to jump in and start sharing safety information. I have facilitated several seminars and was fortunate enough to share my best practices with FAASTeam Program Managers in St Louis. Here is a copy of the brief:

Have fun with your seminars, local EAA Chapters are a wealth of resources. And send me an email if you need help!
Fly Smart,

12 Feb 12 International Helicopter Safety Team Toolkits


From AIN: Last week the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) reported that worldwide rotorcraft accidents are down 30 percent since it began its campaign five years ago to cut the accident rate 80 percent by 2016. Over the last several years, the IHST has made efforts to expand its missions to more countries and developed training materials aimed at small helicopter businesses. Regions where IHST “toolkits” are being distributed have achieved a 20 percent or better accident rate reduction, it said.

UH-1N_FormationFMI: IHST, AIN

Editor: This measured approach to hazard eliminations and mishap reduction is a proven method. IHST is providing a great service to the rotorcraft community, keep up the good work!

Fly Smart,

03 Jan 12 IN FOCUS: Airlines run up a safety debt

US_Airways.jpgFrom Flightglobal's David Learmount: "Over the last eight years the system of counting airline accidents annually has ceased to be a useful predictor of future safety performance, because nothing significant has happened to the numbers. A projection would show more of the same.
That is to ignore, however, stresses that have been building in the industry gradually over the last two or three decades and which, if they are not mitigated, will lead to a world in which airlines from the mature economies will face a return to the accident numbers - if not rates - experienced in the 1970s and 1980s. This would be a shock for the travelling public, because air travel in the developed world has become routine in people's minds, and safety has stopped being a real consideration for those who would purchase an airline ticket.
Meanwhile, all the predictions for future air transport demand are for solid growth. Indeed demand for air travel today, even despite the dire economic situation in the mature Western economies, remains fairly buoyant. This continual expansion has, however, not been accompanied by industry investment in suitable specialist training for skilled personnel, either in terms of quantity or quality, creating the single biggest source of stress the system faces: a shortage of pilots, maintenance engineers and instructors for both specialisations."
Full Article: Flightglobal

Fly Smart,

22 Dec 11 NORAD Santa Tracker is Live!


From NORAD Santa: "For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the Internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide updates on Santa’s journey."

FMI: www.noradsanta.org

Fly Smart and watch out for Santa's wake turbulence...he's a Heavy!
Merry Christmas,

13 Dec 11 Hersman Delivered Kotaite Lecture On The Future Of Aviation Safety

From AeroNews: National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman delivered the 8th Annual Assad Kotaite Lecture at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Hosted by the Montreal Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the annual lecture is a tribute to Dr. Assad Kotaite, former Secretary General of ICAO and President of the Council of ICAO.
Chairman Hersman's talk, "Assuring Safety in Aviation's Second Century," highlighted the past, present, and future of accident investigation and addressed how accident investigation must adapt to play an even more pivotal role in creating civil aviation's safer and stronger future. Citing examples from recent accident investigations, Hersman said that it's clear that future accident investigations will depend far more on data and cooperation than in the past.
"While traditional tin-kicking will never go away, it is increasingly being joined by sophisticated data analysis," Hersman said. "In this era of dynamic growth and greater complexity, data is more important than ever."
Hersman applauded the agreement reached last year at the 37th ICAO Assembly to foster data sharing through the creation of the Global Safety Information Exchange. This information can be vital to investigators as they seek to learn what really happened and determine what can be done to improve safety.
"Data and cooperation is how the aviation community will maintain - and enhance - its strong safety record into the second century of powered flight," Hersman said.
FMI: www.ntsb.gov

Fly Smart,

07 Dec 2011 AeroSafety World Nov 2011

The most recent issue of //AeroSafety World//. Download individual articles and departments available in text only and Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF) format or the entire magazine (PDF only). If you do not have a copy of Adobe Reader, you can download and install a free copy from Adobe.

FMI: Flight Safety Foundation

More free stuff from Flight Safety Foundation!
Fly Smart,

29 Sep 11 T.F. Green Airport In Rhode Island Gets FAA Grant For Runway Improvements

"The FAA has approved an AIP grant for Theodore Francis Green State Airport (KPVD) in Providence, RI. The airport's master plan calls for the lengthening of its main runway, and safety improvements to be made to the crosswind runway.
image: faa
image: faa
Rhode Island Airport Commission president Kevin Dillon told the Providence Journal that he expects the $165 million project to break ground in the spring of 2013. "This is a great day for the airport," he told the paper. Airport officials have pursued the improvements for more than a decade. When completed, the longer main runway will allow aircraft to depart with heavier loads of fuel, passengers, or cargo. It also makes it so that airlines will not have to re-route passengers to other airports because of weather conditions."
FMI: Aero-News Net

Fly Smart,

19 Sep 11 Solar Runway Guard Lights enhance Runway Safety

image: arc
Aviation Renewables is pleased to deliver the Solar Series Runway Guard Light to an airport in the United Kingdom. After proving its operational capability at Southampton Airport, the Solar Series Runway Guard light is now being adopted by other airports in the United Kingdom, as part of their mandate to reduce environmental footprint. Aviation Renewables’ partner, Systems Interface, has been instrumental in the adoption of the technology. The Solar Series Runway Guard Light will increase the safety of runway intersections by providing a 24/7 visible warning that will reduce the risk of runway incursions. The Northern Model has been specifically designed for challenging solar conditions, as are found in the UK and other high-latitude locations. For more information on Aviation Renewables, Solar Series and Systems Interface, please visit www.aviationrenewables.com or http://www.systemsinterfaceltd.com

Taxi Smart!

17 Sep 11 AOPA Runway Safety: Avoid mishaps on the ground

IMG_0217.JPGFrom AOPA: Have you ever made a mistake while taxiing? If so, you’re hardly alone. Getting to and from the runway sounds simple, but there’s plenty that can go wrong, and it’s important to stay alert and understand the rules. How well do you know runway signs and markings? Are you up to speed on the new rules for taxi clearances, or the phraseology that replaced “position and hold”? If not, be sure to take the Air Safety Institute’s revamped Runway Safety online course.
FMI: AOPA Runway Safety
Editor's Note: The quiz is fun and fast and there is a great link at the end that will send your completion information directly to the Wings program! Great job AOPA!

Fly Smart,

16 Sep 11 EAA and NTSB study amateur-built plane crashes

image: Kent Lewis
OSHKOSH — The Experimental Aircraft Association is working with federal safety officials to better understand crashes happening among amateur-built planes. A higher rate of accidents has occurred of late with amateur-built planes compared with factory-built planes. In 2009, an average of 25 amateur-built aircraft crashed for every 100,000 hours flown with seven fatalities, according to an official with the National Transportation Safety Board. That compares with an average of 12 crashes and two fatalities for factory-built planes flown for recreational or personal use. The Oshkosh-headquartered EAA, which is among the nation's largest organization of recreational fliers of both handmade and commercially-built aircraft, has partnered with the NTSB in asking fliers to fill out a 68-question online survey. Participants were asked about their pilot's license, how they learned to fly their amateur-built plane, why they built it, if the plane has been modified and other questions.
"What we're hoping to do is use the survey to understand the population of people who fly these aircraft and also of the aircraft themselves, then be able to compare those statistics to the kinds of people and aircraft that we're seeing in accidents," said Vern Ellingstad, chief technical adviser for investigation and research in the NTSB's Office of Research and Engineering.
About 33,000 amateur-built aircraft are registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Read the entire article: Green Bay Press

Fly Smart,

16 Sep 11 Photo Journal on Runway Safety Area Enhancements

Runway excursions are one of the leading causes of accidents around the globe, and enhanced runway safety areas help mitigate the threat. Here is a photo journal that documents one airports improvements: Lehigh Valley
The Flight Safety Foundation also has great info on runway safety.
FMI: Runway Safety Initiative

Fly Smart,

15 Sep 11 Arcata-Eureka Airport Adds Runway Safety Area (RSA)s

Extra runway length helps small regional airports attract larger jets and more passengers. But options are limited when an airport's runway ends at a cliff that drops 200 feet into the Pacific Ocean. That's the situation officials at Arcata-Eureka Airport in Humboldt County, CA, faced a few years ago. An $8.8 million FAA grant, however, helped remedy the situation by providing funds to relocate landing and departure thresholds on two runways and install an engineered material arresting system (EMAS) to help meet runway safety area (RSA) regulations.
The project, which required the airport to completely shut down for three days and turn off its instrument landing system for five weeks, also included rejuvenating all runway surfaces, relocating an existing taxiway and its associated lighting and signs, then remarking all the runways and taxiways.
Read the entire article at airportimprovement.com

Fly Smart,

01 Sep 11 FAA Updates Flight School Rules

image: Kent Lewis
From AvWeb: The FAA on Wednesday published a final rule with updates to regulations that affect pilot, flight instructor, and flight-school certification. The rule allows pilot applicants to apply concurrently for a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating, and permits flight schools to apply for a combined private pilot certification and instrument rating course. The rule also allows pilot schools to offer internet-based training programs even if they don't have a physical ground-training facility and revises the definition of "complex airplane" to include airplanes with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). The proposed rule would have replaced the 10 hours of complex airplane time required for commercial pilot applicants with 10 hours of advanced instrument training, but that provision has not been adopted in the final rule.
image: Kent Lewis
The FAA published the proposed changes in 2009, and received more than 400 comments. The most significant change from the original proposal relates to the proficiency checks for pilots of experimental turbojet-powered aircraft, taking into account whether or not those pilots fly with passengers. Other aspects of the rule revise the procedures for converting a foreign pilot license to a U.S. pilot certificate. The FAA said it has determined all of these changes are needed to enhance safety, respond to changes in the aviation industry, and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.

FMI: Federal Register

Fly Smart,

30 Aug 11 Pilots and Automation

From Joan Lowy, WASHINGTON (AP) — "Pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.
Some 51 "loss of control" accidents occurred in which planes stalled in flight or got into unusual positions from which pilots were unable to recover, making it the most common type of airline accident, according to the International Air Transport Association.
"We're seeing a new breed of accident with these state-of-the art planes," said Rory Kay, an airline captain and co-chair of a Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee on pilot training. "We're forgetting how to fly."

Sheet and rudder skills training
Opportunities for airline pilots to maintain their flying proficiency by manually flying planes are increasingly limited, the FAA committee recently warned. Airlines and regulators discourage or even prohibit pilots from turning off the autopilot and flying planes themselves, the committee said.
Fatal airline accidents have decreased dramatically in the U.S. over the past decade. However, The Associated Press interviewed pilots, industry officials and aviation safety experts who expressed concern about the implications of decreased opportunities for manual flight, and reviewed more than a dozen loss-of-control accidents around the world. Safety experts say they're seeing cases in which pilots who are suddenly confronted with a loss of computerized flight controls don't appear to know how to respond immediately, or they make errors — sometimes fatally so.

A draft FAA study found pilots sometimes "abdicate too much responsibility to automated systems." Because these systems are so integrated in today's planes, one malfunctioning piece of equipment or a single bad computer instruction can suddenly cascade into a series of other failures, unnerving pilots who have been trained to rely on the equipment. The study examined 46 accidents and major incidents, 734 voluntary reports by pilots and others as well as data from more than 9,000 flights in which a safety official rides in the cockpit to observe pilots in action. It found that in more than 60 percent of accidents, and 30 percent of major incidents, pilots had trouble manually flying the plane or made mistakes with automated flight controls. A typical mistake was not recognizing that either the autopilot or the auto-throttle — which controls power to the engines — had disconnected. Others failed to take the proper steps to recover from a stall in flight or to monitor and maintain airspeed. The airline industry is suffering from "automation addiction," Kay said.
In the most recent fatal airline crash in the U.S., in 2009 near Buffalo, N.Y., the co-pilot of a regional airliner programmed incorrect information into the plane's computers, causing it to slow to an unsafe speed. That triggered a stall warning. The startled captain, who hadn't noticed the plane had slowed too much, responded by repeatedly pulling back on the control yoke, overriding two safety systems, when the correct procedure was to push forward. An investigation later found there were no mechanical or structural problems that would have prevented the plane from flying if the captain had responded correctly. Instead, his actions caused an aerodynamic stall. The plane plummeted to earth, killing all 49 people aboard and one on the ground. Two weeks after the New York accident, a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into a field while trying to land in Amsterdam. Nine people were killed and 120 injured. An investigation found that one of the plane's altimeters, which measures altitude, had fed incorrect information to the plane's computers. That, in turn, caused the auto-throttle to reduce speed to a dangerously slow level so that the plane lost lift and stalled. Dutch investigators described the flight's three pilots' "automation surprise" when they discovered the plane was about to stall. They hadn't been closely monitoring the airspeed.

HPIM4881.JPGLast month, French investigators recommended that all pilots get mandatory training in manual flying and handling a high-altitude stall. The recommendations were in response to the 2009 crash of an Air France jet flying from Brazil to Paris. All 228 people aboard were killed. An investigation found that airspeed sensors fed bad information to the Airbus A330's computers. That caused the autopilot to disengage suddenly and a stall warning to activate. The co-pilot at the controls struggled to save the plane, but because he kept pointing the plane's nose up, he actually caused the stall instead of preventing it, experts said. Despite the bad airspeed information, which lasted for less than a minute, there was nothing to prevent the plane from continuing to fly if the pilot had followed the correct procedure for such circumstances, which is to continue to fly levelly in the same direction at the same speed while trying to determine the nature of the problem, they said. In such cases, the pilots and the technology are failing together, said former US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, whose precision flying is credited with saving all 155 people aboard an Airbus A320 after it lost power in a collision with Canada geese shortly after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport two years ago. "If we only look at the pilots — the human factor — then we are ignoring other important factors," he said. "We have to look at how they work together." The ability of pilots to respond to the unexpected loss or malfunction of automated aircraft systems "is the big issue that we can no longer hide from in aviation," said Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Va. "We've been very slow to recognize the consequence of it and deal with it." The foundation, which is industry supported, promotes aviation safety around the world.

Airlines are also seeing smaller incidents in which pilots waste precious time repeatedly trying to restart the autopilot or fix other automated systems when what they should be doing is "grasping the controls and flying the airplane," said Bob Coffman, another member of the FAA pilot training committee and an airline captain. Paul Railsback, operations director at the Air Transport Association, which represents airlines, said, "We think the best way to handle this is through the policies and training of the airlines to ensure they stipulate that the pilots devote a fair amount of time to manually flying. We want to encourage pilots to do that and not rely 100 percent on the automation. I think many airlines are moving in that direction." In May, the FAA proposed requiring airlines to train pilots on how to recover from a stall, as well as expose them to more realistic problem scenarios.
But other new regulations are going in the opposite direction. Today, pilots are required to use their autopilot when flying at altitudes above 24,000 feet, which is where airliners spend much of their time cruising. The required minimum vertical safety buffer between planes has been reduced from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. That means more planes flying closer together, necessitating the kind of precision flying more reliably produced by automation than human beings.
The same situation is increasingly common closer to the ground. The FAA is moving from an air traffic control system based on radar technology to more precise GPS navigation. Instead of time-consuming, fuel-burning stair-step descents, planes will be able to glide in more steeply for landings with their engines idling. Aircraft will be able to land and take off closer together and more frequently, even in poor weather, because pilots will know the precise location of other aircraft and obstacles on the ground. Fewer planes will be diverted.

image: Kent Lewis
But the new landing procedures require pilots to cede even more control to automation. "Those procedures have to be flown with the autopilot on," Voss said. "You can't afford a sneeze on those procedures." Even when not using the new procedures, airlines direct their pilots to switch on the autopilot about a minute and a half after takeoff when the plane reaches about 1,000 feet, Coffman said. The autopilot generally doesn't come off until about a minute and a half before landing, he said. Pilots still control the plane's flight path. But they are programming computers rather than flying with their hands. Opportunities to fly manually are especially limited at commuter airlines, where pilots may fly with the autopilot off for about 80 seconds out of a typical two-hour flight, Coffman said.
But it is the less experienced first officers starting out at smaller carriers who most need manual flying experience. And, airline training programs are focused on training pilots to fly with the automation, rather than without it. Senior pilots, even if their manual flying skills are rusty, can at least draw on experience flying older generations of less automated planes. Adding to concerns about an overreliance on automation is an expected pilot shortage in the U.S. and many other countries. U.S. airlines used to be able to draw on a pool of former military pilots with extensive manual flying experience. But more pilots now choose to stay in the armed forces, and corporate aviation competes for pilots with airlines, where salaries have dropped.

Changing training programs to include more manual flying won't be enough because pilots spend only a few days a year in training, Voss said. Airlines will have to rethink their operations fundamentally if they're going to give pilots realistic opportunities to keep their flying skills honed, he said.

Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/(hash)!/AP_Joan_Lowy
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FMI: AP, Precise Aircraft Control, Stall and Spin Awareness

Fly Smart, and keep an eye on "George"

14 Aug 11 Maneuvering Flight Tips

Chuckie_Takeoff.jpgFrom the FAA Safety Team: "Nearly one-third of all fatal accidents occur during maneuvering flight, in part because maneuvering at low altitude limits the amount of time a pilot has to recover. Maneuvering flight is basically any type of flying performed close to the ground -- even the traffic pattern is considered maneuvering!"
Read more about Stall and Spin Awareness

Fly Smart,

28 Jul 11 Draft Runway Safety Best Practices for Airport Vehicles=

From Airports Council International - North America:
image: aci-na

1. Acquire and familiarize yourself with current NOTAM prior to entering movement area.
2. Acquire current ATIS (Insert local ATIS frequency & telephone number here) prior to entering movement area.
3. Plan your route of travel to avoid runway crossings. Make maximum use of existing service roads. Know your route prior to initiating contact with ATC.
4. Communicate your vehicle identification, destination and intended route of travel to airport operations or company communication center prior to entering movement area. Confirm you have current ATIS.
5. Read back all hold short and runway crossing instructions issued by ATC using proper phraseology.
6. Cross near runway ends wherever possible.
7. Be aware that an airplane on a runway with landing lights illuminated has been given a takeoff clearance.
gulfair.jpg8. Stop when approaching any runway, open or closed, and visually verify the runway is clear. Look right and left before proceeding.
9. Each vehicle operating on movement area should be equipped with:
a. Radio communications for appropriate ATC and airport operations or company frequencies.
b. Rotating beacon or light bar.
c. Airport diagram.
d. ATC signal light codes.
e. Accident/incident reporting form.
f. This movement area checklist.
10. Maintain your situational awareness at all times. Eliminate unnecessary distractions. Enforce a policy of "No Cell Phone" use for personnel while operating on the airfield.
11. All vehicle lights (high beams, flashers, beacons, and strobes) should be turned on when crossing or operating on runways, taxiways or the AOA.
12. Conduct opposite flow runway inspections. Runway inspections should be conducted toward the flow of aircraft landing and departing as much as possible.

FMI: Airports Council Intl - North America

I came across this "Best Practices" document for vehicles operating on the airport surface areas and it has a lot of good tips. I especially like the one about NOT using cell phones. I also would add that unless there is a specific reason to be parked on the surface of a runway, don't park there. Leave the vehicle off to the side unless SOP directs otherwise, that way we can reduce the chances of runway collisions (see 17 Jun 11 post below).

Drive Smart,

10 Jul 11 Wildlife Hazards at Airports

image: privatefly
Reported in The Sun A flamingo caused havoc at Manchester airport last week when a runway had to be shut down while he was shooed away. Here are the top ten animal airport interruptions from privatefly.com
1. Migrating diamondback turtles caused delays during the rush-hour at JFK International in New York.
image: privatefly

2. Two stowaway frogs grounded an airliner for an hour at Cardiff. It is thought the tree frogs jumped into the aircraft while it was loaded in Cuba for a flight to Britain.
3. Otters caused an 80-minute delay for passengers aboard a flight from Texas. They were supposed to be in cages in the cargo hold but a couple escaped and ran down the gangplank on to the runway.
4. In 2008 a jet was denied landing permission in Florida due to catfish WALKING on the runway. Marooned by high water from a tropical storm, the four fish were joined by two tortoises, a blue indigo snake and an alligator.
5. A swarm of bees affected operations and delayed flights in Manila. Airport workers were stung and the bees prevented controllers from attaching the movable walkways to arriving aircraft.
6. Hares played havoc with the radar systems at the Milan airport in June 2007 and continue to prove a nuisance - also disrupting takeoffs and landings. This has led to a twice-yearly event where volunteers attempt to scare off the animals by blowing whistles and waving their arms.
7. A Qantas airplane missed two scheduled flights in April 2009 when four baby pythons were unaccounted for, following a flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne, Australia. The snakes were being transported in the plane's cargo hold and were thought to be safely packed inside a bag that was secured in a foam box. The plane was fumigated and returned to service, but the snakes were never found.
8. "We're sorry for the delay, but we're having some problems loading the cheetah. We have to do it very carefully". This is what a captain told his passengers in Melbourne in order to explain a 50 minute delay in December 2010.
9. In March 2011, authorities reported a loose coyote on the runway in Atlanta's international airport. It delayed flights for a few minutes until ground crews chased it away.
10. Stray animals are a regular nuisance at airports in India. Within just three months in 2009, 200 dogs were captured and relocated from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The airport - like others across India - is experienced at dealing with such incidents; other regular animal visitors include jackals, snakes, monkeys and birds.

FMI: Privatefly

Editor: Heard an ATIS at Camp Pendleton, CA once, "Coyotes and birds on the runway..." The score ended up coyotes 1, pigeons 0.
Fly Smart,

7 Jul 11 NOTAM Changes

Beginning June 30, you may notice a few new changes with NOTAMS. In an effort to promote global consistency, the FAA is adopting several format changes to make NOTAMS more ICAO-compliant. As the new Federal NOTAM System (FNS) policy is developed, software changes are being made in the U.S. NOTAM System to enable a smoother transition to the FNS.
Among the changes to be expected are: the keyword RAMP will be replaced with APRON; keywords ODP, SID, STAR, CHART, DATA, IAP, VFP, ROUTE, and SPECIAL will be added; NOTAMS relating to SIDs, graphic ODPs, and STARs will be issued as Flight Data Center (FDC) NOTAMS; and components of an ILS in a NOTAM will be distinguished by preceding the component with “ILS” followed by “RWY” and the runway number. For a full list of the changes, see the FAA notice at www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7930.91.pdf. Also, be sure to check out the article “Change is in the Air” from the May/June 2011 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, which takes a closer look at the ongoing efforts to modernize and make NOTAMs easier to use.

Fly Smart,

17 Jun 11 Cargolux 747 Strikes Van During Landing in Luxembourg (Jan 21)

cargolux_b744f_lx-ocv_luxemburg_100121_1.jpgA Cargolux Boeing 747-400 freighter, registration LX-OCV performing flight CV-7933 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to Luxembourg (Luxembourg) with 3 crew, was cleared to land on Luxembourg's runway 24 in low visibility due to fog (RVR 350 meters), when one of the tyres impacted the roof of a van parked on the runway at 12:53L (11:53Z). The airplane landed safely, the driver of the van escaped with just a shock, the van received substantial damage, the airplane suffered damage to the tyre.

Luxembourg's Ministry of Transport reported, that the van had entered the runway to perform maintenance work at the runway ground lighting. Three investigations have been initiated. The Ministry did not tell, whether the van had been cleared to enter the runway.

First preliminary results of the investigations into the incident were released on Saturday (Jan 23rd) stating, that the van had been cleared to enter the runway to perform maintenance work. At that time the Cargolux Boeing had not yet begun its approach.

On Feb 9th Luxembourg's Ministry of Transport initiated disciplinary action against tower controllers following further results of the investigation into the ocurrence. The investigation confirmed an operating irregularity had occured at the tower when the Boeing 747 received landing clearance despite the runway being occupied by the maintenance workers and their van. In addition, the investigation puts into doubt, that the maintenance work was necessary, particularly at a time when low visibility procedures were in effect.

The NTSB reported on Feb 24th, that CATIIIb conditions prevailed at the time of the landing. The van received substantial, the aircraft minor damage. The 3 crew on board of the aircraft and two maintenance workers on the runway remained uninjured. The occurrence has been rated an accident, the NTSB has assigned an Accredited Representative to participate in the investigation by the Luxembourg Administration Des Enquêtes Techniques.

FMI: AvHerald

Editor: One runway safety strategy is to not have vehicles parked on the runway during maintenance, unless they need to be there. If not, park off to the side in case an aircraft does land.

Fly (and Park) Smart,

5 May 11 NASA ASRS Monthly Bulletin Can be Read in Body of EMail Now

The NASA ASRS Bulletin is sent electronically now, and the latest improvement lets you read the newsletter in your email, vs a pdf or html. Sign up at the NASA ASRS website.

The human factors most often cited by reporters or inferred by analysts in ASRS reports are:
1. Confusion2. Distraction3. Communication breakdown4. Fatigue5. Complacency6. Work Overload7. Fixation
The searchable ASRS database, information on Electronic Report submission, previous issues of CALLBACK and additional aviation safety publications and information are all available online at: http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/

Fly Smart with the help of the NASA ASRS team!

23 Apr 11 NTSB Release 2010 Aviation Statistics

NTSB_logoThe safety of civil aviation in the United States continued to make incremental improvements across most industry segments in 2010, based on the preliminary aviation accident statistics released Wednesday by the NTSB. Twenty-six accidents were recorded for U.S. scheduled part 121 airlines and six accidents on scheduled part 135 commuters, all non-fatal.
Total accidents of on-demand operators (charter, air taxi, air tour and air medical operations) decreased from 47 in 2009 to 31 in 2010, despite a slight rise in the number of annual flight hours from 2,901,000 to 2,960,000. However, fatal accidents increased from two in 2009 to six in 2010.
The number of fatalities for both years was 17.
The decline in general aviation accidents in 2010 continues its downward trend, but this sector still accounts for the greatest number of civil aviation accidents and fatal accidents. There were a total of 1,435 such accidents in 2010, 267 of them fatal, resulting in 450 fatalities.

FMI: NTSB Aviation Accident Statistics
FAASteamEditor's Note: Great news for 121 and on-demand operators, but there is still work to be done with the general aviation sector. 1435 accidents with 450 fatalities is too many. There are safety lessons to be learned from these accidents and from efficient safety programs of the commercial and military sectors. If you'd like to learn more and/or contribute, find a Wings Seminar in your area and join the fray.
Thanks Aero-News for the lead!

Fly Smart,

20 Apr 11 Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS)

From Flight Safety Foundation's Bill Voss, President and CEO: "FRMS is a proactive approach to addressing fatigue in a systematic, comprehensive manner that does not rely solely on adherence to a set of prescribed hourly limits of duty and required time off. Instead, it decreases the role of the regulator and increases the responsibility of the operator and its employees to jointly manage the risk. In its broadest interpretation, FRMS takes a systematic, three-pronged, incremental approach to managing fatigue risk:
  • Prevention — This fundamental first step can be characterized as proactive strategic risk prevention. It includes such measures as scientifically defensible scheduling, suitable hotels for sleep, crew augmentation, and education and training about sleep hygiene and fatigue. We believe that this step should also include medical identification and treatment of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which are known to increase with aging; however, the FAA’s annual medical examination for air transport pilots (FAA Form 8500-8; Application Process and Examination Techniques) has no requirement to identify possible sleep disorders.
  • Mitigation — This second step encompasses risk mitigation at the operational level. It includes such measures as responsible trip planning, including pre-trip rest and commuting if necessary, crew rest facilities (both at the airport and in flight for augmented crews), meal planning, anticipation of irregular operational events, and crew resource management (CRM) training that addresses fatigue effects on crew performance.
  • Intervention — This final step recognizes the inevitable fact that crews sometimes experience significant fatigue despite their and the operator’s best efforts to prevent it. It includes those actions that can be invoked to manage the risk until the flight is safely concluded. This intervention can include tailored procedural guidelines, enhanced CRM, timely intake of caffeine, and controlled rest on the flight deck" (Voss, 2009).
FMI: Flight Safety Foundation, AvSafe search: Controlled Napping

Fly (and sleep) Smart,

04 Apr 11 Sleep and Fatigue Guide

Alarm_ClockAt our recent Human Factors and Safety Management Seminar Captain Jim Mangie of Delta Air Lines presented a 20 page Sleep and Fatigue Guide. It is an excellent synopsis of the current human factor and SMS issues that affect operations is in High Reliability Organizations. Top issues are covered, basic human physiology - sleep and the circadian clock, mitigating fatigue and enhancing human alertness, and physiological impediments to sleep.
This is great information to share with all agents who comprise the air space system, whether they work in maintenance, flight ops, ramp, dispatch or air traffic control. Many industry subject matter experts have been tirelessly working on addressing the hazards posed by fatigue, and we all can benefit from this information. Thank you Captain Mangie and Delta!

Fly Smart,

02 Apr 11 SkyVector Aeronautical Charts

Picture_1.pngThere is a great online aeronautical chart service called SkyVector. You can view many types of VFR and IFR charts for flight planning, zoom in our out, ask questions on the forum. I like the feature that shows weather trends, with different colored pins for VFR, MVFR, IFR and low IFR. This resource is free, and there is also a link to click on if you would like to purchase the current chart and download it for a kneeboard.

Information like ths is what helps pilots make good weather decisions and maintain awareness of Special Use Airspace (SUA). Take a look at the airspace around Eglin AFB, that is not an area where you would want to be in marginal conditions, without the proper knowledge, skills, recources and experience.

For those in the Destin area, there is a Wings Safety Seminar on April 16 at the Community Center. Good place to pick up some local knowledge. Check it out!

FMI: SkyVector, WIngs-Destin

Fly Smart,

01 Apr 11 Thank You!

I would like to thank the sponsors and volunteers who supported the 2011 HF & SMS Wings III Seminar in Dallas. Van Bortel Aircraft provided coffee and tea each morning and the Frontiers Of Flight Museum opened up their great venue again for presentations and lunch. FAASTeam Rep Jim Quinn was once again the magic man behind the scenes, taking care of details like name tags, lunch menus and bringing in the CAP to serve sodas as a fundraiser. Steve Buckner, Southwest Region FAASTea Program Manager put out notices on the seminar and brought in many of the fine speakers, as well as coordinating support of the Dallas and Ft Worth FAASTeam. Speaking of speakers, the seminar would not have been possible without the support of all of the fine speakers, whose presentations can be found at Presentations 2011.
Last I would like to thank the attendees, who crafted time into their busy schedules to participate in the seminar. The information we shared will go a long way towards improving aerospace safety.

Fly Smart,


29 Mar 11 3rd Annual Human Factors and Safety Management Seminar Underway in Dallas=
FAASteam.jpg Operators and researchers have gathered in Dallas, TX for the 3rd Annual HF & SMS Wings Seminar. There will be 2 days of presentations and transfer of information between aviation industry experts. Presentations will be added to the Signal Charlie wikispace after the event.

