Human Factors and SMS Conference


About Signal Charlie.

Dedicated to the continuous improvement of aerospace safety. Fly Smart.

Signal Charlie is an creative commons site being developed to promote safety in high reliability organizations and to help people find aviation safety information. Signal Charlie is dedicated to the continuous improvement of aerospace safety, with a collaborative goal of preventing loss of life and property.

LPD_USS_DuluthWhen trying to decide on a name for the site, I remembered my Naval Aviator days and the codewords from the carrier, “Signal Charlie”, which meant that the flight deck was ready for landing ops. This was always a welcome message, especially after a long flight. What you didn’t want to hear was “Signal Delta”, which meant take up a holding pattern on the starboard side of the ship. You could always get a green deck, though, by telling the Air Boss that you had “pony” (mail) on board. Signal Charlie will be a site that advances the goal of smart flight operations in dynamic environments, and we hope this site generates a lot of “pony”.

c-flag.gifThe Charlie signal flag also means “Affirmative”, and this represents the proactive nature of a quality Safety Management System (SMS), the future of aviation safety. SMS pillars are Policy, Risk Management, Assurance and Promotion. In SMS, people nurture partnerships that promote operational goals and safety. Positive communications fuel these partnerships, and Signal Charlie is meant to be a vehicle for critical team communications.

Our site will be used to communicate ideas on an international deck, developing the same kinds of standardization that the International Code of Signals offers. Well developed, standardized procedures and efficient communication are key components of any quality system.

Welcome aboard, please feel free to send us your comments and recommendations.

Fly Smart

SIgnal Charlie Members
Dr Dan Boedigheimer
Lance Bozlinski
Steve Buckner
Dr Barbara Burian
Erin Carroll
Dr Anthony Ciavarelli
Steven Khoo
Kent Lewis- Organizer and Creator
H.-P. Schuele
Corey Stephens
Dale Walker

KBLSC.jpgAbout Captain Kent B. Lewis - Organizer and Creator


Aviation Safety Programs
Kent graduated with Honors from the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School’s Aviation Safety Officer course, and was the Director of Safety and Standardization at MCAS Yuma, the largest aviation training facility in the United States. He was previously the Safety Department Head at VT-27, the Navy’s busiest aviation training squadron. His safety programs have been recognized as the best in the Navy/Marine Corps and have a zero mishap rate.

Kent volunteers as a FAA Safety Team Lead Representative for the Ft Worth FSDO, and he was selected as the 2009 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year. Since 2009 he has facilitated the highly successful Human Factors and SMS Conference, attended by 200 aviation professionals from many countries. He has attended the ALPA Basic Safety School, Safety Two School, Accident Investigation 2 (AI2), Advanced Accident Investigation course (AI3), FAA SMS Standardization course and FAA Root Cause Analysis Training. Kent's focus is Human Factors and System Safety. Past committee work includes ALPA SMS and Human Factors, and FAA Runway Safety Root Cause Analysis Team, as well as teaching the Human Factors module in ALPA's AI-2 course. He has also supported several NTSB investigations, including Comair 5191, Pinnacle 4712 and Colgan 3407. Other projects include working on the Human Automation Relationship Taxonomy team with the Dr Frank Durso at Georgia Institute of Technology and helping facilitate safety culture seminars with Dr Anthony Ciavarelli at Human Factors Associates

T-34_CCBayFlight Instruction
Kent was a flight instructor while in the U.S. Marine Corps, teaching all phases of the fight curriculum to Navy and Marine primary and intermediate students in the T-34C, a fixed wing turboprop trainer. He also flew helicopters and was a Terrain Flight, Search And Rescue and Night Vision Goggle Instructor. In 1998 he was qualified as a Aircrew Coordination Training Facilitator. He gained certification with the FAA to be a Certificated Flight Instructor, Instrument Instructor and Multi-engine Instructor in airplanes.

Kent is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and the Naval Air Training Command Flight Instructor Training Course. In 2010 he obtained a Masters of Library Science from Texas Woman's University, with a focus on academic libraries and virtual information systems.

I am a history major. I believe that the past is prologue. The archives bear that out. Most major aircraft accidents are not acts of God. In our recommendations we try to take what we have learned and correct situations so it shouldn’t happen again.”
— James Hall, NTSB, 1996.

Delta MD88 90.jpegCommercial Pilot
Kent is certified by the FAA as a multi-engine