Swing on by the Museum if you have time!

FMI: Seminar 2011

Fly Smart,

23 Mar 11 NTSB Issues Safety Alert For MET Towers

image: NTSB
From AeroNews: The NTSB has issued a "Safety Alert" to warn pilots about the potential dangers posed by Meteorological Evaluation Towers (METs). The towers are used to measure wind speed and direction during the development of wind energy conversion facilities. METs are made from galvanized tubing (or other galvanized structure) with a diameter of 6 to 8 inches and are secured with guy wires that connect at multiple heights on the MET and anchor on the ground.
Many METs fall just below the 200-foot FAA threshold for obstruction markings. They can also be erected quickly and without notice to the local aviation community, depending upon their location. Because of their size and color, pilots have reported difficulty seeing METs from the air. Therefore, METs could interfere with low-flying aircraft operations, including those involving helicopter emergency medical services, law enforcement, animal damage control, fish and wildlife, agriculture, and aerial fire suppression.

The NTSB has investigated several fatal accidents involving aircraft collisions with METs:
  • On January 10, 2011, a Rockwell International S-2R, N4977X, collided with a MET during an aerial application in Oakley, California.
  • On May 19, 2005, an Air Tractor AT-602, N9017Z, collided with a MET that was erected 15 days before the accident in Ralls, Texas.
  • On December 15, 2003, an Erickson SHA Glasair, N434SW, collided with a MET near Vansycle, Oregon.

While Wyoming and South Dakota have implemented requirements for METs to improve the safety of low-flying aircraft, not all states have such requirements for METs. (Wyoming maintains an online database of METs and requires all METs to be registered and marked so that they are visible from a distance of 2,000 feet. South Dakota requires that METs be marked.) The FAA has issued an NPRM (docket number FAA-2010-1326) to update Advisory Circular (AC) 70/7460-1K to recommend the marking of METs. However, the NTSB is concerned that the application of the AC is voluntary, and, without mandatory application and marking requirements for METs, many METs will still be constructed without notice to the aviation community and will fail to be marked appropriately.
The NTSB recommends that pilots operating low-flying aircraft:
  • Maintain vigilance for METs when conducting low-altitude flights.
  • If you locate a MET in your area, let other pilots know about the location of the MET.
  • Encourage the marking of METs in your area.
image: FAA

FAA Safety Team members are also exploring methods of notifying pilots of the location and height of METs and are working to educate MET owners, builders, and communities on the flight-safety issues presented by METs.


Fly Smart,

17 Mar 11 NASA Celebrates Women's Contributions To Science And Exploration

image: NASA Ed
NASA will debut its new Women@NASA website during a Women's History Month event at the agency's Headquarters in Washington at 1300 EDT on Wednesday, March 16. Approximately 200 local students from elementary through high school level will attend and learn about the significant and varied roles women have played in the agency's history.
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will host the event. The featured guest will be Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
The one-hour program will feature NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, who recently returned from a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station, and other notable NASA women whose profiles are on the Women@NASA website. Students in the audience will be able to ask the presenters questions.
A pre-show event for the students runs from 1200-1250 EDT. Students will participate in an interactive science demonstration with Trena Farrell, a NASA aerospace education specialist. The pre-show also will feature a performance by the Science Cheerleaders, a group of professional cheerleaders-turned-scientists and engineers who challenge stereotypes while helping to inspire young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). STEM education is a key focus of NASA's education efforts aimed at developing the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.

FMI: NASA Education

Fly Smart,

05 Feb 11 Improving Runway Safety With Flight Deck Enhancements

52F_RI.jpg From Boeing Aero: "Runway safety enhancements range from enhanced airport signage and markings, to improved procedures and training, and new flight deck displays, controls, and alerting. This article discusses Boeing’s runway safety strategy and the flight deck design solutions being researched and developed to provide crew information and awareness that promote runway safety and operational efficiency.
Flight deck design improvements can reduce the risk of runway incursion, confusion, and excursion, resulting in safer and more efficient taxi, takeoff, approach, and landing operations. Follow this link to read the entire article in Boeing's Aero newsletter. Print copies of AERO are not available by subscription, but the publication may be viewed on the Web at www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine.
FMI: Aero
Fly (...taxi...takeoff...approach...land...taxi...) Smart,

04 Feb 11 Air Charter Safety Foundation Symposium, March 15-16, Ashburn, VA

Champ.JPG The Air Charter Safety Symposium will have an outstanding selection of speakers addressing a number of critical safety issues that confront the Part 135 on-demand air charter and shared aircraft ownership industry. $650 USD....Then head on down to Dallas Mar 29-30 for another great seminarthat brings all communities together to share lessons learned and craft creative solutions :)

Editor: Lots of good speakers here, my friend Shawn Pruchnicki is speaking on safety culture. He was here in Dallas last year and did a great job. ACSF is a great organization and I highly recommend attending if you are in the DC area.

Fly Smart,

03 Feb 11 Arnold Palmer Hangs Up His Wings

image credit: avweb
From AvWeb: "At age 81, Arnold Palmer, a pilot since 1956, has logged nearly 20,000 flight hours and Monday took his last flight as pilot in command, before voluntarily hanging up his wings. Palmer has owned 10 aircraft, from an Aero Commander 500 to the Cessna Citation X he piloted for his final flight. Speaking with Golf Digest, Palmer said he would continue flying, just not in the cockpit. "Flying has been one of the great things in my life," Palmer said. "It's taken me to the far corners of the world. I met thousands of people I otherwise wouldn't have met. And I even got to play a little golf along the way." In October, 2010, Palmer was chosen by the FAA in the company of six others, including Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, to receive a Wright Brothers Master Pilot Certificate. The certificate recognizes 50 or more consecutive years of safe flight operations and is not Palmer's only distinct achievement in aviation.
Arnold Palmer set a speed record in 1976 when he flew a Lear 36 east from Denver around the world in 57 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds. The flight stopped in Boston, Paris, Tehran, Sri Lanka, Jakarta, Manila, Wake Island and Honolulu, and the time still stands. Palmer didn't dally, but did take time to ride an elephant in Sri Lanka and accepted a gift from Manila's then-president Ferdinand Marcos. Palmer learned to fly in his hometown of Latrobe, Pa. His last flight was from Palm Springs to Orlando."

FMI: AvWeb

Congratulations to Mr Palmer on the Wright Brothers Award! Maybe flying was interfering with golfing :) Fly Smart, and fly a long time!

03 Feb 11 Safety On the Front Lines

Alarm_Clock From Aviation Week, by Heather Baldwin: "Here’s a wake-up call to the maintenance industry: More than half of all maintenance managers in a May 2010 Baines Simmons Americas survey* think their employees complete jobs despite the non-availability of specified tools or equipment. Another 16% said they believe their employees have signed off for uncompleted work due to limited time or resources. And one in 10 managers admitted their line supervisors would approve a mechanic’s actions if he didn’t follow procedures in order to get an aircraft out....
This is the crux of safety today: the organization. No longer viewed as an issue of “fixing” individual technicians, individual managers or certain silos of an operation, safety is now understood to be the result of the total organization’s attitudes, policies, behaviors and culture. As today’s thinking goes, an error is rarely the sole fault of an individual; rather, it often is driven by organizational pressures, expectations and unwritten policies..."
Read the entire article...

Editor: You can't fix what you can't measure. And yes, you can measure organizational culture. Here is a link to Human Factors Associates (HFA), their Founder Dr Anthony Ciavarelli is a world leader in crafting and analyzing Organizational Safety Effectiveness Surveys. I have done some work with "Dr. C" and consider him to be THE expert in this field.

Fly Smart,

02 Feb 11 USA 3000 Pilots Withdraw from Voluntary ASAP

WILMINGTON, Ohio, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Today, USA 3000 Airlines' pilots, represented by the Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224 announced their decision to withdraw from the voluntary Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP).
This decision was necessary because of the pattern of actions by USA 3000 management that destroyed the trust required for a successful program. These actions include the access of ASAP information by unauthorized individuals, as well as the inappropriate use of letters in several USA 3000 pilots' personnel files, even though the events and the circumstances surrounding them were admitted into ASAP by the Event Review Committee (ERC) at USA 3000 Airlines. It is the union's position that these letters are not only wrongly placed, but also are grossly inaccurate and may become subject to present or future Pilot Records Improvement Act disclosure requirements. Voluntary safety programs become ineffective when these disclosures are twisted to harm a pilot's career."
FMI: PRNewswire

NASA.jpg Editor: This unfortunate news goes along with the old adage that the quickest 2 ways to kill a reporting program are 1) to shoot the reporter and 2) provide no feedback. Hopefully the differences among the stakeholders can be ironed out and this valuable source of operational safety data can be turned on again. In the meantime there is always the trusted and non-punitive NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), protected by federal regulation.

Fly Smart,

01 Feb 11 Senate Democrats Push FAA Reauthorization As Jobs Bill

LastGen Sim with NextGen pilot
From AeroNews: Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has introduced the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. It is the same bill that passed the U.S. Senate last year, 93-0. “This is a significant FAA package that will support thousands of jobs, strengthen airline safety and modernize America’s outdated air traffic control system. It will lead to a better aviation system for all Americans,” Chairman Rockefeller said in a news release. “Our aviation system is fundamental to our communities and our nation’s long-term economic growth. I am committed to getting this bill to the President’s desk this year.”
The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act introduced in the Senate would:
  • Require the FAA to develop a plan to provide runway incursion information to pilots in the cockpit, and initiate better processes for tracking and investigating operational errors.
  • Require better safety oversight of foreign repair stations.
  • Improve safety for helicopter emergency medical service operations by mandating that the FAA standardize dispatch procedures, and requiring the use of terrain awareness and warning systems, and flight data and cockpit voice recorders on board such helicopters.
  • Strengthen the inspection of airline operations.The measure includes several provisions to modernize the nation’s air transportation system, and to ensure that the FAA adopts the next generation of air traffic control technology in a timely and effective manner. The bill would:
  • nextgen.jpg Establish clear deadlines for the adoption of existing Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) navigation and surveillance technology. For example, the bill requires the development of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Area Navigation (RNAV) procedures at the busiest 35 airports by 2014, and for the entire National Airspace System (NAS) by 2018.
  • Direct the FAA to accelerate planned timelines for integrating Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology into the NAS.
  • Create an “Air Traffic Control Modernization Oversight Board” to provide better oversight of FAA’s modernization programs.
  • Establish a “Chief NextGen Officer” position at FAA to oversee implementation of all NextGen programs, and provide greater accountability over the modernization process.
FMI: http://commerce.senate.gov, http://transportation.house. gov

Editor: There are some good programs in this proposal, such as providing traffic information directly to the cockpit and improving the NAS to support low altitude operations.These programs are essential to move forward and continuously improve aviation safety.
Fly Smart,

22 Jan 11 FAA Mandates Crew Resource Management Training For On-Demand Charters

Affected Carriers Have Two Years To Establish Procedures

external image FAA-logo-new-sm-0909a_tn.jpg From Aero-News: The FAA has finalized a rule that requires non-scheduled charter airlines and air taxis to train pilots and flight attendants in Crew Resource Management (CRM), a well-established concept that helps reduce human error in commercial aviation by teaching pilots, flight attendants and other aviation workers to act as a team.
Air carriers affected by the final rule must establish initial and recurrent CRM training for crewmembers within two years of the effective date of the rule. The training must address the captain's authority; intra-crew communications; teamwork; managing workload, time, fatigue and stress; and decision-making skills.
"This type of training is critical for the safety of flight crews and passengers," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
The FAA has required CRM training for air carriers operating larger airplanes since December 1995.
"I know the value of making Crew Resource Management part of the safety culture from my days as an airline pilot," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "A crew that works as a team is a better crew, regardless of the size of the plane or the size of the airline."
CRM training focuses on the interactions among personnel including pilots, flight attendants, operations personnel, mechanics, air traffic controllers and flight service stations. This training in communications and teamwork can help prevent errors such as runway incursions, misinterpreting information from air traffic controllers, crewmembers' loss of situational awareness, and failure to fully prepare for takeoff or landing.
This final rule responds to a 2003 National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that is currently on the Board's "Most Wanted" list of safety improvements.

FMI: CRM, FAA, CRM Developers

Editor: Swing by our seminar in March and meet some of the world's top CRM experts, Captain Neil Krey, Dr Anthony Ciavarelli and Curt Lewis!

Fly Smart,

21 Jan 11 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Dayton, OH May 2-5

Keynote by Dr. Key Dismukes, image credit ISAP
From ISAP: "The International Symposium on Aviation Psychology was first convened by Dr. Richard Jensen at the Ohio State University Aviation Psychology Laboratory in 1981. This symposium series is offered for the purposes of :

  • presenting the latest research on human performance problems and opportunities within aviation systems;
  • envisioning design solutions that best utilize human capabilities for creating safe and efficient aviation systems;
  • and bringing together scientists, research sponsors, and operators in an effort to bridge the gap between research and application.
Although the symposium is aerospace oriented, we welcome anyone with basic or applied interests in any domain to the extent that generalizations from or to the aviation domain are relevant."


Editor: My colleagues Dr Dismukes and Dr Burian will be there, and Key is encouraging operational personnel from all communities to attend, to help bridge the knowledge gap between research and operational applications. Come on out to Dayton and enjoy the seminar and the great Air Force Museum.

Fly Smart,

21 Jan 11 Aviation Human Factors and SMS Seminar III, Dallas Texas Mar 29-30

FAASTeam_Wings.jpg Seats are filling up fast for the March Seminar in Dallas, about 1/3 are full already. We have 16 speakers scheduled over 2 days in a great venue, the Frontiers Of Flight Museum at Love Field. Don't miss out on this high quality, low cost seminar.

FMI: Seminar 2011

I'll be facilitating the seminar again, drop me an email if you need more information!

See you in March!

01 Jan 11 Happy New Year!!
Clark in Pensacola

Wishing you a safe and prosperous New Year. Keep the shiny side up!


Dec 23, 2010 Santa Inbound!

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide updates on Santa’s journey.


Editor: Just a reminder, Santa's sleigh has a wake turrbulence category of "supra" heavy, so plan on 10 miles in trail. He also has a waiver from the FAA for "lights out" operations and to exceed 250 knots below 10,000 feet, so comply with all TCAS RAs immediately. Pilots should also be aware that these cargo operations are conducted under SARSA (Santa Assumes responsibility for Separation of Aircraft) regulations. Lastly, FBOs should remember that the reindeer prefer warm oats during the fuel stops as an anti-icing preventative.

Season's Greetings!


18 Dec 10 Small Suburb Airports, A CAFE Concept and Green Flight Challenge

cafe.jpg What if every suburb had a small airport? The basic single-runway pocket airports would be no larger than two acres (0.8 hectares) in size, and located in greenbelts just outside major urban areas. They would be capable of 120 operations per hour, as rows of Suburban Air Vehicles (SAV)/air taxis would wait for their turn to take off, one going every 30 seconds. Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Challenge also has designs for a 4-acre (1.6-hectare) airport that would have three runways arranged in a triangle, that would be capable of 260 operations per hour, plus an 8-acre (3.2-hectare) version with two end-to-end runways (with a large space in between them), and a 12-acre (4.8-hectare) version with two sets of the end-to-end runways and parking for 320 ground vehicles.

FMI: CAFE, Geeko System
Fly Smart,

17 Dec 10 University of North Texas Aviation Logistics Program Graduates First Students
image: Univ of North Texas

Private pilot Laura Rusnok will be the first graduate of the aviation-logistics program at the University of North Texas. Rusnok earned her pilot's license at the U.S. Flight Academy at Denton Airport in Denton, Texas. "I'm excited to be done with school," Rusnok said.
Laura Rusnok, who said she’s known she wanted to be a pilot since she was 16 and received a flight demonstration for her birthday, will be the first UNT student to earn a degree in aviation logistics, a course of study introduced at the university in fall 2009.

FMI: Denton Record-Chronicle, AOPA Smart Brief

Editor: Learn more about UNT's Aviation Logistics program and U.S. Flight Academy. These are good programs to combine if you are interested in aviation, in a nice part of the country to learn to fly.

Fly Smart,

16 Dec 10 Ninety-Nines Receive $10,000 Grant from Lightspeed Aviation Foundation

ninetynines.png The women pilots association The Ninety-Nines has received a grant of $10,000 from the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation. Founded and chaired by Lightspeed Aviation Corp. president Allan Schrader, the Foundation's grant program aims to help increase recognition and funding opportunities for aviation-related charitable organizations.
The Ninety-Nines, founded in 1929, has an 81-year history of providing scholarships, conducting aviation education programs and safety seminars, and maintaining historical records of women's contributions to aviation. In keeping with one of the goals of the original 99 members, to assist women pilots in advancing their aviation careers, the organization also sponsors a successful mentoring program for professional women pilots and an online flight training forum for women either just beginning or continuing their flight training. The Ninety-Nines is based at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City where it operates The 99s Museum of Women Pilots. It also owns and operates the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, KS. Membership is open to any woman with at least a student pilot certificate.
FMI: www.ninety-nines.org

Bravo Zulu to Lightspeed for supporting this great organization!

13 Dec 10 Chuckie Airborne Again
image credit: VFM (TBD)

The B-17 Chuckie flew again last Thursday and Friday in support of the DFW Expo. Lots of schoolkids and adults got to see one of America's great airplanes, put back into the air again by the great volunteer group at the Vintage Flying Museum. More info on Chuckie's next great adventure and pics to follow.

FMI: Vintage Flying Museum
Fly Smart,
VFM Supporter

8 Dec 10 Greyhound Adoption League of Texas Gala, Frontiers Of Flight Museum, Dallas, TX Feb 26, 2011

Spend an evening with the fastest dogs and one of the fastest men on the planet as you participate in a critical mission: Operation Forever Home. Put on your aviator sunglasses, leather bomber jacket, flight suit, or military memorabilia and head over to the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love field for GALT’s 10th annual Greyt Gala. In addition to our usual celebrity guests, this year GALT welcomes SR-71 Spy Plane Pilot Colonel (ret) Rich Graham. During dinner Colonel Graham will talk about his experiences flying America’s most secret aircraft at over three times the speed of sound, at 70,000 feet, and directly above some of the most dangerous spots in the world. There will also be a dinner and a silent auction.

Editor: Check out the Museum and support a good cause (and wear your flight jacket...)

6 Dec 10 Special Emphasis: Collision Avoidance

Human_factors_sm.gif NTSB Identification: WPR11LA068A; Accident occurred Wednesday, December 01, 2010 in Madras, OR.
On December 1, 2010, about 1130 Pacific standard time, the propeller of a Taylorcraft BC-65, N23619, and the aft portion of the empennage of a Cessna 185A, N1699Z, came in contact with each other while both aircraft were on visual flight rules (VFR) final approach to Madras Airport, Madras, Oregon. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and in his student in the Taylorcraft, which was not radio equipped, were not injured, but the airplane, which is owned and operated by Berg Air, sustained substantial damage. The airline transport pilot and his passenger in the Cessna were also uninjured, but the Cessna, which was owned and operated by the passenger, also sustained substantial damage. The occupants of the Taylorcraft were on a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local instructional flight, and the occupants of the Cessna were on a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal pleasure flight. The pilot of the Cessna was on his second circuit of the VFR pattern, and the occupants of the Taylorcraft were on their first of a planned multiple circuits of the VFR pattern after returning from a training flight in the local area. Neither aircraft was on a flight plan.

Madras.jpg According to the occupants of the Taylorcraft, they did not see the Cessna until they were on short final, whereupon the empennage of the Cessna suddenly appeared underneath and very close to the left wing of their airplane. The CFI, who was flying at the time, immediately tried to bank to the right, but the propeller of the Taylorcraft came in contact with the Cessna before he could gain separation. After impacting the Cessna, the Taylorcraft's propeller stopped turning, and therefore the CFI made a power-off landing on the extended 1,800-foot paved stop-way of the old military runway.

According to the pilot of the Cessna, neither occupant ever saw the Taylorcraft, but while on short final they heard a loud bang come from the aft end of their airplane. Immediately after they heard the bang, the airplane pitched down and rolled to the right, but the pilot was able to regain control and continue flying straight ahead. Because the occupants were unaware that their airplane had come in contact with another airplane, and because they thought they had either impacted a large bird or experienced some sort of mechanical failure, they elected to climb straight ahead and land at their home airport, which was about 10 minutes away. It was not until after landing at their home airport and inspecting the airplane that the occupants of the Cessna realized there had been a mid-air collision.

At the time of the accident, there were scattered clouds about 3,000 feet above ground level (AGL) and a visibility of more than 10 miles.

Editor: Collision Avoidance is a special emphasis area for the FAA. FMI check out the resources and information on our wikipage.

Fly Smart,

5 DEC 10 Runway Excursions and Incursions: Hindsight Article

CAL_1404.jpg Bert Ruitenberg has authored a thought provoking article on the differences and similarities between runway excursions and runway incursions. Efforts to reduce will require a multidisciplinary approach from all corners of the airspace system, beginning with creation of a standardized safety database vocabulary. The article was published by EUROCONTROL in Hindsight magazine and can be downloaded here.

Editor: Mr. Ruitenberg mentions the repeated appearance of wind and precipitation as factors in many runway excursions, and this is definitely the season for that. Computations of takeoff and landing distances, abort criteria, stabilized approaches and timely, accurate weather information are critical elements of safe takeoff and landing operations. The Flight Safety Foundation offers excellent Runway Excursion Risk Reduction and Runway Safety Initiative toolkits on their website. Also the outstanding free magazine Aerosafety World.

Fly Smart,

28 Nov 10 Aviation Information Resource Pathfinder

IMG_1006.JPG I created an aviation information resource pathfinder as part of a Master of Library Science assignment. This pathfinder is designed to help library users locate general sources of information on the subject of aviation, as well as more narrow resources on the subject. Pathfinder resources will include indexes and abstracts, biographies, subject encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, almanacs, handbooks, biographical resources, association information, journals, government regulations and web resources. Also included will be information on creating successful search strategies and custom search engines that focus on aviation resources.

The pathfinder can be viewed on the Signal Charlie Aviation Pathfinder wiki page.
If you have reference sources that you would like to add, please send them to me!

Fly Smart,

11 Nov 10 Takeoff and Landing Accident Reduction Tips

312.jpg Reduction of accidents during the takeoff and landing phases of flight is a key focus area for the FAA Safety Team. Here are some good tips from faasafety.gov. "Want to learn more about approaches and landings? You can find the Airplane Flying Handbook here for free. Check out Chapters 5 Takeoff and Departure Climbs , 7 Airport Traffic Patterns and 8 Approaches and Landings. Also keep in mind that many mishaps manifest themselves in the planning phase, when it is time to look at individual human and aircraft performance in the context of airport, runway and weather conditions for that specific flight. One example is that a partially fueled aircraft may perform satisfactorily flying into a high altitude airport for a pancake breakfast, but the pancakes and the extra fuel, plus a higher temperature on the early afternoon departure, can lead to pancaking into the lake on departure.
For the most up to date planning information on weather and airport conditions, give a call to the folks at Flight Service 800 WX BRIEF (800 992 7433). The pros there provide both preflight and inflight services including updates of important aeronautical and meteorological information...did I mention free? Consider them as your own personal dispatcher!

FMI: Automated Flight Service Station (FSS), Federal Aviation Safety Administration, Wings Pilot Proficiency Program

Fly Smart (especially the first and last few feet!),

25 Oct 10 Seminar on Necessity of Operational Safety Culture Change Opens in Lima, Peru

ICAO suggests that the entire aviation industry should implement a robust Safety Management System (SMS). ICAO has defined the key components of a sound SMS program and has recommended methods for SMS implementation. One critical component of a successful SMS is the promotion and installation of a strong and just Safety Culture (ICAO 2009).
DGAC and APEC have teamed up to study the issues associated with culture change within an organization and its effect on promoting reporting on aviation issues. Culture drives reporting and reporting provides the best picture of a systems performance. Global safety information reporting and sharing is a key component of a robust safety management system. This seminar will help move these aviation authorities and economies into the next generation of organizational safety.
The seminar is being attended by representatives form the civil aviation authorities of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, New Guinea, Mexico, United States, Phillipnes, Indonesia, and Thailand as well as representatives form ICAO and IATA.

FMI:Human Factors Associates (HFA), Inc.

Editor: Dr Anthony Ciavarelli of Human Factors Associates conducted a three economy case study to provide the foundation of this seminar, and is in Peru to help facilitate the seminar. Senior HFA Associates Kent Lewis is also on site to provide support.

Fly Smart and watch out for the alpacas,

25 Oct 10 Free EAA Student Membership Maintains Young Eagles' Connection To Aviation

Young-Eagles-Logo.jpg From AeroNews.net: EAA Young Eagles can now stay connected to the aviation world and enjoy a variety of benefits at no cost through the EAA Student Membership supported by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The EAA Student Membership, available free of charge to all Young Eagles and valid until the individual's 19th birthday, is the next element of a "Flight Plan" for EAA Young Eagles interested in earning a pilot certificate. Young Eagles can register for their free EAA Student Membership online


Fly Smart,

17 Oct 10 What Makes Flight Situations Risky?

rv.JPG Here is a research paper shared by Dr. Ute Fischer of the Georgia Institute of Technology on perception of risks in aviation. The findings are interesting, and would be of special benefit to student pilots and their flight instructors.
Abstract: Despite its significance to aviation safety, surprisingly little empirical research has addressed how pilots conceptualize risk and how flight experience might influence their understanding. A sorting study was conducted in which expert (= commercial airline) and novice (= private) pilots were asked to categorize aviation incidents in terms of their risk levels. Analyses of their judgments revealed differences between more and less experienced pilots in their conceptualizations of risk. Private pilots classified incidents in terms of the magnitude of their consequences, analogous to the dread factor observed in studies of the general public’s understanding of risk.
Commercial pilots used two factors: the timeline of a threat and its controllability. These findings suggest that flight safety in the GA environment may be improved by instructing private pilots in the more complex and action oriented risk concept of commercial pilots.

Many thanks to Dr Fischer for sharing.
Fly Smart,

16 Oct 10 Book Review: Jet Age by Sam Howe Verhovek

Jet_Age If you are interested in the history of aviation and how jet transportation forever changed our world, this is the book to read...and even if you hadn't thought about it, check it out. Global air travel is now taken for granted and this book details the trials and tribulations of those who were in competition to shrink the globe by developing the first jet transport.
I took a bit different approach to reading the book, skipping to the end to read about the genesis of the book in the Epilogue. Author Sam Howe Verhovek has conducted extensive research on Boeing, de Havilland and the people who were the visionaries within those companies. He located great resources in libraries and company archives and crafted a history that is very readable. His writing skills allow the technical information on the 707 and the Comet to be interleaved with the personalities of the engineers, test pilots and executives in a way that personalizes the technical nature of the endeavor. The book is broken down into chapters that detail the efforts of both manufacturers, the aviators, the companies and the race itself, and each story is covered nicely.
There is a lot of entertainment packed into 272 pages, I highly recommend taking it along on your next flight to learn how people and planes forever changed our world.

Fly Smart and Fly Fast (if ya want to...)

15 OCT 10 Lubbock FSDO Newsletter

IMG_0037.JPG Here are some good articles on aviation compiled by the Lubbock, Texas FSDO FAASTeam Program Manager Mr John Boatright. There is an especially good article by H.-P. Schuele on approach and landing best practices.

FMI: John H. Boatright, FAASTeam Program Manager, LBB FSDO, (806) 740-3811

JB and H-P, thanks for sharing so we all can Fly Smart,

04 Sep 10 Big Band Hangar Dance at Vintage Flying Museum, October 2nd

This is the 20th Anniversary of the dance, and a Chcukie.JPG lso a celebration for the 75th Anniversary of the B-17. The Alan Glasscock Orchestra will be featured and tickets can be purchased online. Come on out and support a unique and worthy non profit museum, tour one of the few remaining airworthy B-17s in existence and meet the great people who operate the Museum.

FMI: Vintage Flying Museum

Fly Smart,

04 Sep 10 New Online Courses for Line Up And Wait and Taxi Procedures

From faasafety.gov: Objectives in this online course are to review and consider:
  • Best Practices during taxi operations,
  • Air Traffic Control Procedures and Phraseology,
  • Pilot responsibilities,
  • Awareness of airport markings and Pilot responsibilities re: Precision Obstacle Free Zone,
  • Part 91 and Part 135 Single-Pilot Procedures during taxi operations,
  • Use of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during taxi operations, and
  • Best Practices for avoidance of runway incursions.
We invite you to go to www.FAASafety.gov and enroll in this informative course. It is titled, "Line Up and Wait - LUAW" and is one of our featured courses shown on our Home page."

Editor: These changes to surface operations are expected to reduce the potential for surface collisions. Aircraft are less manueverable on the ground and collision avoidance systems are not as effective, and we are more dependent on vision and hearing to detect other aircraft and vehicles. Traffic is also concentrated around an airfield and many other factors such as night ops, reduced visibility, complex layout, simultaneous runway operations and intersection departures enter into the risk management equation. Continuing education and learning lessons will help to correlate and manage threats in this environment.
Best Practices? Have an airport diagram out. Use it! Highlight key frequencies for quick reference. Write notes on the diagram, such as whether the airport conducts LUAW ops, multiple runway crossing authorizations, LAHSO, has enhanced taxiway markings, intersecting runway operations, etc. This information helps build our aeronautical knowledge and increases situational awareness.

Take the course and Fly Smart!

01 Sep 10 Coming To An Airport Near You, 30 Sep: "Line Up And Wait" Will Replace "Position And Hold"

52F_RI.jpg From AeroNews Network: "Pilots authorized by air traffic controllers to taxi onto runways and await takeoff clearance will be instructed to “line up and wait” rather than “position and hold” beginning on September 30 under new terminology adopted by the FAA. The new terminology, which was recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board, conforms to terminology used internationally under ICAO guidelines.
A safety analysis conducted by the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization Terminal Services determined that adopting the phrase “line up and wait” will eliminate confusion, particularly among pilots who also fly overseas, and further reduce the risk of runway incursions.
KBOS_APD_AIRPORT_DIAGRAM.png Beginning September 30, controllers will state the aircraft’s call sign, state the departure runway and then instruct pilots to “line up and wait,” i.e., “United 451, Runway 33L, line up and wait.” The phrase, “traffic holding in position” will continue to be used to advise other aircraft that traffic has been authorized to line up and wait on an active runway." The FAA will continue to emphasize that pilots are not permitted to cross any runway encountered while taxiing without explicit instructions from controllers.
FMI: Aero-News Network, FAA Runway Safety,

Editor's Note: One thing to remember about this new phraseology is that several years back, taxi into position and hold (TIPH) clearances were greatly reduced by the FAA in order to reduce the potential for runway collisions. ATC facilities had to get a waiver at each airport that wanted to use the procedure, by demonstrating that they had sufficient risk management strategies in place to eliminate or reduce exposure to the risk. So while there will be lot of focus on the new vocabulary, we need to also refresh ourselves on the residual hazards associated with "line up and wait" (LUAW). Pilots, pedestrians and vehicle operators need to look and listen before entering the protected area of a runway, and controllers ensure the area is clear before issuing clearances to cross, takeoff or land. Night time, reduced visibility, simultaneous intersecting runway operations and intersection departures can add to the level of risk. Being familiar with the airport layout and complexity of operations is a good start for operators, so ask questions, assess the environment and act accordingly.

Fly Smart,

15 Aug 10 Surprise Surprise (Special Emphasis: Loss Of Control and Information Sharing)

CAL_1404.jpg By J.A. Donoghue, Editor-in-Chief, AeroSafety World
Surprises in aviation are rarely pleasant, and that’s what a couple of Continental Airline pilots got in late 2008 when they taxied for departure from Denver International Airport (DEN) with the tower reporting winds of 11 kt, 70 degrees off the nose. No one, absolutely no one who flies aircraft with hard sides, hears danger alarms when the wind is 11 kt, even when it’s a direct crosswind. When, as the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports, the local controller upped the ante to 27 kt when issuing the takeoff clearance, even that fell short of being a critical issue.
If, however, the pilots had known that control tower displays were showing a 35-kt wind with 40-kt gusts, then one would expect at least a “wait a minute” moment and further consideration of conditions. But they didn’t know, and the peak gusts actually were more like 45 kt, and the aircraft departed the runway.
Frankly, at first blush, this data gap sounds like the kind of safety-of-flight information issue that I thought had been pretty well hammered out in the 1930s. And, I suppose, this might be the overriding takeaway one can extract from this accident: Just because we’re not talking about the old threats, don’t assume they have gone away.
We discussed in these pages the wind threats posed by “gravity waves,” including the kind of conditions encountered in DEN’s downslope location (//ASW//, 2/10, p. 32).
In fact, despite these special conditions that are known to occur there, the NTSB reports that the airport air traffic control facility had in place no special procedures to allow for and warn of the effects of winds such as this. Moreover, Continental’s training did not include near-ground handling in strong and gusting crosswinds. And finally, “Boeing did not adequately consider the dynamic handling qualities of the Boeing 737 during takeoff or landing in strong and gusty crosswinds,” NTSB said, adding that other manufacturers probably don’t do this, either.
So it appears as if every major entity involved in this accident didn’t pay sufficient attention to the threat of strong gusting crosswinds close to the ground. I’m amazed.
Everyone who learns how to fly in the regular progression, from light aircraft to light twins, starts out knowing full well what a strong crosswind can do to an aircraft. But as the progression of equipment continues to heavier and more capable aircraft, and it takes more and more wind to create concern, the attention given to the threat apparently declines. But, as is shown by the DEN accident, plus several other airliner events that have been filmed and posted on the Internet, it is, indeed, an issue that needs continued attention.
Maybe this is the next frontier of aviation safety: Trying to figure out what threats we are beginning to take for granted in our quest to train and plan and create mitigations for increasingly specific threats.
Letting an airplane get blown off of a runway, or scraping a wing tip or rolling an airplane into a big ball of aluminum might be considered a runway excursion or approach and landing accident, but it also is a loss of control accident in my book, and should be added to the growing list of events indicting the level of planning, training and airmanship in some parts of the industry today.

FMI: Flight Safety Foundation

Editor's note: I like the comments on focusing interventions on special emphasis items such as loss of control (LOC). There are many listed in the various Practical Test Standards, but information on teaching, understanding and correlating these areas is fragmented and disorganized. There has to be a better way to store and share this information, and industry can come together to build better guides for each area, especially considering the collaborative web technologies available today. Colgan 3407 is another example, where lack of salient information of the aircraft's airspeed condition led to an inflight upset and loss of control. The information transfer and data gap here led to a tragic mishap.
Learning Lessons can be taken from 1404 and 3407. Knowledge is power, and coupled with the right attitude of information sharing we can improve the system's performance.

Fly Smart,

18 Jul 10 B-17 Chuckie Engine Run at Vintage Flying Museum, Ft Worth, TX

Chcukie.JPG The great crew at VFM has the B-17 on its way to being airborne again. Watch the engine runup

I'm proud to be associated with this fine organization!

Fly Smart,

13 JUL 10 The Deadliest Plane Crash

On PBS tonight, an examination of the worst accident in civil aviation history, a March 1977 collision between two 747s on a foggy runway in Tenerife (one of the Canary Islands) that resulted in the deaths of 583 people.

FMI: PBS, Planenews, FAA Runway Safety, AOPA AIrNav,
Editor: Still much to be learned from this mishap, especially regarding team communications. Take time to become familiar with an airport's layout is a good start, avoid checklists while taxiing, keep cockpit chatter on the ground to a minimum and look outside for conflicting traffic. Also, stop when unsure of where to go next, unless you know you are on a runway and need to get clear. Other good resources are Flight Service, where a personal briefer can update us on special considerations for each airport, and AIrNav, where free airport information such as airport diagrams and fuel prices can be found.
Just like railroad crossing safety, remember to "Stop, Look and Listen." There is also a dedicated page on the Signal Charlie website for Runway Safety.

Fly Smart,

17 JUN 10 FAA Issues Runway Crossing Clearance Changes FAA Issues Runway Crossing Clearance Changes

KMDW.jpg Effective June 30, 2010, air traffic controllers will no longer use the term “taxi to” when authorizing aircraft to taxi to an assigned takeoff runway. With the change, controllers must issue explicit clearances to pilots crossing any runway (active/inactive or closed) along the taxi route. In addition, pilots crossing multiple runways must be past the first runway they are cleared to cross before controllers can issue the next runway-crossing clearance. One exception to the new rule is at airports where taxi routes between runway centerlines are fewer than 1,000 feet apart. In this case, multiple runway crossings may be issued if approved by the FAA Terminal Services Director of Operations.

The elimination of the “taxi to” phrase will apply only to departing aircraft. Arriving aircraft will still hear the phrase “taxi to” when instructed to taxi to the gate or ramp. However, controllers in these situations still will be required to issue specific crossing instructions for each runway encountered on the taxi route. For more information on the change, refer to FAA Order N JO 7110.528, which can be found at: http://www.faa.gov/ documentLibrary/media/Notice/ N7110.528.pdf.

12 Jun 10 Communications - A Vital Link!

FAA Safety.gov Notice Number: NOTC2337

The "option" is not an option..
Pilot deviations and incidents based on improper communications are growing at an alarming rate! Are you doing your part? Or, are you part of the problem? Proper communication technique is expected of every pilot and controller. Non-standard communications and deviation from standard phraseology causes misunderstandings and confusion. These are causal or contributing factors in a large number of incidents and accidents. Radio communications are a critical link in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. The link can be a strong bond between pilot and controller or it can be broken with surprising speed and disastrous results. Good phraseology enhances safety and is the mark of a professional pilot. Jargon, chatter, and "CB" slang have no place in ATC communications.
Remember, read-back of a clearance must be complete and clear to ensure correct understanding by the controller. The action of reading back a clearance gives the controller an opportunity to confirm that the message has been correctly received, and if necessary, to correct any errors. If a pilot is unsure or questions anything about a clearance they should ask the controller to clarify. Simply reading the instructions back may not be enough to focus the controller’s attention on the accuracy of the clearance. Read-back of a clearance should never be replaced by the use of terms such as “Roger”, "Wilco" or “Copied”.
"No, I said land over here..."
Pilots should also be aware of how their expectations may affect what they hear. Errors often occur when pilots act on instructions given to other aircraft because the pilot was expecting similar instructions. Or, when pilots act on instructions they expected from the controller, which are different from the controller’s actual instructions. To avoid this, pilots must remain vigilant and focus on the controller’s complete communication. All pilots will find the Pilot/Controller Glossary helpful in learning what certain words or phrases mean. The Pilot/Controller Glossary is the same glossary used in FAA Order JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control. It is recommended that pilots review the glossary from time to time to sharpen their communication skills.
For more information on Radio Communications Phraseology?and Techniques please see the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) at this link:
http://www.faa.gov/air_ traffic/publications/atpubs/ aim/Chap4/aim0402.html
Very interesting examples of how communication errors have caused problems can be found starting on page 11 of the FAA Pamphlet found at: https://www.faasafety.gov/ files/notices/2010/Jun/ Communications_A_Key_ Component_brochure.pdf

Editor's note: Great communications don't end after the props and rotors stop. If you identify hazards, take time to contact the ATC facility and debrief the event. Then send in a NASA ASRS electronic report so we can eliminate the hazards, reduce consequence of errors and learn lessons the easy way. And it's free!
Fly Smart,

07 Jun 10 CFIT Risk Management

Photo credit Dario Crusafon
From SKYBrary: "While man-made obstacles in the vicinity of an airport such as buildings or towers are normally lit during the hours of darkness, natural obstacles such as hills or trees are not. As a consequence, unless there is exceptional illumination such as a full moon on new snow, natural obstacles will be largely invisible to the pilot during a night visual approach. Without due care, this factor greatly increases the potential of a CFIT accident..."
Read the full article.
Editor's note: Many GPWS alerts can be tied to night visual approaches, where crews get low during the arrival. When ATC is available, it is a good risk reduction strategy to take the vectors to final backed up with the instrument approach and avoid the threats from unfamiliar terrain and reduced visibility of night ops. Use all of the resources available and enjoy a minute or two more of flight time.
Fly Smart, Kent

20 May 10 How To Host a World Class Seminar

I was asked to put together a presentation on how we pull together great seminars. The seminars work because we have good people speaking, a nice place and an informational program.
Here are the ppt slides for FAASTEam WIngs Seminar KBL.ppt
Fly Smart,

08 May 10 Pilots to Congress: Volcanic Ash Threat Requires More Research

image credit: Air Line Pilots Association
In testimony before Congress on Wednesday, ALPA called for comprehensive research and more data collection on aviation safety hazards posed by volcanic ash and gases. The Association also encouraged the airline industry to improve methods to detect ash, strengthen aircraft certification standards, and enhance pilot and air traffic controller training.
Capt. Linda Orlady (United), ALPA’s Executive Air Safety vice chair, noted in her testimony (oral testimony | written submission) before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, “The recent Icelandic eruption demonstrated a lack of standardization among the various forecasts available to flight crews and dispatchers. As operations resumed in Europe, we received reports from pilots at different airlines that they were given conflicting information about ash cloud locations in their dispatch release documents.”
Flying in volcanic ash and gases poses a significant, but little understood, threat to the integrity of an aircraft, its engines, and to the health of its occupants. Although no fatal airline accidents have been attributed to volcanic ash, Orlady underscored to the Subcommittee that damage to aircraft and potential dangers to the passengers and crew have been well documented.
FMI: Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)
Editor: The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 U.S. and Canadian airlines. ALPA provides 3 core services to its members; Airline Safety and Security, Representation and Advocacy. Through the Association's efforts, global air safety and performance is continually improved. Within our ranks we are privileged to serve with Capt Linda Orlady, whose family has been making our skies saferwith innovative ideas for many years.

Fly Smart,
Kent, ALPA Member since 1999 :)

06 May 10 FAA Rolls Out Digital NOTAMS!

Photo credit AvWeb
From AvWeb:The Atlantic City (N.J.) International Airport is the first in the national airspace system to deliver digital Notams, the FAA said this week. The notices have long been posted in a difficult-to-read shorthand designed for delivery over teletype machines. The digital versions will be easier to read, more accurate, and will be disseminated quicker, according to the FAA. "Digital information management is key to meeting the air traffic system's safety and efficiency goals," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "This is yet another step the FAA is taking to modernize the national airspace system."
The new digital system also will make it easier for pilots to identify Notams that affect their particular flight. The next airports to bring the new system online will be Washington Dulles, Reagan National, Baltimore-Washington International, Richmond, Norfolk, Denver, O'Hare and Midway in Chicago, Memphis, Fairbanks, Alaska, and Fort Wayne, Ind.
FMI: AvWeb
This will help us fly smarter!

04 May 10 Sporty's Newest FAASTeam Member

FAASteam.jpg Sporty’s Pilot Shop was recently named an industry member of the FAA Safety Team. The membership is mainly recognition of the company’s variety of training courses, more than 30 of which are available for FAA Wings credit. The courses include everything from the company’s complete flight training courses to its individual courses on seaplane flying, multiengine flying, and more. According to the Sporty’s website, “Our mission is to improve the aviation safety record by conveying safety principles and practices through outreach and education.”

This information provided by AOPA

Fly Smart,

21 Apr 10 Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program Newsletter

Sea Ranger with Mooch, Clark and Lt Rogers
Bell Helicopter, Textron Inc. safety publication, Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program or HELIPROPS, designed for helicopter pilots is now available electronically online. Bell’s newsletter Human AD Airworthiness for Humans is published quarterly in English and Spanish and is distributed to readers in approximately 121 countries.
A popular feature of the newsletter are articles from helicopter pilot’s own experiences flying in “unusual situations;” all for the purpose of exchanging safety information, best practices, etc, pilot to pilot.


Fly Smart,

20 Apr 10 FAA Maintenance Fatigue Focus Newsletter

The latest MX Fatigue Focus Newsletter (a product of the multi-disciplinary maintenance fatigue workgroup) is now available on-line at: Fatigue
In this issue: A Management View of Fatigue Challenges, Fatigue in the Hangar, It Really Works! (in the new Beat Fatigue!column featuring fatigue tips and testimonials), Workload and Scheduling Tools:
Work Smart,

17 Apr 10 Professor Madden's Bib

photo by Ralph Madden, Jr
A very nice compilation by Professor Kenneth Madden of air transportation safety resources, sorted by subject. There are also some very interesting images.

FMI: Air Transportation Safety Resources

Fly Smart,

10 Apr 10 Strange Aviation Safety Book Sighting (Or not...)

I am working on a MLS project to develop an aviation safety collection for and academic library. One of the books I came across on Amazon is entitled Aviation Safety's Flying Circus.
With a name like this, plus a book by the same author on how to tie deer hair flies, how could you go wrong? Reviews are nowhere to be found, but it now has a core publisher Belvoir. If anyone has read the book and would like to provide a review, please contact me. In return I will send you a Signal Charlie sticker.
In the meantime I will have to use a personal expertise chip and select the book based solely on its title and the fact that one of the authors also wrote a book on tying deer hair flies. If those two subjects don't go together, I don't know what does. For both aviation safety and fishing, local expertise, operator skill and patience go a long way.

FMI (Or not...): Aviation Safety's Flying Circus
P.S. Dr Akin, if you are here reading this, we need to talk... :)

Fly Smart, not like the circus...
"Clark" Kent Lewis
2009 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year
4 time recipient CNO Aviation Safety Award
3 time recipient Bell Helicopter Rescue pin
3 time Air Medal recipient

09 Apr 10 Rail Safety Update: Keep Your Eyes Peeled For Steam Locomotive 844!

Last Steam Locomotive Built for Union Pacific Railroad Visits South Texas for the First Time to Celebrate Railroad History and Heritage

Media Kit
Fact Sheet/Schedule
No. 844

  • [[javascript:fPopWindow('/newsinfo/releases/attachments/train_844.pdf', 'help')|Download]]
    (177K [[javascript:window.open('/uprr/pdf.shtml','PDFdisclaimer','width=420,height=170');void(0)|PDF File]])
On Board No. 844, April 05, 2010 – Thousands of people have lined the route as Union Pacific Railroad's No. 844, the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific, travels to and from Texas to celebrate railroad history and heritage in the Rio Grande Valley.
"The crowds along the route have been tremendous and we sincerely appreciate those who have taken the time to come and experience a part of Union Pacific's heritage," said Joe Adams, vice president of public affairs for Union Pacific's Southern Region. "With this being the first time No. 844 has been south of Houston, we thought it only fitting to name the tour after a very popular Missouri Pacific passenger train, the Valley Eagle, which operated between Houston and Brownsville."
FMI: UP Steam
Don't miss this opportunity to see one of our Nation's legends, and take a moment to teach your children about rail crossing safety (Operation Lifesaver).
High Ball,

02 Apr 10 US Society of Air Safety Investigators Seminar Jun 21-23, 2010

ISASI_Logo.JPG Come join us in Oklahoma City at the National Aircraft Accident Investigation School for the USSASI 2010 Seminar on "Learning from Investigations". The workshop will include an evening reception (21 June) and two full days of training (22-23 June).
Two General Sessions, Keynote Address: State of the Union in US Accident Investigation, Human Factors in Aviation Accident Investigation and ISASI Fellow/Jerry Lederer Honorary Lecture
Three Breakout Sessions: General Aviation Accident Trends and Investigation Case Studies, Commercial Aviation Accident Trends and Investigation Case Studies and Helicopter Accident Trends and Investigation Case Studies.
Workshops: General Aviation Crash Survivability, Commercial Aviation Emergency Evacuation, Helicopter Laboratory and Bloodborne Pathogens Training

Editor: The facilities in OKC are top notch and there is a lot to share over the 3 days. The international investigatory influence is especially constructive. ISASI offers great training and I highly recommend attending.

Fly Smart,
ISASI Member

01 Apr 10 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar, Dallas TX

IMG_0934.JPG We're all set for day 2 of the seminar. I'd like to dedicate the seminar to Doc Hospers, a staunch aviation education and safety advocate, who Flew West last week. Doc was always very generous with his time and willing to let a group of volunteers learn about how to share the joys of aviation with others. Along with his wife Chuckie, they touched a countless number of lives and inspired us to give a little (or a lot like the folks in the back row there) as volunteers at the Museum.
The Vintage Flying Museum has great outreach programs that Doc and Chuckie built, these programs include aviation summer camps for middle and high school students, aviation workshops for teachers, and Young Eagle events. VFM hosted the first Signal Charlie seminar in 2007, a benchmark event that drew 150 people to the hangar deck on a 105 degree late Texas afternoon!

We will miss Doc, but we all carry a bit of him with us, especially when sharing our passion for aviation. In Doc's memory, donations in lieu of flowers are requested, in order that these events may continue to grow.

FMI: Vintage Flying Museum

Thanks again Doc!

31 Mar 10 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar, Dallas TX

dallas.jpg Hey, what are you looking at? You should be at the seminar!
We'll kick it off at 8 o'clock and have 2 great days of speakers lined up. I'd like to thank our sponsors for helping arrange the lowest cost possible. We have two lunches, provided by ISASI on day 1 and co-sponsored by Advanced Aircrew Academy on day 2. Southwest Airlines is bringing the coffee and the CAP will sell water and sodas for a fundraiser.
The staff at the Museum is rolling out the red carpet and we also have some great door prizes, so let's get going.

See you there,

23 Mar 10 NTSB Chairman Highlights Runway Safety and Human Fatigue in Address to Air Traffic Controllers

NTSB_logo Washington, DC - "In an address to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Orlando today, NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman lauded controllers for their role in keeping the number of runway incursions low while challenging the Federal Aviation Administration to hasten the pace of its efforts to improve runway safety. Attributing the decline in runway related incidents and accidents in part to "robust procedures, safe designs, and well-trained and alert controllers and pilots," Hersman said that "we still have a lot of work to do," and that the FAA needs to move more aggressively to lower the risk of runway accidents.
Hersman chaired the NTSB's February meeting in which runway safety was again voted onto its Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements where it has been since its inception in 1990. The Safety Board's recommendations to the FAA includes providing immediate warnings of probable collisions and incursions directly to flight crews in the cockpit; requiring specific ATC clearance for each runway crossing; requiring operators to install cockpit moving map displays or an automatic system that alerts pilots when a takeoff is attempted on a taxiway or a runway other than the one intended; and requiring a landing distance assessment with an adequate safety margin for every landing.
Taxiway_M.jpg Citing an ongoing investigation of an incident in which a 767 landed on a taxiway in Atlanta in October, Hersman said that the NTSB took a strong interest in the event "because we want to know what led a professional flight crew to mistake a taxiway for a runway, whether the controllers could have detected the misaligned final approach to landing and intervened, and whether there are technological tools that can be used to prevent such incidents from ever occurring in the first place." Although no one was injured in the incident, Hersman said that "if this event had resulted in a fatal collision, there would be - far and wide - immediate and understandable calls for changes."

Debbie_Hersman-144x180.jpg Hersman also cited human fatigue as an area that the Safety Board has become particularly focused on, saying that "We are seeing fatigue as a causal or contributing factor in numerous accidents across all transportation modes." The NTSB has made recommendations to the FAA to set working hour limits for flight crews, aviation mechanics, and air traffic controllers, and has asked the FAA develop a fatigue awareness and countermeasures training program for controllers and those who schedule them for duty. Recently, NATCA and the FAA established a working group to collaboratively address the human fatigue issues that the NTSB has identified. Hersman noted the significance of this positive step by the leadership of both organizations and called it a very encouraging development.
Concluding with an invitation for air traffic controllers to participate in a three-day forum on pilot and controller excellence that the NTSB will be holding in Washington in May, Hersman emphasized the value of learning from the numerous examples of superior job performance by controllers. "Through our work we are very good at finding out what went wrong, but frankly, it is just as important to know what is going right, because we want to replicate that throughout the entire national airspace system," she said."
The complete text of Chairman Hersman's speech may be obtained on the NTSB website.
Fly Smart,

20 Mar 10 On Organization of Information: Approach and Early Work Technical Memo from NASA

NASA.jpg NASA has released a report on organizing information for future integrated displays. "In this report we describe an approach for organizing information for presentation and display.The approach stems from the observation that there is a stepwise progression in the way signals (from the environment and the system under consideration) are extracted and transformed into data, and then analyzed and abstracted to form representations (e.g., indications and icons) on the user interface. In physical environments such as aerospace and process control, many system components and their corresponding data and information are interrelated (e.g., an increase in a chamber’s temperature results in an increase in its pressure). These interrelationships, when presented clearly, allow users to understand linkages among system components and how they may affect one another. Organization of these interrelationships on a coordinate system, or grid, provides for the so called “big picture” that pilots, astronauts, and operators strive for.

Mondrian.jpg This report begins with an analysis of an aviation incident involving a modern airliner, where the flight crew had difficulties understanding the physical interrelationships that existed among several engine and fuel system indications provided on the cockpit display. Analysis of the incident highlights some of the limitations in the design of information systems with respect to organization of information and user understanding of automation processes. We then analyze the map of the London Underground to understand successful examples of simplification and abstraction, integration of information, and nonlinear organization of the display to help viewers better understand the system as a whole. The next section describes the application of these concepts to the design of a graphical display for a statistical analysis of pilot-automation interaction. The last section describes the design of an experimental engine display for a research helicopter that integrates information from engine parameters and organizes them in the context of other subsystems."


Fly Smart,

05 Mar 10 Gunfighter Reunion

Kent_and_Carl.jpg I got to catch up with my squadron mate Carl "Mooch" Reynoso, Lt Col USMC (Ret), who just retired after 34 years of military service to our country. Carl is getting some good training at CAE Simuflite and is looking forward to getting some more stick time.

Carl_and_Link.jpg We managed to find some time for some good Texas BBQ aand then Carl gave me a tour of the simulator he will be flying.

Congratulations Carl on your retirement and enjoy your newest adventure. Maybe we'll get to fly together again soon!

Semper Fi,

04 Mar 10 Tom Turner Named 2010 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year

I was honored last year to be chosen as the National FAASTeam Rep of the Year, and the honor just grew immensely as I learned Tom Turner was chosen for 2010. Tom is truly deserving of this recognition.

Tom Turner
Tom is a Master Instructor and puts out a great FREE e-newsletter, among the many other things that he does. "FLYING LESSONS uses the past week’s aircraft mishap reports to consider what might have contributed to accidents, so you can make better decisions if you face similar circumstances."

Check it out: Flying Lessons
Congratulations Tom!

02 Mar 10 New Name for FAA's General Aviation Safety Publication

MarApr2010Cvr.jpg "Starting with the March/April 2010 issue, FAA Aviation News is changing its name to FAA Safety Briefing. “We’re changing the name to more accurately
reflect the magazine’s mission: safety,” said John Allen, Director, FAA Flight Standards Service. “As for the word briefing,” Allen added, “briefings are used in health care, in the military, and in aviation, and are essential to get crucial information before the flight. That’s the point of FAA Safety Briefing: Providing pilots, aviation maintenance technicians, and more across the general aviation community with valuable safety information.”

FAA Aviation News started in 1961 as a newsletter and expanded to a magazine format in 1962. In 1976, it sharpened its focus on general aviation. “Through this bimonthly print and online publication we strive to make the GA community aware of FAA resources, help readers understand safety and regulatory issues, and encourage continued training,” said Editor Susan Parson. FAA Safety Briefing is available free of charge on the FAA Web site at: www.faa.gov/news/safety_ briefing. Check out the March/April 2010 issue, which features the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) and its role promoting safer skies through outreach, training, and education."

Editor: I was honored to be interviewed for this edition, check out page 7. I would like to add my thanks to all of the great team members who work every day to improve the aerospace safety. It is very rewarding to meet, work and play with such a fantastic group!

Fly Smart,

24 Feb 10 Aero-News Featured Aero-Casts - SMS - Safety Management Systems

Safe-Pilots-Logo_tn.jpg ANN's Paul Plack talks with Steve Lasday, chairman of the Flight Training Safety Committee of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, about SMS - Safety Management Systems, and why we need them in flight training operations.
ANN Special Feature: Part I: SMS in Flight Training - 02.23.10
(ANN Special Report, with Steve Lasday, chairman of the Flight Training Safety Committee of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators)

Editor: SMS is a great philosophy to adopt for any organization, it complements a vibrant QMS. Thanks Steve and ANN for providing this information!
Fly Smart,

18 Feb 10 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management System Seminar

Dallas, TX March 31 - April 1 2010

Our Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar is a go! We have a great lineup of speakers and outstanding venue. Focus is human factors and SMS programs for Part 135 and the GA community, sharing lessons learned with 121 and military communities. Come spend some time in Dallas, enjoy the conference and explore the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

Click here link to learn more and register.

Fly Smart, and hope to see you in Texas late March!

2009 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year

18 Feb 10 IATA Publishes 2009 Aviation Safety Performance Data

plane-crash-amsterdam-2-25-09.jpg According to figures published by IATA, the 2009 global accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft) was 0.71, the second lowest in aviation history, just above the 2006 rate of 0.65. However, not all the trends are encouraging...Read the full article

For more information visit the aviation safety knowledge base SKYbrary: http://www.skybrary.aero

Editor: SKYbrary is a fantastic FREE safety resource. Check it out!

Fly Smart,

17 Feb 10 Concurrent Task Management, Operational Procedures and Checklists

md_flaps_down.jpg Here is a great powerpoint with suggestions on how to manage multiple tasks more effectively. Failure to do so can lead to mishaps when checklist items get missed. Thanks goes to our NASA folks for this operational research.

Here is the foundational FAA document, derived from NASA research, on checklist design

Fly Smart,

12 Feb 10 SMS Lessons Learned from Toyota

fsinfo_logo.gif From Curt Lewis' Flight Safety Info: Failing to "Connect the Dots." How the recent quality troubles plaguing Toyota relates to the SMS implementation efforts in the US Aviation Industry.
During many conversations with colleagues and review of the comments to the ANPRM, one of the statements often repeated is: "we already have a quality management system in place, and do not need another such as SMS." There seems to be an underlying misunderstanding between a quality management system and a safety management system. As the President of Toyota stated in an op-ed article (CNN on-line); "we failed to connect the dots with accelerator problems in the United States and Europe" and "the company needed to improve sharing important quality and safety information across our global operations." I argue, that safety is an unspoken and unwritten quality expectation of our customers, and you cannot separate the two. You can have a quality product or service, as defined by the ISO standards, and still not have a safe product or service. Toyotas' problem clearly accentuates this point.

Part of the confusion stems from the adoption of some of the same types of tools and techniques used in quality management, to manage the safety system. Trade association presidents, and regulators state that SMS is a businesslike approach to managing safety; and this is correct. However, many people falsely assume this to mean that processes designed to produce a quality product, (repeatedly doing the same thing, without variation) equates to the same thing as repeatedly producing a safe product. In Toyotas case, the accelerator parts were manufactured to a specification (an incorrect one), and the quality system would detect any variance of the process, and adjust the process to bring the production back in line with the specification. In effect, Toyota had a quality product. It was produced as designed, repeatedly without variation outside of established limits. Toyota did not have a safe product, and as stated did not connect the dots between failures of the product during use, to failures of the production process. Because quality management systems measure types of data points, geared towards production costs and sales, some people believe these same types of measures with a "businesslike approach" equates to a safety management system.

It is how the tools and techniques are used, along with a focus on investigation of events, which makes the quality and safety management systems different. The quality systems do not investigate incidents or accidents for risk assessment. Quality systems audit output of a process only for variance, and makes adjustments. SMS investigates events, looking for contributing factors from all influencing sources. For example: an altitude deviation will start with establishing if a violation occurred, and if so or not, was it the result of an error, due to risk behavior, latent organizational pathogens, or both. SMS looks at the Human interface aspects (commonly referred to as HFACS) and the organizational, to include the regulatory agencies, the operating environment, and the equipment to determine a root cause and contributing factors.

JetSolutions.jpg One of the purposes of an SMS is to improve the safety performance, and therefore reduce the exposure to risk of having an accident. It is not focused on the safety record per se. Quality systems are focused on continuous improvement also, but through improving the production record rate. This is another source of confusion between the two management system concepts; improving a safety record, is not the same as improving safety performance. There are many aviation companies that have extremely good safety records, but are operating with risky behavior or inadequate organizational structures, and have just not had an accident yet. A good safety record, just like a good quality record, does not guarantee safety. Toyota has for decades been renowned for their outstanding quality, their reputation was built on their quality, yet Toyota is now faced with a failure to connect safety to their quality. We must ask ourselves, how did this happen, and what does it mean to me?

One of the aspects pointed out with Toyotas' problems, has been the management structure, and management involvement. Management's attention and oversight was focused on the business bottom line, and those metrics were quality measures, management was not focused on safety risk assessment or risk management. Safety risk assessment and safety risk management are just some of the components of an SMS, and it requires management involvement. The aviation industry managers should take a lesson learned from Toyota, and ensure that what you do with the management system, i.e. doing the hazard analysis through the investigations of events is not overlooked. The FAA should also take a lesson from this, and ensure the necessary resources are available to connect the dots, between the operators reporting of failures, and the manufactures requirements to correct identified problems. This is where Toyota failed, we should not do the same.

I have read many comments from manufacturers and certified repair shops, that leads one to question if there is a true understanding of the relationship and differences between a quality management systems and a safety management system. Such comments as, the QMS is FAA accepted. How can the FAA accept a QMS, which is not a regulatory requirement. Currently the FAA cannot accept an SMS, and is having problems even dealing with official recognition of an SMS. There is no regulatory QMS framework. Other comments such as, the facility has a quality control manual or quality control department. Again, going back to the Toyota example, quality control is not the same as quality assurance, or safety assurance. There are however, some organizations which do understand the quality and safety interface. Such as comments from TIMCO Aviation Services "The main difference between the QMS and the SMS is the identifying defects (QMS) or identifying hazards (SMS). QMS is more customer driven, dealing with produces and services, but SMS is more of a continuous internal health assessment. Having a QMS satisfies most requirements of the policy portion of an SMS, which gives us a good base to begin setting up an SMS."

Comments from the organizations that appear to understand the relationships and difference, are those that appear to be able to "connect the dots". These organizations typically have other programs (which are good component parts of an SMS) such as; Internal Evaluation Program (IEP), Continuous Analysis and Surveillance (CAS), required for some operators, Aviation Safety Action Programs (ASAP), and other programs such as FOQA. An example of one of these SMS component programs is the required CAS program for certain types of air carriers. The CAS program is a strategic and important element of the SMS. A good CAS program, designed, developed, and implemented can help the air carrier maintenance repair department "connect the dots" between failures in the field. What may be lacking is the FAA's participation in CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN THE OPERATOR AND THE MANUFACTURER. As the regulator, with oversight responsibility for both the operators and the manufactures, the FAA should bear the responsibility and liability to ensure the dots are connected and appropriate actions taken, this includes within the regulatory environment as well.

There is a lot to be learned from Toyota's present situation, and how they got where they are. So what are we going to do about it?

Steven C. McNeely
Manager, Safety Management Systems
Jet Solutions, L.L.C.

10 Feb 10 EAA And Sporty's Pilot Shop Offer Free Training To Young Eagles

Posted by Aero-News Network

Sixteen-year-old Tyler Whitney of Fenwick, MI probably never looked at himself as an aviation pioneer. He became one, though, as the first EAA Young Eagle to pass his FAA Private Pilot written test through the Sporty's Online Pilot Training Course now offered free to all Young Eagles.

The opportunity was announced last April by EAA and Sporty's Pilot Shop of Batavia, Ohio, one of the world's leading pilot and aviation suppliers. Through this partnership, young people who receive an inspirational and educational introduction to personal flight via the EAA Young Eagles Program will also receive from Sporty's the tools they'll need to take the next steps in pursuing their interest in aviation.
Upon completion of a flight with a Young Eagles volunteer pilot - often the youth's first time aboard a general aviation aircraft - the youth will receive a logbook for recording this and subsequent aviation experiences. The Young Eagle receives an access code to the Sporty's Online Complete Pilot Training Course. Both the logbook and the flight training course are free of charge to Young Eagles.
external image Young-Eagles-Logo-0709a_tn.JPG "EAA and Sporty's made this program possible so the excitement of flight that comes from a Young Eagles flight doesn't stop there," said Brian O'Lena, EAA's youth programs manager. "We appreciate Sporty's commitment to opening the door to more young people to participate in aviation and discover opportunities and accomplishments for their own lives."
"We know Tyler will be only the first of many, many young people who have the opportunity to discover and explore the world of flight through the Young Eagles program and the support Sporty's has provided for aviation future," O'Lena said. "There are more 'next step' programs coming for Young Eagles that will make the experience more than simply an initial airplane ride."
FMI: Young Eagles

29 Jan 10 Takeoff and Landing Accident Reduction Awareness and Education

52F_RI.jpg From the great folks at AOPA Air Safety Foundation: "You may get away with a lapse of judgment or an unpracticed skill in cruise flight, but landings are less forgiving. Add to that unfamiliar conditions—a soft or short runway, a gusty day, high density altitude, or a heavy airplane—and even high-time pilots can botch a landing. With an average of eight per week, bad landings are the most common type of general aviation accident. Learn from the mistakes of other pilots in this interactive map of landing accidents created by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Just mouse over an accident marker and then click on the accident number to read the NTSB’s narrative of the accident."
FMI: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Editor: Maneuvering flight, VMC into IFR and takeoff/landing mishaps are the biggest killers in GA. These are good resources to review and to share with you flying buddies, provided free of charge by AOPA. A good risk assessment can prevent a lot of these kinds of mishaps, coupled with specific skills training that helps define where one's personal limits are. Sometimes the answer is to find another runway, wait for weather to improve or for it to cool off, make two trips instead of one, or simply go around and get stabilized for a second approach. Not to mention it is good to practice go arounds on a sunny, gusty day so we're ready for one on a rainy, foggy day. And everyone likes more flight time, right? :)
Fly Smart,

20 Jan 10 Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program

Bell_Helicopter.jpg Bell Helicopter, Textron Inc. safety publication, Helicopter Professional Pilots Safety Program or HELIPROPS, designed for helicopter pilots is now available electronically online. Bell’s newsletter Human AD Airworthiness for Humans is published quarterly in English and Spanish and is distributed to readers in approximately 121 countries. A popular feature of the newsletter are articles from helicopter pilot’s own experiences flying in “unusual situations;” all for the purpose of exchanging safety information, best practices, etc, pilot to pilot.

The web site, www.heliprops.com is a free resource for pilots, mechanics, owners - operators, students and enthusiasts. From the web site readers are able to download the Human AD newsletter, HELIPROPS Safety Posters and the “History of Helicopter Safety,” authored by Bell’s Chief of Flight Safety, Roy Fox. The FAAST program is committed to the reduction of helicopter accidents and encourages FAAST members as well as other airmen to review this valuable source of safety information.
For more information, please click on the links below:

HMLA-369 Bell UH-1N and AH-1W on USS Duluth 1989
English: http://www.bellhelicopter.com/ en/training/pdf/heliprops_21_ 2.pdf
Spanish: http://www.bellhelicopter.com/ en/training/pdf/heliprops_21_ 2_span.pdf

I have some good friends at Bell here in Alliance, TX. They do a good job providing training for aviation professionals and are outstanding supporters of the Wings program. Bell is now signed up as an Authorized Training Provider with the new Wings program, their courses can be found in faasafety.gov and on their website.
Fly Smart,

19 Jan 10 PSA CRJ-200 Runway Excursion Charleston, WV (EMAS Save)

accident-PSA-CRJ200-CRW100119.jpg from Aircrew Buzz
Late this afternoon, a PSA Airlines CRJ-200 aircraft overran a runway at Yeager Airport (CRW), Charleston, WV, following a rejected takeoff. The aircraft, operating as US Airways Express Flight JIA 2495, was departing on a scheduled passenger flight to Charlotte, NC, at the time of the incident. It came to a stop about 130 feet into the EMAS (Engineered Material Arresting System) area beyond the end of Runway 23 at CRW. No injuries have been reported among the three crew members and 30 passengers on board.

The incident occurred on January 19, 2010 at approximately 16:20 local time in Charleston. The reason for the rejected takeoff has not been reported.

WSAZ.com, reporting on a press conference held at Yeager Airport, quoted an official who said that there were "skid marks on the runway approximately 2,000 feet long." The good news is that the EMAS, which is 425 feet in length, obviously worked as intended. The aircraft reportedly stopped "about 125 feet from the edge of the mountain." The EMAS was installed at Yeager Airport in November of 2008.

By the way, @YeagerAirport did an exemplary job of live-tweeting information about the incident and its effects on the airport's operations in real time on Twitter. The photo above also was tweeted to the Yeager Airport Twitpic page.

14 Jan 10 Runway Safety Brief by Air France Brussels Sep 2009

Runway Safety Programs Presentation summary -

12 Jan 10 First Flight With Two-Way Radio

Amelia.jpg 1935 - Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) makes the first solo flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California. The flight, in a Lockheed Vega, takes 18 hours and 15 minutes and is credited as being the first flight where a civilian aircraft carried a two-way radio.
FMI: International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations

10 Jan 10 "Dirty Dozen" - 12 Challenges for Aviation Safety

bigapt.jpg Years ago an industry panel developed the "Dirty Dozen" list that identified hazards in aviation, focused on mishaps that were occurring in air carrier operations. Take a look at the list and see which ones we've made some progress towards eliminating through introduction of new technology, training and operational procedures. Then consider which ones are still basically uncontrolled. The areas where we still need a lot of work are highlighted in red.

1. Midair collision-TCAS
2. Inadequate terrain separation-Enhanced GPWS, use of minimum safe/vectoring altitudes
3. Unstabilized approach-? See # 5. SOPs, approach gates for configuration, airspeed, altitude. Visual and electronic glide paths. Wind and surface info.
4. Weather related damage or injury-? SOPs and personal mins for turbulence, icing, convective activity
5. Runway excursions-? See # 3.
6. Abort before 100 knots-SOP
7. Significant operational deviation-SOPs and personal minimums, CRM.
8. Runway Incursion-ASDE-X at a few airports, but what about widely used cockpit technologies?
9. Landing on wrong runway/airport-Precision nav (FMS). Approach brief. Backup with instrument approach procedure. Landing clearances.
10. Altitude deviation-Readback hearback. CRM. Use of autopilot as additional crew.
11. Navigation deviation-Use of precision nav sources, GPS, FMS.
12. Ground injury or damage-? Slow down and be familiar with airport surface ops.

Runway Incursion - GA vs Air Carrier
We need to get a lot smarter and technologically advanced with regards to surface operations, because hazards will exponentialy compound as the number of operations increases. In some ways we are more exposed to hazards on the ground, because flight planning and ops support may not focus as much on these phases of "flight". We need to be very familiar with the winds, surface conditions, runway lengths, geometry and facility layouts, airport lighting and approach systems. We also need to be aware that the priority guidance to "Aviate, Navigate and Communicate" is essentially reversed when we are on the ground. The focus on the ground is to "Communicate", to listen and build a mental model of where other aircraft and vehicles are. Keep in mind that vision is our primary sensory input, and now we are asking the brain to shift priority to listening. The next priority is to "Navigate", we must know at a minimum where we are, in order to get to where we want to be. Charts and electronic moving maps assist in this area, but the key is to "Look outside". Lastly, it is harder to "Aviate" on the ground, we are not "aircraft" in this regime but rather ground vehicles with limited visibility, reduced maneuverability and many of our warning systems have little or no functionality on the ground. Couple this with the fact that the areas we are maneuvering in are confined and many times unfamiliar, and the fact that the runways are areas where there is great potential for a high energy collision, then we certainly have challenges to manage.

What can be done to improve the system? The first step is to study the operational environment, and the next step is to identify hazards, so that we can avoid them and implement programs to eliminate them. One good way to do this is to put in a report via NASA ASRS, because folks who manage airspace systems need this information to improve the system. Another good investment is to participate in the Wings program, and dedicate ourselves to lifelong learning in our chosen craft. The best way we will learn is from each other.

Fly Smart,

07 Jan 10 Preventing Wrong Runway Departures

KCLE_APD_AIRPORT_DIAGRAM.png The Commercial Air Safety Team and FAA developed an excellent brochure on Wrong Runway Departures. One finding of the team was 8 major factors that can increase the risk of a wrong runway departure:
1) Short taxi distance, 2) Airport complexity, 3) A single taxiway leading to multiple runway thresholds, 4) Close physical proximity of multiple runway thresholds, 5) More than two taxiways intersecting in one area, 6) A short runway (less than 5,000 feet), 7) Joint use of a runway as a taxiway, and 8) Single runway airports.

This brochure is designed to share best practices that you can use to ensure you won’t unintentionally be caught in your own WRONG RUNWAY DEPARTURE! Using these best practices will help guarantee a safe flight, every flight.

Fly Smart,

06 Jan 10 Runway Safety Areas

Andrew P. Smith/Reuters
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A runway safety area (RSA) or runway end safety area (RESA) is defined as "the surface surrounding the runway prepared or suitable for reducing the risk of damage to airplanes in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or excursion from the runway."[1]
Past standards called for the RSA to extend only 60m (200 feet) from the ends of the runway. Currently the international standard ICAO requires a 90m (300 feet) RESA starting from the end of the runway strip (which itself is 60m from the end of the runway), and recommends but not requires a 240m RESA beyond that. In the U.S., the recommended RSA may extend to 500 feet in width, and 1,000 feet beyond each runway end (according to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recommendations; 1000 feet is equivalent to the international ICAO-RESA of 240m plus 60m strip). The standard dimensions have increased over time to accommodate larger and faster aircraft, and to improve safety.

AP/Helen H. Richardson,The Denver Post
FMI: Runway Safety Area
Risk assessment is key. Are all of the airplane systems operating correctly? Is the crew well rested? Is wind a factor? What is the surface condition of the runway, is there ice, snow, standing water or contamination from rubber deposits? Are there visual and electronic systems turned on and in use to assist in establishment of stabilized approach criteria, both at the airport and on the flight deck? Was the airplane certified in these conditions, and crews properly trained and experienced?
It is easy enough to sit here and ask these questions when it is clear and sunny outside, with all of the time in the world to ponder the answers, but it is another to consider the questions while covering the ground at 2 and a half miles per minute when weather, airport systems and fuel are factors. Human nature is to pick scenarios from memory that we are familiar with, and most of us are familiar with millions of flights that are safely completed to airports where there is snow, rain, short runways and challenging weather.

Dyersburg State Gazette

One of the top problems in the general aviation community are accidents during the takeoff and landing phases of flight, when the airplane is in transition between an air vehicle or a ground vehicle. Most of the same factors listed above are found during investigation of these mishaps, so knowing the threats and creating a plan to manage them is critical. AOPA and the Flight Safety Foundation have valuable resources available to help in this regard.

Fly Smart,

Happy New Year 2010

Tri-Motor_Prop.JPG Here's wishing you a safe and prosperous New Year. Take some time this year to learn more about our craft by visiting AOPA, the Flight Safety Foundation and FAA Safety.gov. There is some great info there that helps us fly smart and have fun. And if you're into resolutions, how about resolving to introduce a flying friend to one of these resources this year. Getting a new pilot signed up for Wings Seminars or an AOPA membership would be a great, long lasting gift.

Happy Trails,

19 Dec 09 FAA Runway Safety Brief by James White: Nov 2009 Update

Take a few minutes and look through the excellent presentation on runways safety presented to RASG – Pan America Meeting by James White, Deputy Director, Airport Safety and Standards, FAA. It is an great update on ongoing initiatives to make operations on and around our runways safer. There are some really eye opening FOD pictures, as well as pictures of new runway technologies (RWSL, THL, REL), avian radar and CFR improvements.

Eagle_on_runway.jpg Here is one of the items detected by a FOD camera.

Fly Smart, and remember to fly neighborly,

19 Dec 09 NBAA Announces New Professional Development Program Courses

Falcon.jpg The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced the approval of six new Professional Development Program (PDP) Courses offered by five different PDP providers. NBAA also seeks new educational providers to develop additional courses.
The new offerings listed below are described by course number, title and PDP objective.
  • Aviation Training Solutions has two new courses approved that are each available in a one day class format with a flexible schedule. The first course is called Effective Leadership in Business Aviation and it meets PDP objective L3. This course explains the qualities of good leadership and hope to motivate and achieve results within a flight department. The second course called Enhancing Productivity through Business Aviation meets objective BM1 and relates the various transportation solutions and how they can be incorporated into the corporate culture of the business aviation flight department.
  • Aviem International, Inc. offers the approved course, "Emergency Planning for Business Aviation" that includes developing and implementing a disaster recovery plan for the business aviation flight department (Ops5).
  • Convergent Performance LLC was approved for a course titled "Pilot Reliability Certification" that covers basic human factors in business aviation (PM9).
  • Ohio University has an approved course called "Business in Aviation" that plans for corporate travel analysis and the concepts of fitting the flight department into a corporate culture (BM1).
  • Sinclair Community College, has "Principles of Aviation Leadership (AVT-141)" that outlines the methods for developing a strategic mission and vision statement for the flight department. (L1, L2).
NBAA's Professional Development Program provides a curriculum for the education of current and future business aviation managers. The program encourages participation in coursework, recognizes outstanding candidates and participants, and rewards those seeking careers in business aviation.
PDP Courses also are a means of preparing individuals to become NBAA Certified Aviation Managers (CAMs), though participation in PDP is not required for participation in the CAM Program.
NBAA seeks providers for additional PDP Courses. Traditionally, established training organizations and educational institutions provide PDP Courses through a variety of convenient and flexible delivery methods, including Internet courses, video instructions and on-site seminars. Individuals and organizations interested in becoming PDP-approved providers should contact NBAA. The deadline for provider and course submissions is January 15, 2010; NBAA's PDP Review Committee will make selections in spring, 2010.
FMI: www.nbaa.org/pdp, Aero-News Network

Editor's note: It would be good to see programs developed for managers that discuss safety programs, risk management, assurance, policy, reporting, investigation and safety information systems. Future business aviation managers should be well versed in these areas.

Fly Smart,

18 Dec 09 Omniflight Helicopters Teams Up With FlightSafety International

From Aero-News Network: Simulation Training And Education To Be Offered In Tucson

external image flightsafetylogo0302a_tn.gif Omniflight Helicopters announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with FlightSafety International. The agreement provides Omniflight the opportunity to train its aviation professionals using FlightSafety’s new AS350 simulator, a Level 7 flight training device that basically serves as a replica of the aircraft. The training will take place at FlightSafety’s educational center in Tucson, AZ, where Omniflight’s instructors will lead and conduct the process.
Beginning in early 2010, nearly 200 pilots nationwide will be trained using FlightSafety’s AS350 simulator. This includes training for newly hired as well as current Omniflight pilots and will focus on both regulatory and mission-specific, scenario-based training.
Conducting training in the simulator will allow Omniflight to provide instruction on certain specific maneuvers that can be performed more effectively in the device. In particular, Omniflight expects to see increased effectiveness in training for encounters associated with Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) and a wide range of emergency procedures.
“The FlightSafety training program will allow us to capitalize on the proven benefits of simulator training processes, which include enhanced safety and heightened performance,” said Eric Pangburn, chief rotor-wing pilot at Omniflight who will head the program for the company.
“The training will offer a decreased chance of physical risk and improved cost efficiencies since it will be conducted on the ground, which ultimately results in increased aircraft availability. It also affords us more flexibility and enhanced productivity in the type of training options it is capable of performing,” Pangburn explained.
external image Omniflight-AS350-0509a_tn.jpg

Omniflight AS350
Anthony J. DiNota, president and chief operating officer, added: “We have long seen the successes and benefits of flight simulation training when used at major airlines and within other segments of the aerospace industry. Now, the time has finally come when this type of high-level commercial simulator training is available for the AS350. It is truly exciting to have an opportunity to be among the first entities to conduct training with this new simulator, which has been specifically designed for helicopters that operate within the air medical transport arena.
“With this arrangement with FlightSafety, Omniflight is improving the quality of its pilots while helping them to excel in their abilities to appropriately respond to patient needs during the course of duty," DiNota said. "We are delighted to be leading the charge within the air medical services sector and look forward to continuing to capitalize on additional simulator training opportunities as progression continues in the marketplace."
FMI: www.omniflight.com

Smart move,

17 Dec 09 Best of 2009: HEMS Industry Risk Profile

I am writing a paper on Risk Management and I remembered the HEMS Industry Risk Profile that was published early this year, and thought it was one of the best documents posted this year. It would make a good document to review over the holidays and implement in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

20 Apr 09 HEMS Industry Risk Profile

From the Flight Safety Foundation: "The Flight Safety Foundation released a groundbreaking assessment today that provides a comprehensive look at the risks facing the Helicopter Emergency medical services (HEMS) industry. The Industry Risk Profile (IRP), developed by Aerosafe Risk Management, also provides a roadmap outlining proactive steps that the industry and regulators can follow in order to mitigate these risks.

Aerosafe developed the IRP using internationally recognized risk management standards. This independent analysis utilized a wide variety of data and perspectives from the HEMS industry. The IRP process is designed specifically to allow industry to step up and shape a way forward. A copy of the HEMS IRP is available on the Flight Safety Foundation web site at

This is a great collaborative product, and free! I also uploaded a copy .

Fly Smart


09 Dec 09 Taxiing Toward Tomorrow: Runway Safety Summit Highlights Need for Collaboration

Debbie_Hersman-144x180.jpg From NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman’s opening remarks, to FAA Director of Runway Safety Wes Timmons’ closing statement and recap of accomplishments, the consensus was clear at last week’s first FAA International Runway Safety Summit: Focus, cooperation, and teamwork are the key components to improving airport surface operations worldwide. To see evidence of this need for global collaboration one only had to look as far as the roster, which included nearly 500 attendees from 17 different nations.

WesTimmons.jpg Many of the topics presented and discussed by safety experts and key industry stakeholders directly involved general aviation, including airport layouts, cockpit and ATC procedures, human factors, and technology. Also discussed were ongoing initiatives, as well as plans for future runway safety improvements in the U.S. and around the world. Presentations from many of the event’s speakers and panelists will be available in two weeks at http://events.aaae.org/sites/ 091107/.
FMI: Runway Safety
Fly Smart,

04 Dec 09 AOPA Offers Great Tips To Improve Runway Safety

December 3, 2009 by Bruce Landsberg
Approach_Lights Runway safety – a continuing saga? Yes, and so it should be. Some may be tired of hearing about it but the facts are that from 2003 through 2008 there were between 24 and 32 Category A or B incursions annually. A & Bs are the bad ones where either exceptional skill, some luck or likely a bit of both prevented a catastrophe.
It was my privilege to represent GA and to speak at the FAA’s International Runway Safety Conference in DC this week along with two NTSB members, The airlines, airport operators air traffic controllers – in short anyone who had anything to do with keeping aircraft and vehicles from getting together on runways was there.
Many things were discussed but here’s what should be of interest to pilots:
1. Moving map displays are a nice addition to any cockpit to help you reference location but remember to look outside.
2. If there’s even the slightest bit of uncertainty, verify with the tower that you are cleared to cross or enter a runway.
3. ALWAYS look even though you’ve been cleared to cross, takeoff or land – it’s saved me several times.
3. Distraction is deadly – avoid multi-tasking and don’t be programing the magic while the aircraft is moving unless there’s another pilot on board and one of you is looking outside.
4. Complacency is deadly – think it can’t happen to you ? Ask anyone of the roughly 900 pilots who had a deviation last year. They have a different opinion – now.
The good news is that for 2009 the A’s and B’s are down to about 12 but it’s too soon to tell if that’s due to reduced flight hours or that we’re starting to get a handle on this.
If you have a runway safety suggestion, share it even for non-towered airports. It was only last week we were discussing traffic patterns there and check out the new runway safety course that FAA Office of Runway Safety was kind enough to sponsor. I guarantee you’ll learn something even if you’ve taken our earlier version. I did. If you’ve got a practical test or a flight review soon this is strongly recommended – chances are excellent inquiring minds will want to know.
Check out these additional ASF resources on Runway Safety: Allentown.jpg

04 Dec 09 ALPA to FAA: Fatigue Rule Needed Now

ALPA.jpg From Aero-News: In testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Tuesday, Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, (ALPA), told senators that current federal flight- and duty-time rules for airline pilots are obsolete and modern science-based regulations are needed now to combat pilot fatigue and safeguard passengers and cargo.
“We are disappointed by the FAA’s announcement that the draft regulation will be delayed until early next year, but we expect work to remain on track to create a new regulation by mid-2010,” said Prater after his testimony before the Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. “The threat from pilot fatigue is dire, and the decisive action our industry needs from the FAA can’t come quickly enough.”
The existing rules date from the 1950s and are “a stick-and-wire biplane struggling to stay aloft in a supersonic age,” Prater said in his testimony to the members of the Senate. “I ask for your help in giving the flying public a new, consistent level of safety by ensuring that every pilot in the United States starts every trip alert and rested.”
Prater said the new rule on pilot fatigue must meet three criteria to be truly effective: it must be based on scientific research into human fatigue and circadian rhythms, it should be uniform for all airline pilots, and it should encourage airline managers and pilot unions to collaborate in setting up voluntary Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) at their individual carriers.
“No science exists to support multiple sets of flight-time and duty-time limits. No rational argument can be made for different flight/duty rules for pilots based on whether they fly passengers or cargo, domestic or international,” he said. Prater pointed to existing rules that allow cargo pilots to fly up to 60 percent more hours in a given week than pilots carrying passengers within the United States. “Exceptions or ‘carve-outs’ would kill long-overdue efforts to ensure all pilots are well rested. Worse, carve-outs would undermine the one-level-of-safety principle that must remain our ultimate goal.”
Seven ALPA pilots representing every spectrum of the airline industry participated in an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) that made recommendations to the FAA. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt had publicly stated that his agency would publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on this vital aviation safety issue by the end of 2009, and issue a final rule next year.
“I remain encouraged that we finally appear to be on the verge of securing the modern, science-based flight- and duty-time rules we know are so vital to enhancing aviation safety,” concluded Prater. “We look forward to evaluating the FAA’s proposed rule, and challenge the administration to stay on target for a final rule by mid-2010.”
FMI: aero-news, www.alpa.org,

Fly Smart...and awake,

27 Nov 09 Newark Runway Risks Concern FAA: Risk Management 101

clt There is some wheat to be separated from the chaff here, but there are good risk management lessons to be learned for regulators, managers, controllers and pilots in this story. One is the importance of encouraging an open, reporting and learning culture within an organization. Identification of hazards is THE important first step that must be taken before hazards can be analyzed and risks assessed. People who are most familiar with the task are usually good sources for hazard identification. Once a hazard is identified, operational safety pros can look at the frequency of the event and also consider the severity (or potential severity) posed by the hazard, classify the risk and make risk decisions on proper controls. The decision may be to do nothing or simply to monitor for change, it may be to introduce new procedures, training and technology, or it may be to stop the operation. There should be a balance in this decision making process between production and protection, or else the system can break down or not perform at optimum levels. Within this process, the FAA's mission is to ensure safe skies. Once the decisions are made and implemented, personnel at all levels should monitor the results and make sure that the intended results were achieved, identify residual risk and look for unintended consequences of the change. From there the process should repeat, with people looking for changes in the system and identifying areas where increased production warrants additional changes in training, procedures and equipment.
52F_RI.jpg An attitude of "we've always done it that way" and a culture of mission accomplishment is a good thing, as long as safety considerations are embedded in that culture and there is a strong management of change process that respects safety boundaries. The lessons learned in Newark need to be captured and applied throughout the system, and not just on intersecting runways. That is the proactive way to improve the system and prevent mishaps.

(CNN) -- "Federal investigators are concerned a potential danger persists because of the simultaneous use of intersecting runways at Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the nation's busiest and a gateway to the New York metro area.
The alert comes after repeated instances in which planes above the Newark airport flew too close to each other in violation of safety standards. There were four such instances last year and at least four this year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general.
In one case, on January 16, 2008, two Continental planes -- a Boeing B-737 and an Embraer 145 -- missed each other by 600 feet, according to a DOT inspector general's report."
For the Full Report: CNN

For more on Risk Management

Fly Smart,

20 Nov 09 New Video Stresses Importance of Communication Between Pilots, Controllers

FirstDefence_11-20-09.jpg ALPA and NavCanada have produced a new video, The First Defense: Effective Air Traffic Services—Pilot Communications, to help create a culture of effective communications between pilots and air traffic controllers.
Effective communications between pilots and air traffic controllers is a key element to safe operations throughout the national airspace system. Communications from either pilots or controllers using nonstandard phraseology, partial call signs, clearances meant for other aircraft, etc., can all lead to confusion, distraction, operational disruptions, and worse, if left unchecked. Accident and incident reports have cited communications errors as contributing factors in numerous investigations.
This new video uses real pilots and controllers to portray incidents in which ineffective, incomplete, or inaccurate communications were a factor. The video also shows how effective communications procedures could have prevented the incidents.
FMI: Nav Canada and ALPA

Fly Smart,

18 Nov 09 Aviation Information Search And Retrieval

I am working on a project to create an online public access catalog (OPAC) for the aviation library at the Vintage Flying Museum in Ft Worth, TX, part of my MLS. Could you take a few minutes for a 5 question survey?

10 Nov 09 Book Review: The Multitasking Myth: Handling Complexity in Real-World Operations

Multitasking_Myth.jpg Ashgate Studies in Human Factors for Flight Operations has released the latest title in a continuing series, The Multitasking Myth: Handling Complexity in Real World Operations by Dr. Key Dismukes, Dr. Loukia Loukopoulos and Dr. Immanuel Barshi. The authors discuss the results of recent research that delves into the performance of crews in dynamic environments and explores why even skilled crews can make mistakes when multitasking. Part of the problem is defined as gaps that exist between the ideal environment that is defined by flight operations policies and procedures, and the reality of complex and variable operations. The scientists, drawing from extensive experience gained as aerospace human factors researchers at NASA Ames, drill down into several critical phases of flight that include taxi, descent, approach and landing. During the course of their applied research they looked for markers that identified problem areas, and conducted analysis of concurrent task management and crew responses during these situations. What they discovered is that humans are not nearly as good at multitasking as previously assumed, and this should be taken into consideration when designing and conducting flight operation policy and procedures. On top of this, crews routinely underestimate their vulnerability to error. Timing of tasks and the character of a specific task also create unique memory and goal completion challenges for crews, and theses challenges can create safety significant issues when they are placed in the context of high tempo operations. Through the course of their research, four patterns of error were identified: 1) Interruptions and distractions, 2) tasks that cannot be executed in the normal practiced sequence of procedure, 3) Unanticipated new tasks and 4) multiple tasks that must be interleaved. The authors also offer areas to focus on error reduction: 1) Improving effectiveness of checklists and monitoring, 2) strategic management of task demands and 3) training and personal techniques

One area that is critically examined is the cognitive aspect associated with processing multiple medias; crews can pay attention to only one stream of information at any given moment. Novel situations require focused attention that is slow, effortful and serial. If multiple streams of information compete at the wrong time, critical information or steps in a procedure can be missed, for example information on braking action or proper setting of flaps. These are the types of mistakes that are discovered during mishap investigations, and the goal here is to delve deeper into these cognitive aspects and apply them to future cockpit operations to improve pilot performance. Once applied, the procedures can be measured to see if they had the desired effect and make further refinements as needed. This is addressed in the last section of the book, where examples of applied research at several major airlines are presented.

Why should you read this book? This book artfully explains how cognitive processes become overwhelmed during different activities and the brain strategically reduces criteria for accuracy and quality. It also addresses how to look for the traps that appear between demands of procedural requirements and operations, and related conflict between procedural demands and cognitive ability. These adaptations by the brain may be acceptable in the course of normal activities, but can lead to mishaps when they appear in the real world operations of high reliability organizations.

By Kent Lewis, 2009 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year

Buy it on Amazon: Multitasking Myth

One of my favorites, goes well with The Limits of Expertise and Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability

Fly Smart,

10 Nov 09 HFACS/HFIX Seminars Managing Human Error in Complex Systems:

Super User - December 8 - 10 Las Vegas, Nevada
Hotel: Embassy Suites (on Swenson St.). Tel: 702.765.6753
Register Now
Human error is associated with 60 to 80% of all accidents, injuries, and quality defects across a variety of industries including aviation, healthcare, mining and manufacturing. Managing human error is therefore fundamental to maintaining the viability and profitability of any organization.
This intensive 2-day seminar provides training in the application of innovative methods for managing human error that are scientifically derived, empirically tested, and proven in the field. Participants will learn how to turn errors into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into effective error management solutions.

Seminar Topics
Attendees will learn how to:
  • Develop effective error management and system safety programs
  • Conduct an applied human error analysis during an accident or incident investigation
  • Utilize the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS®) to identify systemic causes of human error;
  • Implement the Human Factors Intervention matriX (HFIX®) to develop focused, data-driven safety programs
  • Develop a human error database and tracking system for monitoring and evaluating intervention programs

Editor's Note: I recently attended the HFACS seminar in Dallas, and it was some of the best training I have ever received. Not only was it informative, it was also fun. I highly recommend spending a few days with Scott and Doug, especially if they are in Vegas!
Fly Smart,

30 Oct 09 Proposed safety management systems spark questions

AOPA_asf.gif By AOPA ePublishing staff
The FAA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on safety management systems is raising so many questions that AOPA has asked the agency to step back and take another look. Safety management systems create a “structured-risk based approach to managing safety” through safety policies, safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion.
The ANPRM stems from a December 2007 endorsement of an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) proposal to require safety management systems for international aircraft operators, aircraft manufacturers, and maintenance facilities. As of right now, the proposal does not mention Part 91 operators, only Part 21, 119, 121, 135, 142, 141, and 145.
AOPA is concerned about the proposal because it has the potential to undercut the rulemaking process by eliminating public input and cost benefit analysis. Certificate holders could be in a position of never ending problem recognition and solving regardless of cost to the operator. Under safety management systems, it could be that operators would have to address issues that normally would not make it through the rulemaking process.
“AOPA is concerned that SMS puts into place a continuous cycle of problem identification and resolution that may have unintended consequences,” AOPA Director of Aircraft and Environment Leisha Bell told the FAA in formal comments on the proposal. Bell also called on the FAA to define its role in a safety management system and to identify who would have jurisdiction over it. Until then, AOPA maintains that the FAA should not move forward with the proposal

Fly Smart,

15 Oct 09 Honeywell announces first FAA EGPWS approval

Careflite Honeywell has announced that it has received technical design and production approval from the FAA for its latest Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) for use by helicopters.
Honeywell’s Vice President, Program Management, TK Kallenbach, said that the technology “ensures that all helicopter pilots can have EGPWS in their cockpits today to help avoid terrain and obstacles such as towers.”

Editor's Note: This is one of many steps that must be taken to build a safe low altitude infrastructure for the helicopter community, one that has the same weather reporting, instrument approach, and air traffic control capabilities that fixed wing pilots enjoy.

Fly Smart,

14 Oct 09 Runway Incursions Down 50 Percent in FY 2009

KCLT.jpg FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced last week that serious runway incursions were down 50 percent for the most recent 12-month period compared to the previous year. A serious runway incursion is one in which a collision was narrowly avoided, or there was a significant potential for collision that resulted in the need to take quick corrective action.
“Teamwork helped us get where we are today,” said Babbitt, referring to the many collaborative efforts focused on improving runway safety. Among them were enhancements made to runway markings and lighting, as well as an educational outreach campaign that used videos and training aids to raise awareness of the dangers of runway incursions.
“While the reduction is remarkable, there is still much work to be done,” continued Babbitt. As part of an ongoing effort to focus on runway safety, FAA is hosting its first-ever runway safety seminar Dec. 1-3 in Washington, DC. For more details, go to: http://events.aaae.org/sites/ 091107/ .

Editor's Note: Flying hours are down too, so keep that in mind. One way to approach the taxi phase is to consider it a critical phase of flight. One statistic that surprised me when I reviewed a recent NASA study on runway incursions was that most happened during the taxi out! I would have guessed that they happened on the way in, when pilots "are heading to the barn." Well, that is not the case. There are a few reasons, but the major one might be that pilots are unfamiliar with the airport AND in a hurry to get airborne, trying to minimize the fuel burn and excited about flying. The focus also could be on upcoming aviation duties.

So how can we improve? I recommend that when on the ground we focus is to Navigate and Communicate, Aviate will happen soon enough. Make sure you have an airport diagram (free from the FAA and AirNav) and you stay in the loop with ATC (or CTAF). Ask for progressive taxi help, get some vectors on the ground. They are free and it could save a LOT of paperwork for everyone. And I have never heard of anyone getting lost or violated during a progressive taxi :) On an airliner flight deck, we have two pilots focused on safe taxi. If you are single pilot, use resources from the FBO for local knowledge and expand your "team" to get ATC's help. Everyone will have a nicer day when we do. There is never a reason to do anything fast in the air, and even less reason on the ground. One other best practice is to stop if you need to fiddle with aircraft systems, especially the automeation in newer cockpits. And lastly, don't forget to include Flight Service in your planing. They may have some key airport surface info that will make our taxi ops safer.

Now get out there and have some fun in the cooler weather!

Taxi Smart,


26 Sep 09 NTSB Issues Recommendations On Medical Helicopter Operations

From Aero-News Network: Hersman Says They Will "Prevent Accidents And Save Lives"

external image NTSBLogo-0605a_tn.jpg In a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Selibus, NTSB Chair Debora Hersman has offered four recommendations for the providers of medical helicopter services. The recommendations follow the investigations of recent accidents, which reached record numbers in 2008.
Hersman says in the letter that there were 12 accident involving HEMS aircraft in 2008, and that eight of those accounted for 29 fatalities. The services were the subject of an NTSB hearing in February, and the recommendations are derived in part from testimony given at those hearings. "Topics examined were flight operations procedures including flight planning, weather minimums, and preflight risk assessment, as well as safety-enhancing technology such as TAWS and NVIS. Flight recorders and associated flight operations quality assurance programs were also discussed," Hersman wrote. "Training, including use of flight simulators, was discussed at length, as well as corporate and government oversight of HEMS operations.
One of the principal issues to arise during those hearings was the matter of reimbursement. HEMS services are not covered by insurance companies unless a patient is actually transported, which Hersman says motivates the companies to transport patients to generate revenue. "The NTSB is concerned," she wrote, "that the current reimbursement strategy used by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) serves as a disincentive for some HEMS operators to make capital investments or other improvements that would increase the level of transport safety provided and thereby reduce risk."
"To that end," she continued, "the NTSB believes that a CMS reimbursement structure requiring compliance with safety standards that incorporate HEMS safety recommendations issued by the NTSB since 2006 would encourage HEMS operators to increase their level of flight safety to best industry practices rather than minimum legal requirements."
external image NTSB-DeborahAPHersman-0509a_tn.jpg

Debora Hersman
Hersman made the following recommendations on behalf of the NTSB:
  • Evaluate existing helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) reimbursement rate structure to determine if reimbursement rates should differ according to the level of HEMS transport safety provided.
  • If the findings from that evaluation conducted reveal that higher levels of reimbursement are required to increase the level of safety, establish a new reimbursement rate structure that considers the level of helicopter emergency medical services transport safety that is required.
  • Develop minimum safety accreditation standards for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operators that augment the operating standards of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 by including, for all flights with medical personnel on board, (a) scenario-based pilot training, (b) implementation of preflight risk evaluation programs, (c) formalized flight and dispatch procedures, (d) safety management systems, and (e) the installation of Federal Aviation Administration-approved terrain awareness warning systems, night vision imaging systems, flight data recording systems for monitoring, and autopilots if a second pilot is not used.
  • Once the accreditation standard requested in Safety Recommendation A-09-106 is developed, establish a policy that provides Medicare reimbursement for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) transportation only to those HEMS operators that meet those standards.
Hersman said the NTSB has also issued recommendations to the FAA to improve the safety of HEMS operations, including installation of the safety equipment outlined in the letter. She said the NTSB expects the FAA to enact changes in the safety requirements for HEMS operators in response to these recommendations.
FMI: www.ntsb.gov

I believe the NTSB is proposing a sound strategy here, an investment in safety that wiil raise the bar.
Fly Smart,

19 Sep 09 FAA Launches New Accident Prevention Office

external image FAA-logo-new-sm-0909a_tn.jpg From Aero-News Network: "As part of a strategy to reduce emerging aviation risks using national safety data, the FAA's Office of Aviation Safety Thursday launched a new Accident Investigation and Prevention Service that integrates the work of the Offices of Accident Investigation and Safety Analytical Services.
“This program give us better tools to spot potential safety problems and head off aviation accidents before they happen,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
“If we are going to continue to improve aviation safety, we have to be able to gather safety information from our industry and use data-driven safety programs to identify and address risks before they lead to accidents,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.
The new organization will consolidate resources so the FAA can better understand current and emerging risks across the aviation community through the use of data from accident and incident investigations, historical accidents and incidents, and voluntarily submitted information from industry programs such as Aviation Safety Action and Flight Operational Quality Assurance programs.
The Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program combines information from industry and government data sources to provide new insights into potential safety issues. The program has matured to the point that the FAA can now look at data from more than 73 percent of current U.S. commercial operations and identify emerging vulnerabilities and trends. Safety improvements are made not only through FAA regulations, but also through the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST).
external image AEROTV-Oshkosh-RandyBabbitt-0709b_tn.jpg

The Accident Investigation and Prevention Service will be headed by Jay Pardee, who most recently was the director of the Office of Safety Analytical Services. Pardee is recognized as a leader in safety data analysis. He has been a leader in CAST, which won the 2008 Robert J. Collier Trophy for achieving an unprecedented level of safety in U.S. airline operations. He is also the agency’s lead to assure that the Next Generation Air Transportation System provides enhanced levels of safety. Tony Fazio, who most recently was director of the FAA's Europe, Africa and Middle East Office in Brussels, will serve as deputy director."

Editor: This is a huge step in the right direction towards a systematic approach to operational safety. This Office will be able to leverage the promise of ASIAS. It will also optimize the use of critical NASA ASRS data towards awareness and education efforts, most helpfully for the GA community, where hybrid programs of quantitative and qualitative analysis have long been needed.
En Anglais? We're going to use mishap investigation tools to prevent mishaps. That requires your input!
Fly Smart,

16 Sep 09 Concepts for Fatigue Countermeasures in Part 121 and 135 Short-Haul Operations

Alarm_Clock SAFO Safety Alert for Operators; U.S. Department SAFO 09014 of Transportation DATE: 9/11/09; Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards Service Washington, DC
A SAFO contains important safety information and may include recommended action. SAFO content should be especially valuable to air carriers in meeting their statutory duty to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest. Besides the specific action recommended in a SAFO, an alternative action may be as effective in addressing the safety issue named in the SAFO.

Subject: Concepts for Fatigue Countermeasures in Part 121 and 135 Short-Haul Operations
Purpose: To provide insights to operators and crew for mitigating fatigue in short-haul flight operations.
Discussion: Short-haul pilots commonly identify sleep deprivation and high workload as the main factors contributing to their fatigue. Conversely, long-haul pilots generally attribute sleep deprivation and circadian rhythm disruption caused by multiple time-zone crossings as the main causes of fatigue. However, both short-haul and long-haul flight crewmembers report fatigue resulting from multiple flight legs, early wake times, consecutive duty days, insufficient recovery sleep periods, time demands and high workloads resulting from high density air traffic environments. Fatigue is a hazard that if not properly mitigated or countermeasures enacted, can elevate the risk of these flight operations. Certificate holders must recognize the potential for elevated risk and be proactive in minimizing exposure to fatigue-related incidents or accidents.
Typically, short-haul (domestic) pilots are engaged in “hub and spoke” operations with some limited point-to-point flying. Short-haul crews are challenged by schedules that involve short turn-around times between multiple flights. Pilots conducting these types of operations report their schedules typically consist of four to five segments, averaging approximately six hours of flight time. Thirteen to fifteen hour duty days typify this type of operation. The result is an increased workload due to the multiple take-offs and landings and time constraints of meeting schedule deadlines over the course of the long day.
Scheduling factors have a major impact on a crewmember’s ability to sleep and maintain a proper level of alertness. Sleep loss is one of the primary contributors to fatigue in flightcrew and is directly related to a variety of scheduling factors. In short-haul operations, pilots normally fly a round trip out of a hub and then may sit for several hours before their next flight. This type of scheduling has the potential for a latent condition that contributes to the cumulative effects of fatigue.
Effective sleep opportunities are a critical countermeasure to fatigue. This should be the responsibility of both the certificate holder as well as the individual pilots. Certificate holders should consider providing crew rest facilities that have rooms away from the general traffic for quiet, comfortable and uninterrupted sleep as well as expedited transportation to and from the airport in the layover city. Individual pilots must understand the importance of sleep opportunities and ensure they are properly rested prior to the next flight day.
Recommended Action: The part 121 Directors of Operations and Safety and part 135 Directors of Operations should review their current policies and procedures addressing flight crewmember fatigue countermeasures. This review should address at minimum:
Approved by: AFS-200 OPR: AFS-220/250
Approved by: AFS-200 OPR: AFS-220/250
• Current scheduling practices;
• Scheduled or assigned rest periods;
• Establish effective rest enhancing prerequisites for layover city hotels; and
• Encourage the use of flightcrew rest facilities between flights to counter the effects of cumulative fatigue.
• Educate their pilots and crew on the importance of proper rest and encourage them to take advantage of rest facilities.
Pilots in part 121 or 135 operations should understand their responsibility with regard to ensuring that they achieve the required rest so they are properly rested and fit for each assigned or scheduled flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will continue to research the subject of fatigue, evaluate the relevant data and inform the commercial operations community of effective methods for reducing flightcrew fatigue.
Contact: For more information about the content of this SAFO, please contact Dale E. Roberts at the Part 121 Air Carrier Operations Branch, AFS-220 at 202-267-5749 .

There are some great studies out there on how important sleep is to human performance. I'll post a few of them. Here's one found within the Federal Railroad Administration's new Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS).

Sleep Smart,
ATSB article on fatigue

12 Sep 09 Runway safety tool kit released

crashed-plane2.jpg Posted by Janice Wood · September 11, 2009
The Flight Safety Foundation and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently released the Runway Excursion Risk Reduction (RERR) tool kit.
The tool kit provides an in-depth analysis of runway excursion accident data, a compilation of risk factors, and provides recommendations for operators, pilots, airports, Air Traffic Management, Air Traffic Controllers and regulators to assist in addressing this challenge, Flight Safety Foundation officials said.
“At the request of several international aviation organizations, the Flight Safety Foundation initiated a Runway Safety Initiative (RSI) to address the challenge of runway safety,” noted FSF President and CEO William Voss. “This was an international effort with participants representing the full spectrum of stakeholders from the aviation community. We wanted to reach out to the entire aviation community with the findings and working with IATA to produce a tool kit containing this information made a great deal of sense as they were one of the RSI participants.”

After reviewing all areas of runway safety over the past 14 years, the RSI group focused on runway excursions as they discovered that 97% of runway accidents were caused by excursions. They also found that over the past 14 years, there had been almost 30 excursions per year for commercial aircraft (over 25% of all accidents). The study also noted that although the percentage of excursions that included fatalities was low, the sheer number of excursions still meant that there were a high number of fatalities. Independent of the FSF effort, IATA’s Safety Group had identified runway excursions as a significant safety challenge to address.
The final report of the RSI effort, titled “Reducing the Risk of Runway Excursions,” was released in June and provides data on runway accidents, notes the high risk areas, and provides interventions. This report is included, along with other information and presentations, in the Runway Excursion Risk Reduction tool kit.
For more information: FlightSafety.org or IATA.org.

Fly Smart,

02 Sep 09 NTSB Issues New Recommendations For Helicopter EMS Safety

external image emsh.jpg From AvWebBiz: "The FAA needs to do more to regulate helicopter emergency medical services, the NTSB said on Tuesday, and operators also need to improve their training and procedures. "The pressure on HEMS operators to conduct their flights quickly in all sorts of environments makes these types of operations inherently more risky than other types of commercial flight operations," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "Operators need to use every available safety tool to conduct these flights and to determine when the risk of flying is just too great." The board said the FAA should mandate better pilot training, improve its data collection and monitoring, develop a low-altitude airspace infrastructure, and require crews to be trained to use night-vision systems. The agency should also require the use of autopilots during single-pilot HEMS operations. Operators should work to improve pilot training and upgrade their equipment, the NTSB said.
The NTSB also made recommendations to two other agencies that are involved with HEMS -- the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Systems. CMMS should consider linking Medicare reimbursements to patient transport safety standards, the board said. And FICEMS should look for better ways to integrate HEMS into local and regional emergency medical systems and ensure that in each case, the most appropriate emergency transportation mode is selected for victims of trauma. HEMS operations include an estimated 750 helicopters, 20 operators, and 60 hospital-based programs. They transport seriously ill patients and donor organs 24 hours a day in a variety of environmental conditions. For the HEMS industry, 2008 was the deadliest year on record with 12 accidents and 29 fatalities. In response to this increase in fatal accidents, the NTSB placed the issue of HEMS operations on its "Most Wanted List" of aviation safety improvements. The FAA is working on a new rule proposal that is expected to be released early next year. Click here for more details about the board's recommendations."
FMI: AvWeb
As one industry member stated, we need to keep the discussions "lively" and continue to look for innovative ways to improve safety in the HEMS community. Developing a set of Standards and Recommended Practices beyond 14 CFR is a good start. And the recent published by FSF is a fantastic source document and roadmap to operational safety management.
Fly Smart,

14 Aug 09 Safety Culture and Management Systems

CLA Here are 2 good presentations, one on Safety Culture, an important element of a vibrant Safety Management System, and another on the "Whys" and "Whats" of a SMS. The article on culture was put out by Curt Lewis and Associates, and the presentation on the "Whys" and "Whats" was created by Rick Clarke, former Director of SMS for ALPA, now working AFS-200 Air Carrier issues as a member of the FAA.
FAASteam Safety Culture

SMS_Ladder These presntations ar good introductions and converstation starters for an organization, and help establish a good foundational policy upon which a Q/SMS can rest upon. They are also great resources for FAASTeam members.

Fly Smart,

30 Jul 09 General Aviation Awards Luncheon

GA_Awards_2009.JPG Here's the lineup from the GA Awards Luncheon, L-R. JoAnn Hill (Awards Committee), Lucky Louque (AMT of the Year), Kent Lewis (FAASTeam Rep of the Year), Arlynn McMahon (CFI of the Year), Jerry Stooksbury (Avionics Tech of the Year), Sandy Hill (Awards Committee) and Kevin Clover (National FAASTeam Program Manager). Not pictured are the many Sponsors and behind the scenes folks from EAA who made this one of the most enjoyable weeks ever for my family. I'd especially like to thank the Hills from SAFE for walking us through the Oshkosh process, Phil Poynor from NAFI for jumping in at all the right times to help us get from event to event, and Jason Blair of NAFI for "terminal guidance into the LZ" as we arrived into Oshkosh. I also enjoyed talking to Lisa, Melissa and Lynn from EAA and Debra from AEA, more folks who make this event a huge success. Note the nice jackets from the AMT Society, perfect for the cool, showery afternoon.
Some of the great gifts we received from all of the sponsors: WAI- A one year membership and free admission to the annual conference; AOPA-A very nice cash gift and 2 books authored by Rod Machado; EAA- Free Admission and parking for 4 to Air Venture; AEA-Coordinated free lodging and rental car for 5 days for Air Venture, computer case; AMT Society-Personalized jakcets; also received a taxiway light lamp, which will look great in the office. Thanks again to everyone who contributed and donated the great gifts, i'm sure I'm missing a few folks.


30 Jul 09 Oshkosh Photo Musings




DC-3 hiding somewhere... The tug "flew in" on a flatbed...

27 Jul 09 FAASTeam Runway Safety Summer Safety Initiative

52F_RI.jpg Notice Number: NOTC1789: This past May, the FAA Office of Runway Safety implemented a Summer Initiative targeted at stemming what has become a seasonal pattern of increasing runway incursions during the warm weather months. Compared to the rest of the year, runway incursions average about 30 percent higher per month between May and August.
Two-thirds of all runway incursions are the result of pilot deviations – and three-fourths of those pilot deviations involve a general aviation aircraft.
Part of the problem stems from pilots who, after a period of little or no flying, may be a little rusty on airport procedures. That rust, however, can have tragic consequences in the area of an active runway. In fact, the single most deadly aviation accident in history resulted from a runway incursion. Don’t become a statistic!

Here’s what you can do:
stop_sign1.jpg Stop Anytime you’re unclear or unsure about your location or about an ATC instruction or about anything else, don’t hesitate to call the tower and ask for help. If you are on a runway without approval, exit the runway, and contact ATC.

Look Before taxiing: Study the airport diagram before starting your engine. Keep a copy in the cockpit. Download airport diagrams at: http://www.naco.faa.gov/. Pay careful attention to airfield signs and markings. Complete checklists, programming, and other pre-flight activities.
While taxiing: Look outside. Practice heads-up and eyes-out. Avoid distracting tasks; focus on your route.
Listen Listen carefully to, write down, and read back all air traffic instructions. Get ATC approval before crossing or using any runway. “Taxi to” does not allow you to enter the runway.

Finally, talk to your fellow pilots. Help us raise runway safety awareness. If we, working as a team, can prevent even one runway incursion, this campaign will be a success. There is a nice reminder card available for you to download at https://www.faasafety.gov/ files/notices/2009/Jul/FAA_ Runway_Incursions.pdf
For more information contact Gregory Y. Won, Air Traffic Safety Organization, Runway Safety Office, Risk Reduction Information Group, 202-385-4792

Editor's Note: I am a member of the FAA Runway Safety Program's Root Cause Analysis Team, and we are looking at the multiple hazards in our complex system that lead to mishaps. It takes a team effort to communicate effectively and safely navigate at the diverse airports in the system. During this time aircraft with a wide range of performane standards are operating closer and are less maneuverable, which compounds the issue. We also are in a vulnerable regime where one system design flaw can have fatal consequences for hundreds of people. We can do better with the integrated design, with improvements in training, procedures and technology that take into account the challenging nature of this problem.

Fly Smart (and help in the effort by sharing your observations with your FSDO's FAASTeam Program Manager or the Runway Safety Office. Or me :).

21 Jul 09 New FAA Safety Culture Reflected In Operational Error Reporting

From Aero-news Reducing Emphasis On Blame In Controller Errors
external image FAA-logo-new-1006a_tn.jpg The FAA says it has taken another step toward a new safety culture by reducing the emphasis on blame in the reporting of operational errors by air traffic controllers.
"We're moving away from a culture of blame and punishment," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "It's important to note that controllers remain accountable for their actions, but we're moving toward a new era that focuses on why these events occur and what can be done to prevent them."
Effective immediately, the names of controllers will not be included in reports sent to FAA headquarters on operational errors, which occur when the proper distance between aircraft is not maintained. The controller's identity will be known at the facility where the event took place. Necessary training will be conducted and disciplinary action taken, if appropriate. Both will be recorded in the controller's record. Removing names on the official report will allow investigators to focus on what happened rather than who was at fault.
"We need quality information in order to identify problems and learn from incidents before they become accidents," Babbitt said. "The best sources of that information are our front-line employees. Our success depends on their willingness to identify safety concerns."
In order to avoid disrupting operations, controllers will not be automatically removed from their position following an operational error unless it is deemed necessary to remove them. Another change designed to avoid disruptions allows reports to be filed by the close of the next business day unless the operational error is significant. Reports previously had to be filed within four hours.
external image alliance-airport-tx-control-tower-0504-1a_tn.jpg

This action is part of the transition to the FAA's new non-punitive reporting system for controllers. The Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), which now covers one-third of the country, allows controllers and other employees to report safety problems without fear of punishment unless the incident is deliberate or criminal in nature. Today's change in the reporting requirements for operational errors provides for a more seamless transition as ATSAP is rolled out to the entire country.
The reporting changes do not alter the investigation and analysis of operational errors. They also do not change the requirements for addressing the causal and contributing factors to those events.

FMI: faa.gov
Editor's Note: This is a great move in the right direction. The best aviation safety action programs remove information from individual training jackets after a short period of time. Humans make errors, especially if the system is not designed properly and we are trying to manage novel threats, poor design, organizational factors, fatigue, distraction, whatever the multitude of contextual factors are at any one point in time or space. We take lessons learned, improve the system and move along.
It is good to see the focus shift from "Who" did "What" to "Why?" Blaming an individual or taking disciplinary action does little, certainly not in a generative way, to prevent the same person or another person from experiencing the same lapse, slip or mistake during the next shift. And it certainly does not identify and address hazards to operational safety in a systematic way. Over 2/3 of reports submitted to NASA ASRS are reports that do NOT involve potential violations of FARs, but rather front line identification of hazards, threats that pose risk to operational safety. Without the reporters, these hazards would continue to pose a threat to everday operations. Eliminating or reducing the threats equals a safer system.
I'm sure the FAA will rapidly see the benefit of data provided from front line operators, information that supports a just, learning, reporting and informed culture. This is the foundation of a safety management system.
Information is power. Power + Right Attitude = Performance
Fly Smart

13 Jul 09 Save Money with Wings and Earn Safety Bucks!

From the website: "USAIG has always been a staunch advocate of aviation safety and an active participant in a wide range of industry efforts to further improve the safety records of all segments of the aviation community. Our continuing commitment takes many forms, one of the most important of which is our underwriters' expertise in Risk Assessment. Risk Assessment is the identification of hazards inherent in an operation and serves as a major component in the Risk Management Process. These hazards can take many forms from the physical to the conceptual. As underwriters, we are highly adept at identifying these hazards through on-site inspections. Our claims professionals – by far the most experienced in the industry – conduct regular safety seminars, both independently and in conjunction with the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) (see "What's New" for announcements of upcoming seminars).
We also participate in a broad range of safety projects ranging from the annual publication of thousands of pieces of safety literature to the sponsorship of a variety of safety projects by outside organizations. Here is a brief review of some of our activities:

Sponsor Of Aviation Safety Programs
Produce and distribute 150,000 safety-oriented newsletters and safety posters annually to policyholders, General Aviation associations and others, free of charge.
Reimburse policyholders for installing anti-misfueling devices on aircraft and distribute special, oversized jet fuel nozzles to Fixed Base Operators, free of charge.
Provide policyholders with incentives for participating in formal refresher training courses, such as the FAA Wings Program, on an annual basis.
Sponsor General Aviation Safety films.
Support the Center for Aerospace Safety Education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Offer "Safety Bucks" program for Bell, MD Helicopter, and American Eurocopter qualified operators.
Sponsor Aviation Conference on Executive Aircraft Safety (A*C*E*S).
Sponsor PDP (Professional Development Program) scholarship in conjunction with NBAA."
Participation In Aviation Safety Organizations (Past & Present)
Board Member, AOPA Air Safety Foundation
Board Member, Aviation Crime Prevention Institute
Board Member, Aviation Safety Institute
Board Member, Flight Safety Foundation, Inc.
Board Member, National Business Aircraft Association
Member, Joint Government/Industry Task Force on General Aviation Safety (G.A.S.P.)
Member, International Society of Air Safety Investigators
Member, Helicopter Association International (HAI)
Member, National Safety Council
Member, Tour Operators Program of Safety, Inc.
Member, United States Air Tour Association (USATA)


This is a great opportunity. I applaud USAIG and USAU for rewarding professional pilots and companies who recognize the importance of a systematic approach to managing operational safety.

Fly Smart (and for less $$)

10 Jul 09 Operational Risk Management Strategies: Mission Briefing

ea6_1.jpg What Happens When the Brief Gets Too Brief by Capt. David Levenson, USAF
Every crew brief covers operational risk management (ORM), but the ORM part often lacks depth. Mission commanders and flight leads simply ask if everyone has had enough crew rest or sleep. ORM is much more than that. On one particular flight, the entire crew had gotten plenty of sleep, but ORM still played a significant role in averting a mishap over the skies of Macedonia. I was ECMO 1 in an EA-6B during a night-strike mission over southern Kosovo. After the strike, we headed toward our tanker. The communications with AWACs were unusually weak and full of static. There was a layer of broken clouds just below the tanker altitude. Without air-to-air radar or night-vision devices, finding the tanker was becoming next to impossible. With our fuel getting close to bingo, we finally found the tanker and commenced the join-up on the left, which is the standard side for the Navy, but not standard for the Air Force.

We hadn't briefed which side of the tanker we would join on-mission planning overshadowed that type of detail. Once joined, we realized that two British Tornados were already on the tanker, one taking fuel and the other on the right side. After they finished, I saw Dash 2 disconnect and apparently clear off below us. As we slid back, anticipating getting in the basket, a bright flash filled our cockpit accompanied by severe buffet. The Tornados had tapped burner right in front of us, instead of exiting down and aft. They turned off their lights and went left into us. My pilot dumped the nose and successfully avoided them. We climbed back to the tanker, got our gas, covered another strike, and returned to Aviano. Once on deck, I told the operations officer what had happened. Tanking briefs started getting a lot more attention. In fact, in the 45 days we were over the skies of Bosnia, this near-midair was one of the most hazardous flight events I experienced.
This may seem like just another close call, but ORM could have easily lessened the severity of the problem or broken the chain of events leading to it. In most cases, you can easily cope with the risks of day-to-day flying. The next time you brief ORM, think of "Dumb, Different, or Directed." Each of these categories won't cover all risks that you may encounter, but they can highlight potential problems.
Some ORM concerns under "Dumb" are flying in terrible weather, descending below the briefed hard deck, or continuing a flight beyond calculated bingo. These things can usually be solved quickly in the cockpit. There are also not-so-obvious, dumb risks, and these might be the most important: poor mission planning, flying with people who have unresolved personal problems, or flying with outdated FLIP or charts. Unfortunately, these will not become apparent until too late.
"Different" covers those actions that vary from the normal activity. For example, flying into a new airfield or unfamiliar airspace. Air refueling at night is also a good example. Before our near collision with the Tornado, we should have identified the unusual procedures and briefed them. While not particularly dangerous, the items in "Different" can contribute greatly to causing a more dangerous situation.
Lastly, "Directed" activity covers those actions ordered by higher authority that may influence the aircrew's judgment. These actions are check-rides, functional check flights, cross-countries, or combat. The crew might be directly or indirectly pressured to complete the flight or check. Over Macedonia, our crew wanted to complete the air refueling, avoid a bingo divert into an unfamiliar airfield, and support the last of the night strikes. The internal drive to complete a mission, whether combat or peacetime, can cloud aircrew's judgment.
Identifying the possible hazards is a great first step, but it is just as important to identify control measures for these hazards and ways to lessen the effects. If the severity or probability is too great, complete avoidance is often the best solution. Usually, identifying the hazard and sticking to the planned mission is enough. Occasionally, you have to make slight changes in the plan. Remember, the goal of ORM is to lessen the known risks involved. It may be as simple as taking off earlier from a high-density-altitude airport when the temperatures are typically cooler.
This article originally appeared in the December 2000 issue of Approach
FMI: Approach Magazine

V35_at_FBO Editor: This is a great article because it boils down all the ORM philosophy into a clear and concise application. It is along the same lines as my "3 Strike Rule." When these unanticipated or anticipated indicators appear, or your plan has changed 3 or more times, time to reevaluate the plan and expand your team. Get ATC, another pilot, operations, Flight Service, the local hangar folks, a mechanic in the decision loop to make sure the risks to your operation are being managed effectively. Sometimes the answer is to scrub the mission, and certainly no mission in peactime is important enough to risk loss of life. Whether it is a $100 Hot Dog Run or a night combat mission, managing risks and resources allow us to live to fly another day. Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on te ground :)

Hangar Talk: While waiting to start flight school, a fiend of mine who had his Private Pilot license invited me to fly to from Pensacola to Dallas in a 172 for a long weekend. We had a great flight to Dallas and started back on Sunday morning. We made it to Monroe, LA and stopped to refuel and check weather. Uh Oh, weather not looking so good, a line of summertime thunderstorms was forming between us and Florida, basically right on top us and sliding Southeast. We delayed a bit, went to Sonic for a hot dog and then watched a movie at the local thater. Flying for the rest of the day did not look too good, and stretching the day to hop along behind the weather was not a good option. We were supposed to start Ground School the next morning, so we called the Duty Officer and got the Senior Marine on the horn. He told us we were making a good decision, and that it was no problem to slide us a week to the next class. We discussed trying to go Commercial, but that looked like a 2 day, expensive affair. We ended up spending the night and flying in the clear, cool "day after" weather all the way to Pensacola, nice tailwind.

Lessons Learned: Fortunately, no painful lessons. If planning this trip again, we could have left a day earlier to begin the whole trip, we were just waiting to start training anyway, giving ourselves an extra day to get home. The FBO we rented from had a great policy where there was no extra charge if late returning the plane for weather (vs returning it in pieces). We expanded our team to enlist the advice of a experienced aviator, who in this case concurred with our decisions and kept us on a conservative path. And we learned that FBOs give out free rental cars to go get a hot dog.

Fly Smart

10 Jul 09 Human Factors: Communications

From NASA ASRS June 2009 Calback"
In the words of a contemporary author, “Communication works for those who work at it.” This principle is evident in ASRS communications-related reports when pilots and controllers resolve to learn from their errors, and employ strategies to prevent future communications incidents.
GA aircraft pulling banner with the number 3
GA aircraft pulling banner with the number 3

This month we take a closer look at three factors in aviation that can contribute to communications misunderstandings and result in hazardous events. These are:
  • The Anticipation Factor
  • The Language Factor
  • The Call Sign Factor"

FMI: Callback Jun 2009

Editor: NASA ASRS publishes e-Callback every month. Make it part of your monthly recurrent. It is easy and FREE to sign up at NASA ASRS
We can now put in safety reports electronically, and receive instant verification of receipt vs waiting for paper in the mail. Also past issues of Callback are archive on the website and there is a great online database, the best and easiest to use that I have come across. SIgn up and become part of the solution to making our skies safer.

Fly Smart,

01 Jul 09 Runway Safety Initiative

Runway_Excursion.jpg From the Flight Safety Foundation: "At the request of several international aviation organizations, the Flight Safety Foundation has initiated the Runway Safety Initiative (RSI) to address the challenge of runway safety. This is an international effort with participants representing Airbus, Airports Council International (ACI), Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), Association of European Airlines (AEA), Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) of France, Embraer, Eurocontrol, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), European Regions Airline Association (ERA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), National Aerospace Laboratory NLR–The Netherlands, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The effort is focusing on the three areas of runway safety: runway incursions, runway excursions and runway confusion. An initial catalog of runway safety products has been developed and specific data on the various runway safety areas has been obtained. The effort is designed to determine the extent and success of current runway safety efforts, explore any gaps that now exist in these efforts, and propose interventions and implementation strategies to reduce or eliminate those gaps.
The effort brings together multiple disciplines to include aircraft manufacturers, operators, management, pilots, regulators, airports and air traffic management, and utilizes the expertise and experience of all the stakeholders to address this important challenge.
Kalitta_Excursion.jpg FSF Runway Safety Brief
When you go through this presentation, you will see that runway safety initiatives could save hundreds of lives and massive amounts of property. Excursions are a huge problem, and incursions pose an enormous risk. Take a look at the FSF materials and share them with your cohorts in the aviation industry, we'll all be better off if we share this information.

FMI: Flight Safety Foundation Runway Safety

Fly Smart,

27 Jun 09 NTSB Report Examines Medical Helicopter Safety

LEGO_Helo.JPG Reported by Aero-News Network"
The NTSB earlier this year held a four-day hearing focusing on the safety record of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services. The 35-page report released this week indicates that medical helicopter services provide a valuable contribution to the medical community, but that the overall safety record has declined in recent years. The goal of the hearing, according to the Helicopter Association International online publication "Rotor News", was for the Safety Board to learn more about HEMS operations, in order to better evaluate the factors that contribute to accidents. The Board heard from numerous witnesses who deal with all elements of HEMS operations. The format of the hearing involved the questioning of several panels. Forty-one witnesses were called, including Helicopter Association International (HAI) President, Matt Zuccaro, who is also Co-Chair of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), as well as representatives from the medical community, emergency services companies, the FAA, and others.

In the summary of the report, the NTSB said "Helicopter emergency medical systems (HEMS) provide an important service to the public, transporting seriously ill patients or donor organs to emergency care facilities. However, the number of accident fatalities during HEMS operations has increased over the last several years, raising questions about the safety of these operations. From 2003 through 2008, 85 HEMS accidents claimed 77 lives, and 2008 was the deadliest year on record for HEMS operations with 8 fatal accidents and 29 fatalities, up from 2 fatal accidents and 7 fatalities in 2007.1 This increase in fatalities and fatal accidents brought HEMS operations to the attention of Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as industry, the media, and the public. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also took notice, and in 2005, created a “HEMS Task Force” after observing the spike in HEMS accidents. The resulting FAA analysis of HEMS accidents identified three primary safety concerns: inadvertent IMC encounters, night operations, and CFIT. As a result, the FAA took many actions, mostly to impose voluntary guidance, including issuance of FAA Notice 8000.293."
Among the findings are that HEMS operations in the United States in 2008 involved more than 800 helicopters, and that HEMS helicopters were involved in 264 accidents between 1972 and 2008. Weather was a significant factor in 19% of those accidents. Overall, however, The accident rate per 100,000 hours flown has decreased slowly but steadily since 2003. This rate has been lower than that for all helicopters and general aviation aircraft, but the fatal crash rate per 100,000 hours rose markedly in 2008.
The report also looks into how medical helicopter services are reimbursed, competition among emergency service providers, and flight dispatch procedures. Testimony was heard on safety equipment, training, corporate oversight, and federal regulations.
No conclusions were offered by this report. This was the third formal NTSB examination of HEMS. The previous hearings were held in 1998, and 2006."
FMI: www.ntsb.gov

There is still much work to be done for not only this community but the entire industry. Operating procedures, training and technology need to be advanced to provide the protective measures necessary to support operations in the increasingly challenging aviation environment. We must continue to improve, not just maintain staus quo, that is our heritage. The recent HEMS_Industry_Risk_Profile released by Flight Safety Foundation and funded by Bell Helicopter is an excellent roadmap to the future. And for a simple approach, I have found that slowing down just a bit, using good judgment and doing things right the first time is always a good risk management strategy.

Fly Smart

20 Jun 09 Checklists and Distractions

Aviation Safety Connection Go to: http://aviation.org Cockpit Concepts: June 20, 2009
"The pilot’s workday routine is hardly that. Cockpit work flow is often disrupted by unexpected events, and pilots tend to take these disturbances in stride. But we’re human, and mistakes and errors are made. I suspect we’ve all missed a takeoff checklist item in the past.
northwest-255.jpg Tragic accidents have resulted from takeoff attempts with no flaps. And for every accident there are hundreds of similar incidents of the same nature. Consider the DC-10 crew that was distracted due to long taxi and takeoff delays. “When cleared to position and hold, the aircraft behind us asked if we needed flaps for takeoff.” Score one for our pilot community! One of the flight crew asked, “How could 3 crew members with thousands of hours of experience overlook this critical part of the takeoff process?” (ASRS 696966)

Or the 737-800 when distractions were numerous. “On takeoff, rotation and liftoff were sluggish. At 100-150 feet as I continued to rotate, we got the stick shaker. The FO noticed the no flap condition and placed the flaps to 5 degrees. The rest of the flight was uneventful.” The captain concluded, “The cause of this potentially dangerous situation was a breakdown in checklist discipline attributable to checklist distractions. The taxi checklist was interrupted by my taxi route confusion. The before takeoff checklist was interrupted by a flight attendant communication problem. And for some reason, the Takeoff Warning Horn circuit breaker popped, removing the last check. Both of us feel we are highly diligent professionals. We got in a box by allowing ourselves to be distracted from the checklist.” As a personal check, the captain vowed, “From now on, if I am interrupted while performing a checklist, I intend to do the whole thing over again.” (ASRS 658970). The captain’s solution of repeating the entire checklist may seem a bit extreme, but backing up 2 or 3 items to ensure everything is covered might be a workable solution.
Reports on other checklist lapses for all types of aircraft are numerous—fuel, pressurization, autopilot engagement, pitot heat and so on. Add to the list clearance misinterpretations and, certainly, interruptions and distractions take their toll. There’s little question that flight departments need to ensure effective checklist design, promote increased human error awareness, and instill appropriate distraction countermeasures. Plus, as pilots, we need to develop our own personal safeguards. No formal training, but I’ve kept in mind the suggestion of a more experienced colleague: “When taking the runway, check those items you’ll need to be safely airborne.” This check will vary by airplane and conditions, but it’s still a short list. Sage advice, don’t you think?
--Bob Jenney (rmj@aviation.org)
Cockpit Concepts is e-mailed twice-monthly (5th, 20th). This and prior issues are posted to Hangar 13's Ready Room."

Good tips from Robert.
Fly Smart

13 Jun 09 Aviation Career Education (ACE) Day at Vintage Flying Museum

The Vintage Flying Museum teamed up with the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, the FAA and EAA to conduct flight operations for the 2009 Aviation Career Education (ACE) camp. Over 40 kids took flight in 14 different airplanes. Kids ranged in age from 14-18 and airplanes from a 1959 7GC Champion to a 2006 G36 Bonanza. Also essential to the event was the expert guidance of Meacham Air Traffic Control and the City of Ft Worth Airport Operations, flight ops took just a little over 2 hours. 100 gallons of fuel was also donated by Texas Jet!
Key volunteers were once again Jim Quinn (Air Boss), Chuckie Hospers, Bill Gorin, John Frazier (Vintage Flying Museum), Stacy Wooten (FAA) plus many more names to add. Some of the pilots were Bill Pappas (Champion), Russ Coonley (C150), Don Browning (Centurion), John Owings (G36), Pete Burgess (C182), Mike Clark (RV-8), Mike Olson (RV-8). Thanks to all involved for the great event that resulted in lots of smiles on a beautiful day! :)

03Jun 09 Serious Runway Incursion at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

clt NTSB ADVISORY National Transportation Safety Board Washington, DC 20594 June 2, 2009


The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a runway incursion that occurred on Friday morning at the
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) involving a general aviation aircraft and a regional jet airliner bound for New Bern, NC (EWN).
At about 10:17 a.m. on May 29, a PSA Airlines CRJ-200 regional jet operated as US Airways Express flight 2390, was
cleared for takeoff on runway 18L. After the regional jet was into its takeoff roll, a Pilatus PC-12, a single engine turboprop aircraft, was cleared to taxi into position and hold farther down the same runway in preparation for a departure roll that was to begin at the taxiway A intersection. After the ground-based collision warning
system (ASDE-X) alerted controllers to the runway incursion, the takeoff clearance for the regional jet was cancelled. The pilot of the PC-12, seeing the regional jet coming down the runway on a collision course, taxied the PC-12 to the side of the runway. The FAA reported that the regional jet stopped approximately 10 feet from the PC-12.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed with 9 miles visibility. There were no reported injuries to any of the 42 passengers or crew of three aboard the jet, or to any of those on the PC-12.
NTSB Media Contact: Peter Knudson (202) 314-6100 peter.knudson@ntsb.gov
From the FAASTeam: Runway Safety Tip
Notice Number: NOTC1697
During investigations of actual runway collisions, it has been learned that there were cues that could have provided flight crews with information regarding what was about to happen. ATC recordings, reviewed after some accidents, have contained pilot and controller transmissions that could have been used as indicators to prevent an accident.
Pilots don't have to become controllers in addition to flying the aircraft, but it's always a good idea to "listen-up," especially when you're holding on a runway awaiting takeoff clearance. You may inadvertently be cleared for takeoff with another aircraft landing or departing on an intersecting runway. Or an aircraft could be cleared to land on the runway on which you're holding.
If you're concerned about safety for any reason, speak-up and ask!

This is one of my biggest concerns, a GA operator swapping paint with an air carrier operator. Take your time out there, and use all of the communication, navigation and surveillance resources available to prevent mishaps. Stop, Look and Listen.

Fly Smart,

24 May 09 Takeoff and Landing Mishaps On the Rise

Photo by Flight Global
Vayalar, Manju. Times of India. 24 May 2009. "In the last year, four flights, two of SpiceJet, one of Jetlite, and one of GoAir, landed on runways that were closed for repairs. As the aircraft touched down on the wrong runway, the workers doign repairs ran away in alarm, and each time, a generous stroke of luck ensured that the plane came to a halt safely. Also, in the last one year, four flights--two of Air India, one of SpiceJet and one of Kingfisher Airlines--made turbulent landings. In some cases, the wing of the jet speeding at about 230-240 kmph grazed the ground, at other times the empennage or the tail-end of the aircraft thumped into the runway during touchdown. Last month, a Kingfisher Airlines flight veered off the runway, damaging ten runway-edge lights while landing in Bangalore amid rain and heavy winds. The 2007 monsoon saw seven such incidents, two of which were so serious that the aircraft were damaged beyond repair.

For the last three years, the number of accidents/incidents taking place during a landing or a take-off-- involving Indian carriers at Indian airports--has been on a steady rise. The reasons include a range of factors like cockpit crew fatigue, relaxed aircraft maintenance norms in India, dearth of DGCA flight safety inspectors, pilots put under pressure by airlines to operate flights even in difficult conditions, poor training and inaction by the DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation).

FMI: Takeoff and Landing Mishaps On the Rise

The Flight Safety Foundation and Commercial Air Safety Team task force worked to gether to create a Takeoff and Landing Accident Reduction toolkit that would be helpful in reducing the number of these mishaps. We have an unacceptable number of hull losses every year, and an increase is certainly not a welcome sign. "The task force issued many recommendations for the reduction of ALAs, based on the following conclusions:
  • Establishing and adhering to adequate standard operating procedures and flight-crew decision-making processes improves approach-and-landing safety;
  • Failure to recognize the need for and to execute a missed approach when appropriate is a major cause of ALAs;
  • Unstabilized and rushed approaches contribute to ALAs;
  • Improving communication and mutual understanding between air traffic control services and flight crews of each other’s operational environments will improve approach-and-landing safety;
  • The risk of ALAs is higher in operations conducted in low light and poor visibility, on wet or otherwise contaminated runways, and with the presence of optical illusions or physiological illusions;
  • Using the radio altimeter as an effective tool will help prevent ALAs;
  • Collection and analysis of in-flight parameters (for example, flight operational quality assurance programs) identify performance trends that can be used to improve approach-and-landing safety; and,
  • Global sharing of aviation information decreases the risk of ALAs."

FMI: FSF Approach and Landing Accident Reduction

Fly Smart (that includes takeoffs and landings. It's best to keep those numbers equal in the logbook)

18 May 09 System Safety Development Guide

As part of the development of a Safety Management System for a small organization or for a GA pilot, I suggest utilizing the FAA Industry Training Standard (FITS) Safety System Development Guide. This guide includes a basic description of what a Safety Management System is, definitions, a Risk Assessment Matrix and a sample scenario. It is a good, simple document that is easy to use.

System Safety Course Development Guide

Fly Smart

16 May 09 Learn About Human Error

I have a favorite book on aviation safety, written by Dr Key Dismukes. Dr Dismukes and his pals took a look at 19 accidents from 1991-2001. They looked beyond pilot error for situational factors and found some common, cross cutting themes. Sure, there were errors made, but this book challenges us to rethink how we look at cause of mishaps and error.

You can look at the book online for free at google books, and I highly recommend getting your own personal copy. You can order from Ashgate or Amazon. Here's the link to google books.

I was able to spend some time with him in DC this week, he was called as an expert witness by the NTSB for the Colgan Public Hearing. And interestingly enough, his wife will be testifying at the Public Hearing for US Airways in a few weeks.

Fly Smart

23 Apr 09 FAA to Propose New Medical Helicopter Safety Rules

A Federal Aviation Administration official said Wednesday that the agency planned to propose new rules requiring medical helicopters to use additional safety equipment, including collision avoidance systems.
The agency’s move follows a series of fatal medical helicopter crashes over the last two years that have killed 35 people. In recent years, both the National Safety Transportation Board, which makes recommendations to the F.A.A., and air safety experts have criticized the agency for not moving more quickly to improve medical helicopter safety.
Previously, the F.A.A. took the position that helicopter operators could make safety changes more quickly if they acted voluntarily. But John Allen, the F.A.A.’s director of flight standards, testified at a Congressional hearing Wednesday that the agency, while recognizing the industry’s voluntary actions, would soon begin a rulemaking proceeding to mandate the use of certain safety equipment and procedures.
“We recognize that relying on voluntarily compliance alone is not enough to ensure safe flight operations,” Mr. Allen testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.
More than 800 medical helicopters are currently estimated to be operating in this country, airlifting the sick and injured, often under emergency conditions. In the last decade, the industry has doubled in size, and many of the aircraft are operated by for-profit companies. Safety experts contend that competition among companies for flights has added to the risks.
The industry includes publicly traded companies like the Air Methods Corporation and PHI Inc., as well as smaller privately held operators. While the F.A.A. plans to begin the rulemaking procedure later this year or early next, the rules will first undergo a public comment period and may not take effect until 2011. Among other measures, the F.A.A. proposal would include a requirement that medical helicopters have so-called terrain awareness and avoidance systems, which warn of nearby terrestrial obstacles.
The systems, which can cost up to $100,000 for each helicopter, are used only on about 40 percent of the nation’s medical helicopters. Dawn Mancuso, the head of the Association of Air Medical Services, a trade group based in Alexandria, Va., said some operators might not be able to afford the equipment.


20 Apr 09 HEMS Industry Risk Profile

PHI From the Flight Safety Foundation: "The Flight Safety Foundation released a groundbreaking assessment today that provides a comprehensive look at the risks facing the Helicopter Emergency medical services (HEMS) industry. The Industry Risk Profile (IRP), developed by Aerosafe Risk Management, also provides a roadmap outlining proactive steps that the industry and regulators can follow in order to mitigate these risks.

Careflite Aerosafe developed the IRP using internationally recognized risk management standards. This independent analysis utilized a wide variety of data and perspectives from the HEMS industry. The IRP process is designed specifically to allow industry to step up and shape a way forward. A copy of the HEMS IRP is available on the Flight Safety Foundation web site at

This is a great collaborative product, and free! I also uploaded a copy HEMS Industry Risk Profile.

Fly Smart


07 Apr 09 National Assembly Library, Seoul, Republic of Korea

I visited the National Assembly Library in Seoul, a very impressive institution. The were kind enough to give me access to the computer so I could access the Texas Woman's University website and post on the discussion board for my Library and Information Sciences classes.

"The National Assembly Library of the Republic of Korea contributes to be well-informed parliamentary democracy and the people's right to know by collecting knowledge information of the world and providing them to the National Assembly and the people; and preserves the legislature's activities and intellectual cultural heritage for the future generation."


03 Apr 09 NTSB Aviation Accidents Statistics for 2008

NTSB_logo The National Transportation Safety Board released Thursday its preliminary aviation accident statistics for the 2008 calendar year, showing improvements in some industry sectors but increased accident rates in others.
"While the overall aviation safety record in the United States is among the best in the world, the 2008 accident statistics reveal a mixed picture," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "We are particularly concerned with the spike in fatalities in on-demand air charter operations. There's a lot of room for improvement in this area, and as evidenced by our recent forum on emergency medical service helicopter accidents, we continue to do everything we can to identify the safety issues involved, and to advocate for the adoption of our recommendations that will make the skies safer."
On-demand flight operations (classified by regulators as operating under the federal code 14 CFR Part 135), which include air medical, air taxi and air tour flights, logged over 3.6 million flight hours and had 56 accidents, killing 66 people - the highest number of fatalities since 2000; there were 43 fatalities in 2007. The accident rate per 100,000 flight hours (1.52) remained virtually unchanged from 2007 (1.54).
The number of accidents involving large commercial carriers (Part 121) was 28 in both 2008 and 2007. In both scheduled and non-scheduled services, the airlines carried 753 million passengers on over 10.8 million flights without a passenger fatality.
In 2008, commuter airlines (also operating under Part 135 in the federal code) that typically fly smaller turboprop aircraft made 581,000 flights, logging over 290,000 hours. These operators had seven accidents, none of which resulted in fatalities. This is an increase from three accidents in 2007.
In general aviation, there were 1,559 accidents, 275 of which involved fatalities, killing a total of 495 -- one fewer than the previous year. The GA accident rate per 100,000 flight hours was 7.11, up from 6.92 in 2007. In the last 20 years, the highest accident rate was 9.08 in 1994; the lowest rate was 6.33 in 2006.
Federal legislation defines an aircraft accident as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.


03 Apr 09 Low Cost Airport Surface Driving Simulator by Volpe

volpephoto-new.jpg From the 2008 Report:"Vehicle/pedestrian deviations (VPDs) occur due to many factors, such as the driver’s knowledge of airport layout, required communications, and other operational procedures. To address and create awareness of these issues, research has been conducted to explore the use of simulators in the driver training curriculum. Since training in a simulator, or virtual environment, has been found to be very helpful in learning complex routes as well as in spatial orientation and in assimilating signs and markings (Darken and Peterson, 2002), an initial investigation into making this technology more accessible to airports was needed. Previous work demonstrated the benefits of incorporating a high-fidelity driving simulator into ground vehicle drivers’ training (Chase and Hannon, 2006). Subsequent work showed that a low-cost simulator provided comparable benefits (Chase, 2006).
This low-cost simulator was designed and built by staff at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and was tested using ground vehicle operators from the Hanscom Field Airport (BED) in Bedford, Massachusetts. The results of training ground vehicle drivers with the low-cost simulator were positive with regard to navigational and spatial awareness issues."

FMI: Runway Safety Low Cost Driving Simulator report

Drive Smart

03 Apr 09 AOPA Nall Report is Released Form AOPA

e-Pilot Training: ‘Nall Report’ reveals highs, lows in GA safety record
"The number of accidents increased in 2007, which is worrisome, but the number of fatalities declined—as did the rate of fatal accidents, which fell more than would be anticipated by a declining number of flight hours, indicating a real reduction, according to the nineteenth annual AOPA Air Safety Foundation Joseph T. Nall Report released March 27. “While any fatality is one too many, the declines indicate that industry-wide efforts to improve safety are bearing fruit,” said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. “But the increase in the overall number of accidents indicates that there is still work to be done to improve safety. The Nall Report helps us determine where to focus our efforts.” Read more >>"
One of our local FAASTeam Reps Neil Krey does a great job helping to prepare this report. Grab a cup of coffee and take a look at it.
FMI: AOPA ePilot

Fly Smart,

01 Apr 09 Conference is a Huge Success

Our 2009 conference wrapped up today and it was a huge success, thanks to the great group of attendees, volunteers, Frontiers of Flight Museum, Bombardier, ISASI, Curt Lewis and speakers. I would especially like to thank our outstanding FAASTeam volunteers Jim Quinn, Chuck Schaffer and Dale Walker. Among many other things, Jim was responsible for coordinating lunch and worked out a great arrangement for the local Civil Air Patrol to have a refreshment stand fundraiser. Chuck provided great support, and I must thank his employer Bombardier for supporting the event. Dale spent many hours at our registration table handling questions about our event. Tim Logan, Erin Carroll, Toby Carroll and John Darbo and our local ISASI group sponsored a great lunch, and Curt gave wise counsel on prep for the event. I must also thank Cathy Dees and Erin for the telephone training on event details. I also had help from Brian Swain and Lance Bozlinski, two fellow aviators who dropped in and worked out some last minute details and manned the video camera.

The FAA provided great support as usual, with reps from the local FAASTeam Programs, Regional and National Runway Safety office. Thank yous go out to Barry Proctor, Steve Buckner, Joe Murphy, Jim McElvain, Paul Erway, Chuckie Hospers, Robert Conner, Jim, Wes Timmons, and Steve Smith.

I offer my most sincere gratitude to my friend Steve Buckner. Steve made sure all of the technical challenges were addressed, especially the audio/ visual needs of 16 speakers. I have been to many conferences and rarely see one run this smooth. I also must thank Steve for being a great leader who encourages volunteers to reach new heights in personal development.

I'm sure I missed a few key folks, but lastly and most importantly, thanks to my family. I enjoy their full support and words can not describe how that makes me feel.

I hope we see you next year in Dallas, last week in March 2010!


31 Mar 09 Human Factors and SMS Conference Dallas TX Frontiers of Flight Museum

The day has finally arrived, it is time for our conference. We have a great group of speakers and an impressive roster of 200 attendees, a capacity crowd for the Frontiers of Flight auditorium. Why are we here?

"An interactive conference to discuss research issues, academic challenges, and system advances for human factors in the real-world of operations. The goal is to meet and share information cutting across operational domains: Part 121, 135, 141 and 91, fixed-wing and rotorcraft. Speakers will discuss operational lessons learned and research progress. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns and needs for human factors tools and system solutions."

Tail.jpg This is another step on the journey towards making our not only our airspace system better, but many other high reliability organizations. Many of the standards and recommended practices developed here are shared amongst other medical, military, nuclear and incident command communities. We all learn from each other and in the process save lives.

So we'll have a few fun days in Dallas and then jump back into the challenge of reducing the hazards throughout the system that cause mishaps. Keep an eye on this site for Proceedings form the conference. Have a good day and start making plans for our 2010 conference! We're accepting sponsorships now!

Fly Smart

28 Mar 09 Signal Charlie now has a custom search engine, Aviation Safety (AvSafe)

custom_search_sm.gif So you need some information on human factors, safety management systems. aircraft design or operations? Go to google and search for it, right? Well, that's a start , if you don't mind digging through 9,000,000 webpages looking for your information. And once you find it, how do you know if it is reliable? Wouldn't it be better if you had your own personal research librarian, someone who has spent years working as a professional in that field, who could recommend a select group of websites to you and help you get started?

Well you have that resource now, here on Signal Charlie, with the help of a google custom search engine I created called AvSafe (Aviation Safety). AvSafe mines data from custom sites that I have selected. Other sites are searched also, but the focus is narrowed to aviation safety websites and webpages. This will get you going, it will help you start turning data into information that you can use and synthesize. AvSafe will save you time and it is FREE!

The portal to AvSafe is on the Links Page, try it out.

Search Smart :)

20 Mar 09 ANA plane enters runway at Osaka airport without permission

JAL Saturday 21st March, 06:27 AM JST OSAKA —
An All Nippon Airways plane departing from Osaka’s Itami airport entered a runway without an air traffic controller’s permission Friday morning, transport ministry officials said. Around the same time, a JAL Express plane arriving in the airport from Sendai was preparing to land on the same runway, the officials said.

None of the 407 passengers and crew members aboard Boeing 777 for ANA Flight 18 and the 167 aboard McDonnell Douglas MD-81 for JEX Flight 2200 were injured, the officials said. The safety commission of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has sent investigators to the airport as it judged there was danger of a serious accident. The incident occurred at around 9:20 a.m. After the pilot of the JEX plane and the air traffic controller noticed the ANA plane’s
unauthorized runway entry, the controller ordered the JEX pilot to overshoot the runway.

Fly Smart

17 Mar 09 Air-Medical Flight Teams Lobby to Improve Low-Altitude Infrastructure, Protect Patients and Advance Air Ambulance Safety

by Vertical Mag 16 Mar 09: Establishing a congressional air-medical caucus, achieving greater federal funding levels to support the low-altitude infrastructure, passing proposed air-medical safety legislation, increasing air-ambulance Medicare reimbursement rates, and addressing regional disparities in access to trauma services caused by inadequate Medicaid reimbursement were some of the many issues that air-medical services leaders focused on during the Association of Air-Medical Services' Capitol Hill congressional briefings last week.
The lobbying sessions were part of the annual spring conference of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), held March 11-13, at the Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference provided the opportunity for air medical crew members to learn about the operational and legislative issues that directly affect medical transport programs nationwide, and to bring about improvements in the national legislative and regulatory arenas.
“A chief goal of AAMS' spring conference and lobby day was to educate policy and lawmakers regarding the need to direct more federal funding towards improving the low-altitude infrastructure,” said AAMS President Sandy Kinkade. “Currently, low-altitude aviators do not have access to the same supportive components that exist within the general-aviation infrastructure, which was built specifically for scheduled, commercial airlines – an omission that puts EMS helicopters in particular at a distinct disadvantage.”
Also important, Kinkade noted, is “securing federal funding for remote weather stations that would help bridge a ‘weather-reporting gap.' Such funding would be directed towards increasing the number of off-airport or small-airport automated weather stations and adding weather-reporting technology to hospital helipads.”
FMI: Verticalmag.com

These are critical components to improve the system that the HEMS community operates in. There needs to be a focused effort to advance these improvements and reduce not only the helicopter mishap rate, but the low altitude GA mishap rate as well.

Fly Smart,

14 Mar 09 Aviation Award Winners Named; Signal Charlie Creator K B Lewis Selected

KBLSC.jpg LONGMONT, Colorado (12 March 2009) - In each of the past 45 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety.

This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors. The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

Recipients of this year's national awards are Alfred Joseph "Lucky" Louque of Chatfield, Texas, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year; Arlynn Marine McMahon, Versailles, Kentucky, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; Paul Jerome "Jerry" Stooksbury of Fort Collins, Colorado, Avionics Technician of the Year; and Kent Blair Lewis of Keller, Texas, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Previously, this award was the Aviation Safety Counselor (ASC) of the Year.

The FAA administrator will present the national awards in July during a "Theater in the Woods" program at EAA AirVenture 2009 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Included in the prize package for all four national winners is an all expense paid trip to Oshkosh for the recipient and a guest to attend the awards presentation and other GA Awards activities.

"These awards highlight the important role played by these individuals in promoting aviation education and flight safety," said JoAnn Hill, General Aviation Awards Committee chairperson. "The awards program sponsors are pleased that these outstanding aviation professionals will receive the recognition they so richly deserve before their peers in Oshkosh."

I'd like to thank my family for their support, and my friends throughout industry for the opportunity to learn together and improve aerospace safety. I'd also like to congratulate the other winners from all of the Regions. We have a great team!
Thank you,

14 Mar 09 Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program

Bonanza The Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP, Inc.) offers Beechcraft-specific pilot training, The 1½–day companion program is designed to enhance the safety and enjoyment of flight for all who attend.
"The primary objective of BPPP is aviation safety. Flying is serious business. It demands skill levels that are learned with experience, over time. It requires a knowledge base that is ever-changing. You can never stop learning how to fly. And that is precisely why BPPP was established in 1983."
This is a great program that gears training towards your needs. Even if you don't fly a Beechcraft, if you have a chance to sit through a ground school, you'll learn a lot and walk away a safer pilot or mechanic.
Fly Smart

11 Mar 09 Helicopter Safety

UH-1N_Formation I started a new page to compile resources on helicopter safety. There has been a lot of activity recently with the NTSB HEMS Public Hearing in Feb, so I put together a summary of the proceedings. I also added a link to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), their SMS-Toolkit and a Confined Area Landing (CAL) training ppt.

Fly Smart

07 Mar 09 Electronic Flight Bags

I came across this review for Reader Plates, an inexpensive way to keep a complete set of up to date NACO charts, and save some weight for other important things like fuel.

Reader_Plates "Reader Plates are downloadable FAA (NACO) Terminal Approach Procedures formatted for display on the Sony Reader PRS-505.
Now an instrument-rated private pilot can carry every approach plate for every airport in the US in a 9 ounce electronic book reader. It's inexpensive, easy to use, and will run for days on a single charge."
FMI: Reader Plates
Add a basic GPS and you can keep from getting lost, keep from running out of fuel and keep from running into things. 3 important things in my book.
As always, especially with these bells and whistles, look outside. That computer between you ears, plus your MK-1 eyeballs, are your best navigation and surveillance devices.

Fly Smart,
2009 National FAASTeam Rep of the Year

03 Mar 09 Piece of Aviation History for March 3 from IFALPA

Boeing 1919 - William Boeing (1881-1956) and Edward Hubbard (1889-1928) deliver the first bag of international U.S. Air Mail containing 60 letters using the Boeing Model C700 to carry out a demonstration flight between Vancouver and Lake Union, Seattle. Boeing is the pilot while Hubbard wins the contract for a regular airmail service.
Photograph shows Hubbard (on the left) with Boeing


Fly Smart

03 Mar 09 Great Briefing Leaflet site on IFALPA

IFALPA has a great website where they offer up to date briefing leaflets on Accident Analysis and Prevention, Aerodrome and Ground Environment, Aircraft Design and Operations, Air Traffic Services, Dangerous Goods, Helicopters, Human Performance and Medical, Legal, and Security. One of the latest deals with the Effects of LASER Illumination on Aircraft.


Fly Smart,

28 Feb 09 Data Recorder in Spotlight for Helicopter Safety

A Fargo company that makes flight data recorders hopes a new, smaller model will help the company land an even bigger role in a national push to improve helicopter safety.
By: **Mike Nowatzki**, INFORUM
David Batcheller holds a mockup of Appareo’s newest flight data recorder for use in helicopters. The “blackbox” weighs 10 ounces, is water-resistant and records audio and four pictures per second for hours as well as roughly a month of flight data. The company’s new building, behind him, is located in the NDSU Research and Technology Park.
A Fargo company that makes flight data recorders hopes a new, smaller model will help the company land an even bigger role in a national push to improve helicopter safety.
David Batcheller of Appareo Systems Inc. recently testified in front of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is exploring ways to boost safety after nine medical helicopter crashes killed 35 people during a 12-month period in 2007 and 2008.
While so-called “black boxes” are standard in commercial airliners, the federal government doesn’t require them in all helicopters, although some owners voluntarily install them. Appareo launched its new recorder weighing less than 300 grams, or about 10 ounces, at the international Heli-Expo last weekend in Anaheim, Calif. In addition to recording flight data, it records ambient sound and features a camera that takes still photos of the cockpit. The recorder was developed with major helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, which will begin installing it on models in 2010, said Batcheller, who appeared in a CNN news story about Fargo’s economy this week.
The European counterpart to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expected to release standards for light aircraft data acquisition systems such as Appareo’s later this year, Batcheller said. The FAA may adopt those standards or create its own, and the NTSB will likely make recommendations based on the hearings in early February, he said.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on the industry to do something to increase safety, so I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said.
Full Article: Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

Kent's Comments: As usual, technology is outpacing FOIA legislation. Actually, FOIA legislation has been left way behind in this area. With rapidly emerging technologies, we can collect data in many innovative ways but are not advanced enough as a society to use it responsibly. How long before we see the first cockpit images on the "news" of a crew's last seconds alive, or those images shown in a courtroom in a lawyer's inappropriate passionate appeal to a jury? It is human nature to try to make sense of misaps, and our system is currently mandated "to determine cause or probable cause". That usually leaves the pilots to be assigned the blame for an entire system, and in many cases they are no longer with us to defend their knowledge, skills, resources and experience.

What I am concerned about is protection of this data from inappropriate use by criminal courts, civil courts, companies and the regulatory agencies. If there is to be "a lot of pressure on the industry to do something to increase safety", then there should be even more pressure on government agencies to increase protection of "voluntarily" provided safety data. At a minimum the data recorded on these devices should have the same protections as CVR audio, and ideally legislation would protect all data from any source (text, electronic data, audio, image) that is provided to increase safety.

If this technology holds a promise, let's install it first in our Nation's automobiles, especially in vehicles being driven by our high risk groups of teens, seniors and the high reiability hazmat CDL community. Imagine the data that could be collected there? Operating and exam rooms next. From there we can move to Congressional offices and the Boardrooms, because that is first and foremost where decision making, judgment and situational awareness must be scrutinized. Use of recorders here might even shape decisions that PREVENT mishaps, vs trying to put shattered lives and property back together. If it is good for our communities I must assume it is good for all.

Given the usage scenarios above, we need to decide the societal responsibilities and implications of use this data before we start widepsread collection.

Fly Smart and smile for the camera!

26 Feb 09 Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) Incorporates, Schedules Inaugural Meeting

external image TBO-NAFI-SAFE-logo-0209a_tn.jpg The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), has announced the incorporation of the organization in the state of Connecticut. SAFE is a new organization formed to represent the nation's professional aviation educators,
SAFE has scheduled its inaugural meeting during the upcoming Women in Aviation International conference. The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 26th at 1715 in the Centennial IV room of the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to SAFE spokesperson Doug Stewart, "Incorporation is a big step in establishing SAFE in the aviation community and in creating a member driven organization that will be responsive to the needs of the nation's aviation instructors. We plan to hear from various committee chairpersons regarding the current status of initiatives and to discuss the charter memberships which will be offered as soon as all the filings are complete." Following the committee reports, a question and answer session will be held to allow interested participants and media to learn more about the future plans for the organization.
"Securing non profit (501c3) status for SAFE is the next big step in our efforts to create an organization that will represent the nation's aviation educators and Certified Flight Instructors with professionalism, transparency, fairness and accountability." continues Stewart.
"We are moving forward on many fronts to put programs in place, to elect an initial Board of Directors and to begin offering memberships to aviation educators, flight instructors and industry partners. We are excited about the opportunity to debut our new organization at the 20th annual WAI conference. Everyone is invited to stop by and meet us."
FMI: www.TBO-NAFI.org

We wish SAFE Fair skies and tailwinds, unless they're in a helo trying to land...
Fly Smart and train with a dedicated CFI,

25 Feb 09 Turkish Airlines 737 crashes while landing at Schipol

A Turkish Airlines 737 has crashed while landing at Schipol. The aircraft was completing a scheduled flight from Istanbul and had about 136 on board.
Local reports say that the 737 crashed short of the runway and broke into three sections but that there was no fire.
FMI: International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations www,ifalpa.org

Update: (CNN) -- A Turkish passenger jet crashed as it tried to land at Amsterdam's main airport Wednesday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 50 -- 25 seriously -- Dutch airport authorities have said.
external image art.schiphol.crash.engine.gi.jpg
Rescuers attend the fuselage of the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 following Wednesday's crash. The Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800, which had 127 passengers and seven crew members according to the airline, broke into three pieces on impact in a field near Schiphol Airport.
The injured included both crew and passengers, said Assistant Local Mayor Michel Bezuijen. It is too early to determine the cause of the crash, Bezuijen said.
FMI: CNN.com/Europe

IFALPA has a really good Daily News email that I get. I recommend signing up for it.
Fly Smart

25 Feb 09 Piece of Aviation History for February 25

1965 – Maiden flight of the DC9.Douglas designed the DC-9 as a short-range companion to their larger four engined DC-8. Unlike the competing but slightly larger Boeing 727, which used as many 707 components as possible, the DC-9 was an all-new design. Delta became the launch customer when it entered service with them in December 1965.
The DC-9 was followed in subsequent modified forms by the MD-80, MD-90 and Boeing 717. Production of the DC-9 aircraft family ceased after 41 years in May 2006 with 976 airframes built.

FMI: www.ifalpa.org

Fly Smart,

23 Feb 09 Threat and Error Management in Flight Operations

more great info from SKYbrary

This article is based on Threat And Error Management (TEM) paper presented by Capt. Dan Maurino, Coordinator of ICAO Flight Safety and Human Factors Programme, at the Canadian Aviation Safety Seminar (CASS) in Vancouver, Canada, 18-20 April 2005.
There are three basic components in the Threat and Error Management (TEM) model, from the perspective of flight crews: threats, errors and undesired aircraft states (UAS). The model proposes that threats and errors are part of everyday aviation operations that must be managed by flight crews, since both threats and errors carry the potential to generate undesired aircraft states. Flight crews must also manage undesired aircraft states, since they carry the potential for unsafe outcomes. Undesired state management is an essential component of the TEM model, as important as threat and error management. Undesired aircraft state management largely represents the last opportunity to avoid an unsafe outcome and thus maintain safety margins in flight operations.
Read more:

Fly Smart and use your team

12 Feb 09 Control of the Mission Versus Control of the System

by Matt "Pug" Boyne

Thursday, February 12, 2009

As flight deck technology gains greater sophistication, flight deck designers will continue to create additional information sources and control measures. It is an observation that aircraft accidents have a greater chance to occur when pilots cede control of the aircraft to automated systems rather than keeping control of the aircraft themselves. This may be referred to as a choice to use mission level automation (Rogers, Schutte & Latorella, 1996.) At this point pilots have moved from a controlling function to a monitoring one and if not properly engaged may lose situational awareness.

A classic example for lessons learned in this area is the American Airlines 757 crash on approach to Cali, Columbia in December of 1995 (Aeronautica Civil of the Republic of Columbia, 1996.) While rushing to prepare for a new approach to the airport the pilots loaded an incorrect navigational point into their flight management computer and then trusted that the autopilot system would bring them to the correct position. At this point they abrogated their control authority and moved to a monitoring position. Due to further distractions with navigational charts, both pilots allowed their monitoring duties to suffer as well. Unfortunately, due to confusion as to their location and the high terrain surrounding the airport, the flight management system directed the autopilot onto a path that resulted in collision with the mountains, loss of life and aircraft.

This example is used to describe the real risks to cockpit automation. As long as pilots retain control over the mission of the aircraft, they will maintain a higher level of situational awareness than when they move to a monitoring position. If the automated systems are used, they should be employed as a work load mitigator and not a placed in a decision making role. For tasks that are not mission critical, that may be thought of as aircraft or system specific, such as cabin temperature or fuel balancing, delegation to the automated system will not result into a significant safety hazard. Monitoring can be thought of in a time versus risk assessment. If sufficient time exists for human intervention before given a critical situation, delegation to automation will reduce workload, improve effectiveness and minimize fatigue.

This does not imply that pilots must at all time maintain physical control of the aircraft, as in manually flying. Rather the control must be in a dynamic sense. This means that the aircraft will not change profiles without pilot input, which may be through the flight controls manually or by engaging an autopilot mode control


Aeronautica Civil of the Republic of Columbia (1996). Aircraft accident report: Controlled flight into terrain, American Airlines Flight 965, Boeing 757-223, N651AA, near Cali, Columbia, December 20, 1995. Santafe de Bogota, D.C., Columbia: Author.

Rogers, W.H., Schutte, P.C. & Latorella, K.A. (1996). Fault management in aviation systems. In P. Parasuraman & M. Mouloua (Eds.), Automation and Human Performance: Theory and Applications. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

external image 767400-k60557.jpg

10 Feb 09 Miracle Flight Crew Honored; Sully's Recommended Reading; Just Culture by Sidney Dekker

I think this is a resounding endorsement for Sidney's book Just Culture. Balancing Safety and Accountability.

CNN Video on Mayor Bloomberg Honoring US Airways Flight Crew

Fly Smart,

5 Feb 09 Risk Assessment Matrix for HEMS Teams

LPD_USS_Duluth In the Helicopter EMS world, there has been a lot of discussion about using a "Risk Assessment Matrix" to optimize a mission launch decision. This matrix is used WELL BEFORE the emergency call comes in to allow the HEMS Team of Dispatcher, Pilot(s), Flight Nurse, Paramedic, Dispatcher, Mechanic, Director of Ops, Director of Safety, Company owners and Flight Service personnel make Risk Decisions . It is about the HEMS Team communicating before hand, and developing a tactical plan to fly smart.

In the Marine Corps, you train and plan missions before any battle; the HEMS environment carries many of the same challenges of High Intensity Operations and Tactical Decision Making. And even in the military, there was no mission in peactime that warranted loss of life to complete. If you make these decision early, that leaves more room in the brain bucket for the necessary last minute details. It is the details that are often overlooked and take the most cognitive attention in a time constrained environment

Here is a sample, each hazard generates points and totals are considered at the end. Think of a sample scenario and see how you would proceed at the end. And one thing to keep in mind, ? Anyone can stop the mission, and The Pilot In Command always makes the final decision to launch:

At every crew change, each base exercises an Enhanced Operational Control Matrix and reports the results to the local EOCC. The matrix is scored as follows:

One point is assigned for each of the following:
1. Less than three months on current job/base
2. Less than six months in PHI EMS
3. Less than 200 hours in type
4. Last flight greater than 30 days
5. Navigation or Radios on MEL
6. New or Unfamiliar equipment
7. Less than six NVG operations in the last 60 days

Two points are assigned for each of the following:
1. Last night flight greater than 30 days (night requests only)
2. Greater than 90 days since the last practice instrument approach
3. Back-up/Spare aircraft (if different from regular aircraft)

One point is deducted for each of the following:
1. Greater than 500 hours in type
2. IFR capable aircraft
3. At least one of the medical crew has more than one year of experience
4. PHI pilot and at least one crewmember are PHI AMRM trained

4 pilots; 2 motors; IFR Certified; 10,000 lb fuel reserve; EGPWS; PWS; TCAS; FMS; Autopilot; Autothrottle; Autoland down to 300 RVR; and 2 clipboards (map and flight plan)
Two points are deducted if the aircraft and crew are NVG equipped, current, and used. Four points are deducted if the entire flight will be conducted under instrument flight rules. A total of zero to ten points results in a green status, eleven to 15 in a yellow status, and 16 or greater in a red status. If the base is in a yellow status, EOC concurrence with flight dispatch is required. If the base is in a red status, flights will not be dispatched.

Prior to every flight, each pilot exercises the Dynamic Risk Matrix and reports the results to the local EOCC prior to dispatch. The matrix is scored as follows:

One point is assigned for each of the following:
1. High wind or gust spread (greater than 30 knots or greater than 15 knots spread)
2. Moderate turbulence
3. Mountainous or hostile terrain
4. Class B or C airspace

Two points are assigned for each of the following:
1. Ceiling within 500 feet of program minimums
2. Visibility within two miles of program minimums
3. Precipitation with convective activity within five miles of course
4. Unaided night flight

Three points are added for low ground reference or visible moisture during flight in freezing conditions. Four points are added for deteriorating weather that will be "yellow" during flight duration. Five points are added for a temperature/dewpoint spread within 2 degrees C with less than five knots of wind. One point is subtracted for favorable weather being reported at the destination and high ground reference.

A grand total of the dynamic score falls within three categories. A normal category, scored from zero to ten, allows pilot approval of the flight. An EOC manager level, scored from eleven to 15, requires the pilot to refuse the flight or an EOC manager to approve the flight. An unacceptable level, scored at 16 or greater requires an automatic cancellation of the flight.

We dedicate an enormous amount of time and talent to investigate mishaps, a reactive Team approach. Wouldn't it be better to dedicate a portion of that time to mission planning. No one wants to lose members of the team, hard working and dedicated individuals who have brightened our lives daily. We should do all we can to learn and carry forward with their guiding spirit at our side. Here is a case study on the factors that contribute to fatal mishaps...

Fly Smart
Night Systems SAR Instructor

21 Jan 09 US Airways Field Investigation Continues

US Air Salvage.ppt

Fly Smart,

16 Jan 09 FAA Awards Ground Surveillance Contract To Thales ATM

System May Replace Higher-Cost ASDE-X Installations
Reported on www.aero-news.net: The first contract to install and test a low-cost ground surveillance system intended to improve runway safety at small to medium-sized airports was recently awarded to Thales ATM by the Federal Aviation Administration.
external image ASDE-X-graphic-gov-0907a_tn.jpg

"Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ideas," said Acting Administrator Robert A. Sturgell. "Our goal is to get this technology to airports as quickly as possible. It’s a real boost for pilots and controllers. These low-cost systems will have a direct effect on runway incursions."
Thales ATM, based in Shawnee, KS is one of several companies interested in testing a low-cost ground surveillance system that would be installed at airports not among the 35 scheduled to receive the more expensive Airport Surface Detection Equipment–Model X (ASDE-X). The FAA asked interested companies to submit proposals and will use the field tests to determine which systems will be deployed nationwide.
Under the contract, Thales ATM will deliver, install and test a ground surveillance system at airports chosen by the FAA. Additional contracts are expected to be awarded soon to other companies interested in testing their products.
The FAA believes low-cost systems would provide an added layer of safety by giving air traffic controllers basic ground surveillance for aircraft and vehicles operating on runways and adjacent taxiways. They would also provide a foundation for future radar-based runway safety systems.
FMI: www.faa.gov, www.thalesgroup.com
Sounds like a creative solution!
Fly Smart,

14 Jan 09 Global Aviation Safety Risks for 2009

DATE:13/01/09 SOURCE:Flight International Forecasts 2009 - Safety and security are in the doldrums By David Learmount
After a decade of safety improvement until 2005, this year looks likely to confirm - at best - the horizontal trend established since. The industry looks unable to improve its safety performance until operational quality control measures are more widely implemented.
International Air Transport Association figures, both for the global average airline safety performance and for that of its own members, show they reached their lowest accident rates in 2005-6 and have since worsened, if only a little. Another indicator that things are unlikely to improve is the fact that, in regions that consistently report good safety figures, serious accidents - particularly fatal ones - are now so rare that the room for improvement is small.
Almost all fatal accidents in the past few years involve second- or third-tier airlines in countries where safety performance has stagnated. Safety performance in those regions is likely to remain stagnant until global pressure - applied through agencies like the International Civil Aviation Organisation and IATA - to adopt operational and maintenance quality control measures, like safety management systems and safety audits, begins to be heeded.
The last operators to do this will be short-haul carriers in the least safe regions, because they are immune from external competitive pressures such as an alternative to an accident-prone carrier. Another form of pressure is the ban on airlines operating to nations that monitor the performance of foreign national aviation authorities and airlines. Indonesian airlines, for example, are banned from operating to Europe until the national aviation authority's oversight standards meet ICAO minima.

Most fatal accidents in recent years involve airlines in countries where safety has stagnated AP/PA photos
Most fatal accidents in recent years involve airlines in countries where safety has stagnated AP/PA photos

© AP/PA photos
Meanwhile, in countries where the terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) is not compulsory in commercial transport aircraft, controlled flight into terrain accidents still happen. Figures prove that no TAWS-fitted aircraft has suffered a CFIT accident. The figures since 1997, when the first big commercial jets were being fitted with TAWS, reveal there were six CFIT accidents in that year. By 2007 only 5% of the world's commercial jet fleet lacked TAWS, but among that small minority, according to the Flight Safety Foundation, two airlines suffered CFIT accidents.
Since the chances of CFIT accidents among non-TAWS jet airliners is about six times as high as the world average pre-TAWS, there will probably be CFIT accidents in 2009, even though they can be prevented.
If the trend shown by the FSF's five-year moving average chart for the number of CFIT accidents continues, there will be two CFIT accidents in 2009. Recent statistics suggest there will be loss of control crashes this year, as that category has taken over as the biggest killer.
An indicator of the risks for this year can be drawn from IATA's categorisation of the most common categories of hull loss accidents in 2007: 26% were runway excursions, 19% were caused by ground damage, gear-up landings and gear collapse added up to 15%, while loss of control in flight caused 13%. Other categories such as hard landings, undershoot, CFIT, in-flight damage and tailstrike were all in single figures.
IATA's director general Giovanni Bisignani says the greatest weakness in aviation security also makes it inefficient and unnecessarily costly: the failure to globalise standards. This applies, he says, not only to screening arrangements, but to advance passenger information requirements. He says IATA is pressing governments and airports to standardise.
FMI: www.flightglobal.com

It's good to know where the high threat areas are, so we can take appropriate measures during flight ops. Runway excursions lead the list.
Fly Smart,

08 Jan 09 Aviation Human Factors Conference, Dallas, TX March 31 - April 1 2009

FAASteam.jpg Our Human Factors conference and Wings Seminar is a go! We have a great lineup of speakers and outstanding venue. Focus is human factors and SMS programs for Part 135 and the GA community, sharing lessons learned with 121 and military communities. Come spend some time in Dallas, enjoy the conference and explore the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

Click on the Aerospace HF Applications and Research link on the left to learn more and register.
Fly Smart, and hope to see you in Texas late March!

31 Dec 08 Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

By Sholnn Freeman Wednesday, December 31, 2008; Page D02 Washington Post Staff Writer

A program that allows pilots to voluntarily report safety lapses without the fear of punishment has remained suspended at three big airlines, even after a push this month by acting FAA Administrator Robert A. Sturgell to get it back on track. Sturgell is trying to break an impasse between US Airways, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines and their respective pilots unions over rules that pilots say could expose them to more disciplinary action. He sent letters this month to union presidents and the carriers' chief executives urging them to resolve their conflicts. On at least one letter, Sturgell scribbled in the margin: "Get this done." "Both sides need to compromise," Sturgell said in a recent interview. "It's very hard to understand, from my perspective, how a program that has been in place for a decade or more, and providing benefits all along the way, suddenly becomes not a good program."
Some congressmen also are demanding action to restart the programs, known as Aviation Safety Action Programs, or ASAPs. Earlier this week, pilots received a letter from Rep. John L. Mica (Fla.), the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, encouraging the sides to reopen talks. "The Aviation Safety Action Program is an invaluable tool in protecting the flying public," he wrote. "In fact, every day this matter remains unresolved places the safety of the aviation passengers at risk."
One option floated this week in Washington involved convening a meeting of union leaders and top airline executives, possibly the chief executives themselves, as a way to work through the impasse. Of the three airlines, only US Airways has reported that it is in active talks with pilots to restart the program. Designed to encourage pilots and other airline employees to voluntarily report safety concerns without the threat of disciplinary action or punishment, American Airlines became the first carrier to institute a safety action program in 1994. Since then the programs have grown to cover dispatchers, flight attendants and air traffic controllers. The FAA currently has 170 agreements in place with 70 air carriers. So far this year, the industry has generated about 50,000 reports, the FAA says. John Hansman, an aviation professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the programs have become increasingly important to understanding aviation safety, especially given the industry's low accident rate. "We are actually in a period when the aviation system is incredibly safe," Hansman said. "As a consequence we have to look for what we call accident precursors -- identifying things that are unsafe in the system before they cause accidents."
Conflicts started to arise in recent years as attorneys and safety officials started fighting over the complicated language of the agreements. The pilots' attorneys say the airlines appear to be seeking language that would give airlines greater ability to reject reports. Union officials have described the programs as priceless because they uncover information that may have never come to light. Some are small, like paperwork abnormalities or training issues. Others draw greater concern such as a pilot landing a plane or crossing a runway without proper clearances.
Under FAA guidelines, inadvertent safety lapses are supposed to be resolved though corrective action rather than through punishment. Pilots say any changes in the agreements' language could leave them exposed to greater risk of disciplinary action. Tom Westbrook, vice president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents the American Airline pilots, said negotiations are at a stalemate. "Nothing is going on," Westbrook said. "We have been making statements in every forum we can to get word to them that we are prepared to meet. If they'd agree to stop disciplining pilots for safety events, then we'd sign the agreement."
On the other side, airlines say they are trying to block changes sought by the pilots that they say would unfairly expand pilot immunity. "We want to achieve protections for our pilots for unintentional acts and unintentional violations," said Billy Nolen, manger of flight safety at American Airlines. "At the same time we want to ensure accountability that if someone commits a willful act, this program doesn't offer them protections." Disputes also have centered on the handling of individual ASAP reports as well as personality conflicts between individuals involved in the process, including FAA personnel. At Delta, which suspended its program in 2006, progress on new agreements for pilots has been slowed by the carrier's recent merger with Northwest Airlines.
The controversies have forced the FAA into action, even though the agency typically tries to stay clear of airline labor disputes. "This is a safety issue," Sturgell said. "It should not be treated by anybody as a labor-management issue."

My recommended solution to this is to place the process into the hands of trained safety program personnel at the air lines, FAA and pilot associations.

Fly Smart,

20 Dec 08 NORAD Roll Out New Santa Tracking Options

Reported first by aero-news.net
external image USAF-NORAD-Logo-0505a_tn.jpg It's that time of year again... and in between monitoring US airspace and keeping an eye on **wayward Russian Bears**, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is again getting ready to track Santa!
The NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) Web site went live December 1, featuring fun holiday games and activities that change daily. On December 24, Christmas Eve, NORAD will begin tracking Santa Claus' journey via live video feeds that begin at 3:00 am PST/6:00 am EST.
The Web site, designed by Booz Allen Hamilton, allows fans of all ages to get up-to-the-minute reports and streaming videos from key stops on Santa's trip around the world. Google software will output live images from NORAD's high-speed digital 'Santa Cams,' and Google Maps and Google Earth will follow Santa as he travels around the world.
All of this information is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish -- and new this year, Chinese. In addition, for the first time, Canada Post will partner with NORAD to ensure children around the world can send an email to Santa through the NTS Web site. The NTS program is carried out with the assistance of many corporate partners.
According to a recently article in Scientific American, kids of all ages will also be able to upload their own pictures from around the world, and Twitter from their cell phones about the momentous event.
"We're just trying to give everyone the opportunity to track Santa on Christmas," said Maj. Stacia Reddish, manager of the NORAD Tracks Santa program.
The NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) program began on December 24, 1955, after an errant phone call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, CO. The call was from a local youngster who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper advertisement. The commander who answered the phone that night gave the youngster the information requested -- the whereabouts of Santa Claus.
This began the tradition of tracking Santa Claus, a tradition that was carried on by NORAD when it was formed in 1958. This Christmas marks the 50th anniversary of NORAD tracking Santa Claus as he goes around the world delivering presents.
external image santa1202a_tn.jpg

The NTS program has grown immensely since first presented on the Internet in 1998. In 2007, the Web site received 10.6 plus million unique visitors from 212 countries and territories. In addition, the NTS Operations Center, occupied by 1,012 volunteers on Christmas Eve, answered nearly 95,000 phone calls and received 140,000 emails from families around the world.

FMI: www.noradsanta.org

Fly Smart and watch out for Santa's wake turbulence...he's a Heavy!

19 Dec 08 Just Culture by Sidney Dekker

Professor Dekker gets it, he knows what we need to move a high risk organization to the next level of safety. He has several books out, all of which I highly recommend.

Fly Even Smarter,

Resilience by Professor Sidney Dekker

Fly Smart

13 Dec 08 ALPA Denounces Public Release of Fatal Accident Cockpit Voice Recording

"ALPA president, Capt. John Prater, has condemned the recent online publication of the cockpit voice recordings from the jet aircraft involved in a midair collision that took place more than two years ago. The audio recordings, which were released by the Brazilian prosecutor in the case, can be found in their entirety in the current online edition of a U.S. magazine.
“This type of exploitation is exactly why airline pilots the world over remain adamant that recording devices installed in our cockpits must be protected and kept absolutely private no matter where we fly,” said Prater. “In the United States and Canada, the release of such information by government investigative bodies is strictly controlled by law, but once a U.S. or Canadian aircraft leaves North America, these privacy protections evaporate.”
Professional pilots recognize the safety benefit of the cockpit voice recorder and allow that intrusion into their workplace to advance aviation safety, not to provide fodder for sensational journalism, explained Prater. The release of the audio recording of the final moments in the lives of the Gol B-737 pilots as they struggled to save their airliner and of the conversation of the ExcelAire crew have no place in the news media. Publication of these recordings in any form by the news media should be prohibited by law in every country.
Recent remarks by U.S. NTSB officials suggest that there would be benefit in additional recording capability. The NTSB has made such a recommendation on its list of “Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements.”
“The carelessness of the Brazilian government in releasing these recordings and the tasteless actions of this magazine in making the recordings available online for commercial gain threaten aviation safety and demonstrate once again that the cockpit recordings cannot be protected,” said Prater. “We cannot begin to have an objective discussion about the safety value of recording additional activity in the cockpit until our pilots have iron-clad assurances from the global aviation community, governments, and regulators that such recordings will be strictly controlled and used only for their intended purpose—enhancing flight safety.”
“ALPA maintains that this problem must be addressed immediately. The union recognizes the need to broaden efforts to improve safety data collection but this must be balanced with the need to protect that data from misuse. ALPA has long underscored that other methods of obtaining higher-quality safety data exist without running the risk of egregious violations of pilots’ privacy. Capitalizing on higher-fidelity data recording, capturing the forces exerted on cockpit controls, and sampling greater numbers of flight parameters more often could all help obtain the objective data that would improve accident and incident investigation.
“ALPA calls on the incoming U.S. administration to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization to immediately set strict protections on the release and use of cockpit voice recordings to prevent this type of irresponsible journalism, which seeks to generate profit, rather than to make flying safer for passengers and cargo,” Prater concluded."
ALPA FastRead
Imagine for a minute that this directly affected you or your family, because it does. We need a FAR to protect ALL reporters who voluntarily submitted safety-related information and limit release of collected data, before a discussion even begins on CIRs. The information collection and distribution architecture is outstripping our capability to manage it. We need policy with protections now in our country, to meet the intent of SMS Policy recommended by ICAO. From there we can attempt to influence other ICAO member states.

You can help by engaging your elected representatives in discussion of this important safety challenge.

Fly Smart,

07 Dec 08 Pearl Harbor Day

By RICK MONTGOMERY The Kansas City Star
Pearl_Harbor_Flag Two years ago, a waning fraternity of local men who had survived the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor thought their 65th anniversary reunion would be the last. “We are all getting old now,” Jack Carson of Overland Park told The Kansas City Star at the time, “and it’s almost too much to get anything done.” A boy named Quinn changed that.
Today, Kansas City Metro Chapter III of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association — now fewer than a half-dozen veterans — will gather again for the 67th anniversary at a Mission community center. The task of organizing and promoting the reunion was seized by 13-year-old Quinn Appletoft, a World War II buff who happened upon the group about eight years ago. Last year, he served as master of ceremonies. Recently, he distributed fliers at two Shawnee Mission schools. His fliers read: “We will remember this day with survivors. … You can hear their stories of this tragic day and look at artifacts.” Refreshments provided. Quinn hopes maybe 10 kids will come. “When you have these guys together, what’s cool is they tell their own stories. I think that’s way better than reading out of a textbook,” he said. Across the nation, aging Pearl Harbor veterans groups have begun to fold their collective tents: A Massachusetts chapter of seven active members held its final meeting in June. In Nevada, the Silver State Chapter No. 1 of the survivors association intends to surrender its charter today. But the Kansas City chapter has been revved up by the kid from Mission and by his classmates. “So long as this boy wants to put it on, we’ll go along,” said survivor Edmund “Russ” Russell, 91, of Lenexa. “Anytime I get a chance to talk to kids about Pearl Harbor, well, they seem to get interested.”
Russell, who on Dec. 7, 1941, was an Army Air Corpsman and a butcher in the Wheeler Field mess hall, said it wasn’t difficult to get a rise out of middle-schoolers when telling of Japanese attackers “flying so low you could see the grins on their faces.” That’s Quinn’s kind of stuff. Since he was about 4, he would sit up in bed and gaze with rapture whenever his dad read the Pearl Harbor story from a children’s history book. “Did all that really happen?” Quinn would ask. He never cared much for fairy tales. Quinn was in kindergarten when he and his father, Ron Appletoft, made their first visit to the reunion of local survivors of the sneak attack that hurled America into World War II. “He was so shy,” recalled Dorwin Lamkin, 86, a neighbor of the Appletofts who was a 19-year-old sailor aboard the USS Nevada when the bombs fell. “Quinn was hiding behind his father’s leg!” But by the time the boy was 11, and those white-haired veterans were ready to hang it up, the kid felt ready to help run the show. “I told the guys, ‘What if my son and I did all of the organizing and all you’d have to do is show up?’ said Ron Appletoft, a former Mission city councilman. Last year Quinn pitched the reunion to two sixth-grade classes at Highlands Elementary School, and a field trip was born. “The guys were really energized by that. They decided they wanted to do it again,” said Quinn’s dad. “The key? It was the kids.” In April, the Kansas City chapter lost Charles M. Hine, 88, who had been on hospital ambulance watch when the attack occurred.
With about 900 World War II veterans dying daily, Kacey Hill, spokeswoman for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, said every community could use a Quinn. “Young people need to be going out and finding these veterans,” Hill said. “Nothing will match the stories of people who lived through it. “Very soon, that won’t be available.” This year Quinn and a buddy named Scotty, both seventh-graders at Indian Hills Middle School, have spread the word to their peers. Quinn plans to introduce a new feature at the event, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Sylvester Powell Community Center. “I’m going to give a brief history of Pearl Harbor,” he said, still rather shyly, before clearing his throat and launching into it: “It was a surprise attack in the morning…

To reach Rick Montgomery, call 816-234-4410 or send e-mail to rmontgomery@kcstar.com.

To all our men and women in the service of our country, Thank You.

05 Dec 08 Suspension of ASAP at AMR and Delta draws criticism

Citing the value of voluntary safety reporting programmes US safety investigators and fellow carriers are urging pilots and management at American Airlines and Delta Air Lines to push labour differences aside and reinstate the initiatives. An Aviation Safety Action Programme (ASAP) is an agreement between an airline labour group, FAA and carrier management that generally frees employees from FAA penalties when they report incidents or safety concerns. American's ASAP programme for its pilots needed renewing earlier this year, coinciding with sometimes contentious contract negotiations between the carrier's Allied Pilots Association (APA) and management. APA suspended the programme, citing discomfort with management's ASAP proposal. Delta pilots suspended ASAP in December 2006, but the Air Line Pilots Association said it hopes to reach a new agreement with management soon.
Today during FAA's 5th Annual Aviation Safety Forum Continental Airlines staff VP of safety Don Gunther characterized ASAP as one of the richest data sources he's seen noting it alerts all parties involved to "what happens and why". Responding to a question about mandating ASAP to remove the programme from the realm of negotiation Gunther says that while the agreement among the three parties involved in ASAP is "hard to knock out" it is critical to a functioning ASAP. He explains the pact gives someone who reports a concern or incident the confidence that he or she is truly protected by the programme.
Flight Safety Foundation President William Voss during a speech at the conference on 2 December had strong words for ASAP restoration. While acknowledging there are two sides to every story Voss says "I couldn't care less about either. Safety systems do not belong on the bargaining table. Management and labor have to resist using these systems as a bargaining chip both publicly and privately". Pointing out that two US airlines among the largest in the world have ASAP programmes suspended, National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt says the reasons for the suspension need to be put aside and pilots and management at those carriers need to move beyond them.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

Fly Smart (and share your good ideas with NASA ASRS),

02 Dec 08 William R. Voss Keynote Address FAA International Aviation Safety Forum Washington, DC

FSF Given the events of the recent few months and the past weekend, it might seem hard to remember how our purpose in being here today stacks up against a number of crises. Does aviation safety matter much in comparison? Does aviation even matter? And if they do, how has the picture changed? A year ago, we wondered how we could hold the system together and keep up with the unprecedented growth. As we all returned home, we were confronted with a spectacular rise in oil prices that crippled the aviation industry. Airlines around the world failed by the dozen.
Then, during the last few months, the credit crisis erupted, sending shockwaves through the global economy. Oil reached a high of US$147 in July, only to drop to a low of $49 in November. Add to this all war, unrest and the tragic terrorist attacks in Mumbai. So, to repeat my opening question: Do aviation, and aviation safety, still matter as much as we’ve always believed, in a world that brings daily threats and shocks?
Yes, they do.
Read the entire
Fly Smart,

28 Nov 08 NASA Pilot Flight Cognition Studies NASA.jpg

from aeronews: NASA is investigating the best methods for monitoring brain activity as part of a study designed to help airplane pilots realize when they are operating under dangerous levels of stress, fatigue and distraction. Studies under way at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are employing functional near infrared spectroscopy, also know as fNIRS, and other imaging technology to measure blood flow in the brain's cortex and the concentration of oxygen in the blood. This emerging technology offers a non-invasive, safe, portable and inexpensive method for monitoring indicators of neural activity.

Through the studies, researchers hope to find ways to improve the interaction between the increasingly sophisticated automation being used in aircraft and the humans who operate those aircraft. The goal is to aid pilot decision-making to improve aviation safety.Angela Harrivel, a NASA biomedical engineer who leads the research, and research associates are working on fNIRS at Glenn with 15 test subjects. "No matter how much training pilots have, conditions could occur when too much is going on in the cockpit," said Harrivel. "What we hope to achieve by this study is a way to sensitively -- and, ultimately, unobtrusively -- determine when pilots become mentally overloaded."
Harrivel and the project are working with the test subjects, who don headgear fitted with optical or electrical sensors and sit in a moving cockpit simulator that creates the sensation of flying. The tests measure electrical activity in the brain to validate spectroscopic data obtained through the fNIRS sensors. The volunteers perform basic functional tasks and participate in more complex flight simulations. Future tests will challenge the subjects with stress-inducing conditions as they use a joystick and flight instruments to try to stay "airborne" in the simulator. "Flying an aircraft involves multitasking that potentially can push the limits of human performance," Harrivel said. "When we increase stress and difficulty we can see how the subject reacts, measuring brain activity during overload."

The Aviation Safety Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington sponsored the research. It is overseen by the program's Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Project.
FMI: www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/ avsafe/iifd

Fly Smart,

28 Nov 08 AOPA Foundation

Bonanza aopaonlinegallery.com
The AOPA Foundation – a member-funded charity committed to supporting Americans’ freedom to fly and building a legacy for the future of general aviation.Today’s aircraft owners and pilots face complex issues that threaten the existence of general aviation in the U.S. The AOPA Foundation was created in 2008 to address a multitude of issues impacting general aviation now and in the future. The future of general aviation is inextricably linked to the leadership, passion, and capacity of AOPA and its members. With proper funding, the AOPA Foundation will address many of the critical challenges facing general aviation—today and tomorrow.

Connection with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation

While specific fund-raising efforts will continue to be devoted to air safety, resources will be now be granted to the Air Safety Foundation through the AOPA Foundation (and as directed by restricted donor gifts).
FMI: AOPA Foundation
Fly Smart ( and the best way to do that is through continuous education and sharing of information...)

20 Nov 08 SKYbrary

Runway_excursion_sm.gif "SKYbrary is an initiative of EUROCONTROL, ICAO, and The Flight Safety Foundation aimed at developing
a comprehensive source of aviation safety information and making it available to users worldwide."

Information is Power. Power + Attitude = Performance
Human_factors_sm.gif Fly Smart and check out SKYbrary

19 Nov 08 Allentown Runway Incursion

Mesa Tire Marks From Swerving Around Cessna
National Transportation Safety Board Washington, DC 20594 November 19, 2008

In its continuing investigation of a runway incursion in Allentown, Pennsylvania, involving a general aviation aircraft and a Chicago-bound regional jet airliner, the National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information:
On September 19, 2008, at 7:38 p.m. EDT, a runway incursion resulted in a near-collision on runway 6 at the Lehigh Valley International Airport, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Mesa Air Shuttle flight 7138, a Canadair CRJ-700 (N506MJ) aborted
takeoff at about 120 knots (138 mph), skidding around a Cessna R172K (N736GV) that had just landed and was still taxiing on the runway. The crew of the Mesa Air regional jet estimated the distance between the two aircraft as 10 feet when they passed.
The Mesa Air flight carried 56 passengers and a crew of four; the Cessna carried a pilot and two passengers. There was no damage to either aircraft and no reported injuries. The incident occurred in night meteorological conditions.
A timeline of the incident events is as follows:
7:29:28 - Cessna contacts Allentown tower while about 8
miles east of the airport.
7:33:30 - Cessna, in landing pattern for runway, is cleared
to land on runway 6.
7:34:50 - Mesa Air regional jet contacts tower and reports
ready for takeoff and holding short of runway 6. Controller
instructs pilot to hold short of runway 6 for landing
7:36:15 - Cessna crosses threshold of runway 6 and lands.
7:36:27 - Mesa Air instructed by tower controller to taxi
into position on runway 6 and hold.
7:36:36 - Tower controller asks pilot of Cessna where he
intends to park. Following pilot response, controller
provides taxi directions, instructing pilot to exit runway
at taxiway A4.
7:37:11 - Mesa Air cleared for takeoff.
7:37:18 to 7:37:32 - Controller turns attention to an
inbound aircraft and issues landing instructions.
7:37:34 - Cessna pilot informs tower controller that he had
missed the A4 taxiway and asks for permission to exit at
taxiway B.
7:37:42 - Controller replies, "...no delay, turn immediately,"
which Cessna pilot acknowledges.
7:38:16 - Mesa Air radios tower controller: "We got it,
tower - we're going to need to go back to the gate."
Following the incident, both aircraft taxied to parking. The Mesa Air crew elected to cancel the flight and have the aircraft inspected. The Cessna taxied to general aviation parking and concluded the flight.
Safety Board investigators have interviewed the pilots involved in the incident, and the air traffic controllers on
duty at the time of the incident as well as the FAA tower managers.
NTSB Media Contact: Peter Knudson (202) 314-6100 peter.knudson@ntsb.gov
This message is delivered to you as a free service from the National Transportation Safety Board.
An archive of press releases is available at
__http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/ pressrel.htm__
Fly Smart

17 Nov 08 How To Find a Great Speaker

Top-ASB-Picture.jpg From the Aviation Speaker's Bureau: "You may have sat through presentations where a root canal would have been preferred. There is nothing worse than the realization, usually in the first five minutes of a presentation, that the speaker is an Elmer Fudd clone. The next thirty minutes will seem like the longest in your life. Some dreadfully dull speakers have spent thousands on promotional materials to make themselves look good. How can you know for sure? We have previewed our speakers and we know their qualifications. We maintain a reference library with audio and video tapes from many of our speakers to help you in your selection. No pig-in-a-poke when working with The Aviation Speakers Bureau."

If you're going to do a seminar, you need a great speaker. Having a great speaker sets the tone for the event. Happy campers make great learners. The folks at ASB are very helpful and can get you a great speaker, for whatever size or flavor event that you want. Give them a call.

Plus Diane will tell you ATC and P210 stories :)

The Aviation Speaker's Bureau

Fly Smart (and when you're not flying hang out with smart people who will make you smarter. I need to go find some right now),

30 Oct 08 FSF Calls for Stronger Protection of Volunteered Aviation Safety Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Emily McGee Director of Communications [[tel: +1 703-739-6700 | +1 703-739-6700 ]] (ext.126) mcgee@flightsafety.org
Spanair Oct. 30, 2008, Honolulu, HI – In the wake of recent judicial decisions forcing disclosure of voluntarily supplied aviation safety information, and the use of aviation accident investigation reports in civil litigation and criminal prosecutions, the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) today anounced its support for statutory protection against the release or use of information gathered by voluntary self-disclosure reporting programs.
"We can and must do everything possible to ensure the continued flow of critical safety information that is increasingly coming under assault in courts around the world, " said FSF President and CEO William R. Voss.
In remarks here before the FSF International Air Safety Seminar, FSF General Counsel Kenneth P. Quinn yesterday noted the increasing tendancy to criminalize aviation accidents and said, "Since prosecutors and courts are not protecting the confidentiality of voluntarily supplied safety information, legislatures need to step in to prevent critical sources of safety data from drying up."
FSF today endorsed the creation of a "qualified exception" from discovery of voluntary self-disclosure reporting programs, similar to the protection already provided in U.S. law against use of cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and surface vehicle recordings and transcripts. Examples of such voluntary self-disclosure reporting programs include the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), the Flight Operational Quality Assurance program (FOQA), and the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system.
Airlines and regulators increasingly are using these and other tools to obtain predictive information that allows preemptive interventions to be developed to mitigate threats revealed by the data instead of relying on forensic evidence after a crash. "We cannot tolerate waiting for a crash to show us there is a safety problem that needs to be fixed," said Voss.
By most estimates, nearly 98% of safety information currently obtained from voluntary disclosure programs would not be available if program participants are exposed to prosecution and reprisal.
FSF recommends the adoption of stronger protections to shield such information from disclosure in any judicial proceeding, except to allow limited discovery when a court decides that the requesting party has demonstrated a particular need for the information, and that the party would not receive a fair trial if the information is not provided. If discovery is permitted, FSF urged that it only be made available under protective order, and not generally be made available to the public.
The FSF announcement comes on the heels of reports that American Airlines and its pilot union are considering abandoning their 14-year old ASAP program, and a judicial decision concerning the 2006 Comair crash in Lexington, KY, that ordered the release of ASAP reports, saying that Congress had the power to protect the ASAP information, as it had with CVR recordings and transcripts, but had not done so. Further, several recent criminal prosecutions in Europe have sought to establish criminal culpability through the use of information voluntarily provided to accident investigators.
Flight Safety Foundation has published several articles outlining the importance of these reporting programs in AeroSafety World here and here, and here, and in news releases defending the confidentiality of these programs here. The Foundation was one of the earliest supporters of ASAP programs.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation's mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org

It is of note that mechanics are being questioned in the Spanair mishap, and may be charged with manslaughter.
Fly Smart (and find a lawyer friend who understands the need to protect voluntarily submitted safety data),

28 Oct 08 Checklists and Monitoring: Why Vital Defenses Against Equipment Failures and Errors Sometimes Fail

Madrid.jpg Here is a good presentation by Dismukes, Berman, Loukopoulos and Barshi that identifies hazardous human behavior and suggest some tactics for recognition and mitigation. And they use a big word, perturbations!

Fly Smart,

28 Oct 08 Defensive Posturing for Flight Instructors

380_model Here's an article I wrote on how to keep flight instruction from turning into out-of-control-flight practice. This is part of an industry initiative Takeoff And Landing Accident Reduction (TALAR)

Instruct Smart,

27 Oct 08 Human Factors Guide

Hornet_and_Corsair From the Naval Postgraduate School Aviation Safety Officer course:
"Safety research has shown that human performance problems are the greatest risks in hazardous industries. In fact, approximately 80% of aviation mishaps have been attributed to human error. We [psychologists] must convince aviators that human error is ubiquitous and inevitable and crack the defenses against admitting to human failings, and create an awareness of the sources of these failures (Helmreich & Merritt, 1998).

PBY.jpg This guide is not designed to be an exact replica of either the Aviation Safety Officer (ASO)
or Crew Resource Management (CRM) instructor courses. The purposes of this guide are:
! to serve as a resource to educates ASOs, CRM instructors and aviators on the human factors
that should be considered when planning, flying, debriefing, investigating a mishap, and training;
! to provide a summary of current theory and research that is pertinent to aviation human factors; and
! to be an initial source document that provides resources to further information.

The human factors topics addressed in this guide include: human information processing, ergonomics, UH-1N_Formation
automation, situation awareness, decision making, communication, teamwork/leadership, stress and fatigue."

Thanks to LCdr Paul O'Connor for forwarding the info, for all to share.

T-34_CCBay Fly Smart,
Captain, USMC (Ret)

22 Oct 08 Professional Development

Rooting for the FAAST Team By Brice Dommes, MCFI
If you've been a pilot for more than a couple of years, you probably remember those little yellow or blue postcards you'd get in the mail once a month from the local flight standards district office. You know the ones: They informed you of upcoming safety seminars and events for pilots, and you'd get them just because you had a pilot certificate.
Those postcard days are gone, as the Wings pilot-proficiency program's notification system has gone almost entirely paperless as of last January. Those announcements, along with other important safety and education information, have been posted at www.FAASafety.gov. Pilots are notified by e-mail, but only if they're registered on the website.
However, according to participation statistics, only about half of the pilots in one district are registered on the FAA Safety Team site. While the FAA's safety notification system has changed a bit, its Wings pilot-proficiency training program is alive and well. The only problem is getting word out to the pilot community. Consequently, I have four ideas to help boost those numbers.

Go to www.FAASafety.gov and register as a member. By doing so, you can access all that is available to you as a FAASTeam member.
As a certificated flight instructor (CFI), contact at least five other CFIs and ask if they are registered on the www.FAASafety.gov website. If they are not, take the time to show them how to register and navigate through the site and the Wings program. Five is an easily attainable number for any given CFI to reach, but the ideal number is all CFIs. If you can help with that, you're doing the industry a tremendous service.

You and your fellow CFIs should now contact at least five students each and do the same with them. In fact, spend a few minutes during a lesson enrolling them as a member (it's free), and show them the highlights of the site. By doing so, you will help them gain access to the new Wings pilot-proficiency program, receive e-mail notification of seminars available in the area, register for safety seminars online, complete safety courses online, and access many useful FAA-sponsored safety links. Those online courses even count toward their Wings credit. Students can begin participating immediately, because students passing a private, instrument, commercial, CFI, or airline transport pilot checkride will receive most, if not all, of the credit for a Wings phase completion.

Contact your local FAASTeam program manager or FAASTeam representative and let him or her know what topics you would like to see covered at future aviation safety seminars. If you want to participate even more, you may volunteer to conduct or teach a safety seminar, with the assistance of the FAASTeam, of course. You may even want to volunteer as a FAASTeam representative. The choice is yours. You can participate as little or as much as you want. Hopefully, you'll choose "a lot."

I believe it is important for all CFIs and students to be registered and familiar with the site, including the new Wings program, because it's just good business.

It helps to improve the industry's safety by having more pilots participating in continuing education and training;

It brings pilots together on a regular basis to participate in promoting safety and the sharing of ideas; and

It will help business in general by having pilots continue to obtain regular training with flight instructors.
NAFI Master Instructor Brice Dommes is an independent rotorcraft flight and ground instructor specializing in primary and advanced training at airports in Oakland, Hayward, and Livermore, California. He also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Oakland Flight Standards District Office.

Well said!
Fly Smart,

15 Oct 08 FAA Aviation News Magazine Online

IMG_0601.JPG FAA puts out a great safety magazine, and it's FREE!
For complete FAA Safety Briefing

They are also looking for good photos if ya got em. Check out the magazine for info.

This is one of my favorite photoss, from a recent EAA Young Eagles event at the Vintage Flying Museum. One of the organizers is taking the picture of the RV owner and young man who just finished his first flight. In the shadow is Jim Quinn, another one of the behind-the-scene organizers who made everything happen. You can see his clipboard. Great job guys and gals! It as a fun day.

Fly Smart

09 Oct 08 Runway Incursions: Why Are They Still Happening?

Why are crews acknowledging "Hold Short" instructions and later still crossing the hold short line? IMG_0132.JPG
Short answer. Human nature.

Long answer: Before we begin, ask ourselves "Did the system support the humans?" and if not,
"Was the system tolerant of human error?"

Answers: "No" and "Kind of, no one was killed."

"Why are they still happening?": (At this point is no longer reasonable to ASSUME crew
performance will be reliable, correct and effective in performance of these tasks given
the new system state).

Here are some cross cutting factors that were identified in a 1994 NTSB study, discussed in
the book "The Limits of Expertise" - Rethinking Pilot Error and the Causes of Airline Accidents
(Dismukes, Berman and Loukopolous, 2007) applied by me to this persistent runway incursion hazard:

a) Distraction of high workload and concurrent task management: It is an extremely busy time when exiting the runway. Stress narrows perception, so of the multiple competing goals during the turnoff, remembering what a controller said to do later is not the highest priority. Getting clear of the runway without sticking a wheel in the dirt is.

b) Prospective memory: Remembering to remember something is the hardest thing we do. "Remember to pick up milk on the way home" doesn't usually work out unless there is a salient cue to remind us to take the appropriate action at the appropriate time. Salient cues to remind pilots to hold short in recent incursions have been lacking (markings, signs, mental model of aircraft landing on cross runway). Ambiguity of information and lack of salient cues are situational factors that must be considered before we judge a crews performance in hindsight.

c) Inadequate knowledge or experience provided from training or guidance : Many times we are not told WHY to hold short. Knowing that another aircraft might be using the cross runway would help to increase risk awareness and result in a better assessment of the situation. This is called a Shared Mental Model and communication. If pilots have a better "picture" of what the controller's model and intent is, system performance would increase. We are visual animals and our vision is severely limited in the cockpit. Monitoring TCAS while on the grounds helps, but that is not taught or standardized. So we rely a lot on verbal communication, which is not our primary sensory system. We are also lacking in risk acknowledgment, most people have never been involved with a runway incursion so they might not view it as a severe hazard or precursor to a mishap.

d) Plan Continuation Bias: If you put the pilots onto Ground frequency, their mental model shifts to goal completion of getting to the ramp. "We're talking to ground now, so we must be clear of runways." Why not keep them on Tower frequency since they are still exposed to the risk of crossing an active runway. I don't now of many pilots who like split frequency and intersecting runway operations, whether they are taxiing or on final. ATL does it and I call it the "Radio Rodeo."

e) Hidden weaknesses in error defense: Why do we have to cross in the middle of a runway? Why are they utilizing intersecting runway operations at some airports? Is that a recommended practice to increase the level of safety, or to meet operational goals? If we have to cross a runway, it should be in the lowest energy area, at the departure end vs middle or approach end. Crossing in the middle is like jaywalking in NYC.

f) Situations requiring rapid response: Lots of things going on when you land. Maintain centerline, slow down, brake, ensure aircraft is slowing correctly, below 60 knots stow reversers, find turnoff, navigate turnoff, identify taxiway, transponder standby, flaps up, speedbrake stowed, autobrakes off, radar off, flight directors off, landing lights off, wing lights off, runway turnoff lights off, change radio frequency to ground, contact ground, talk to ground or readback instructions, refer to airport diagram, find correct taxi route, deselect guard and switch to ramp or company frequency, start apu, complete after landing checklist, did you say "hold short?"

g) Equipment factors and design flaws: Why is it acceptable to allow Part 121 operators to navigate taxiways and runways at the world's busiest airports with a 5x7 black and white Jepps plate? Google maps anyone? Our defenses need to be multi-layered. Consider these mitigations:
Communications-Keep people on the same frequency. Use standard terminology. "Hold short of runway ### for landing traffic." Positive clearance to cross each individual runway.
Navigation-Aircraft Moving Map with own ship position should be the 121 standard. Garmin sells one for $1500 for the cheapskates.
Surveillance-There must be a GCAS (Ground Collision Avoidance System) in the cockpit that provides an traffic information display and a direct warning to the pilot of potential collision with other aircraft or ground vehicles. FAROS/RWSL/THL/AMASS/ASDE-X are all great but they are not at every airport and won't be for a long time.

Current standards are not suitable and sufficient. The playing field has changed with increased production, so we must maintain balance with increased protection. Mandating these standards and evening the playing field will eliminate discussions of cost. This is the new cost of doing business, just like GPWS, PWS and TCAS was. The technologies are there. Let's improve the level of safety and implement them now vs later.

Shift your focus to system vulnerabilities vs pilot inadequacy. "Remedies should be sought by analyzing how characteristics of the system and the operating environment at large interact with cognitive vulnerabilities inherent to humans - a topic requiring considerably more research and close collaboration between the research community and the airline industry." (The Limits of Expertise, p. 303) Let's get the folks with the 500 pound heads back into the mix.

"Why do they keep doing that?" What you are seeing is becoming normal system performance of expert crews, a drift from the former standard because the environment has changed. The human has not changed, and won't. This will become the new norm if the system is not upgraded. Has punishing pilots and controllers reduced the occurrence of related causal factors? No. Findings of PD and OE do nothing to improve efficacy of the system, in fact they harm it by cloaking actual system hazards and allowing them to continue in existence. More open reporting is needed to define the new system state. Multiple, repeat appearances of the same performance is a huge sign that current risk controls are ineffective and multiple processes require improvement.

But I really have no opinion on the matter...

Fly (and Taxi) Smart,

04 Oct 08 Crew Resource Management and Human Factors Mishap Checklist.

Osprey_DLQ I just uploaded 2 files, one on Crew Resource Management and another that is a Human Factors checklist used in mishap investigation. These were passed along to us during the Naval Postgraduate School Aviation Safety Officer course, and are excellent resources. These would be great to use for a Wings Safety seminar, generate some cognitive activity.

SAR_Hoist Dr Tony Ciavarelli was our Aviation Psychology Instructor, and he is continuing his good work at the Naval Postgraduate School and Human Factors Associates (HFA). They are doing some great work, especially in safety culture and organizational effectiveness audits.

Fly Smart,

Archives of past months, dating back to Mar 2008

The NTSB opened a two-day forum on GA safety in Washington, D.C. Tuesday morning. The forum, titled, "General Aviation Safety: Climbing to the Next Level," was designed to address emerging safety issues in the general aviation (GA) community. The goals of the forum are to raise awareness of the GA accident rate and associated recurring safety issue areas, promote and facilitate dialogue about these issues, and determine how to effectively address these issues to improve the safety of GA operations for the future.
external image Hersman-GA-Forum-Panel-0612a_tn.jpg

In her opening remarks, NTSB Chair Deborah A.P. Hersman said that in spite of the improvements to the commercial and corporate aviation safety records, the GA accident rate has been stubbornly resistant to safety initiatives.
"GA pilots are not learning from the deadly mistakes made by their brethren - not learning from lessons learned in the hardest of ways," she said. "Recreational fliers are the chief pilot of an airline of one. And their most frequent fliers: often their own loved ones. Yet, more than 400 GA pilots and their passengers die each year, including a crash this weekend in Texas that killed three, including a 4-year-old.
"General aviation safety is not just an exercise of our responsibility as the Safety Board. This is personal. Many on our staff are pilots and aviation enthusiasts. And, we know all too well that when accidents happen, the consequences can be deadly. Just a few weeks ago, we lost one of our own, Dr. Mike Duncan, the NTSB's chief medical officer, in a general aviation accident.
"The status quo is not acceptable. We need to break through the plateau and bring the accident rate down significantly."
external image NTSB-GA-Safety-Forum-Logo-0612a_tn.jpg

Hersman cited statistics showing that over the past 10 years, the number of general aviation accidents has averaged more than 1,500 a year, or more than four accidents every day. She said that while general aviation accounted for 51 percent of the estimated total flight time of all U.S. civil aviation in 2010, it accounted for 97 percent of fatal accidents.
"It's peak summer flying season. Now is the right time for a renewed effort to bring down the number of general aviation accidents - and general aviation deaths," Hersman said.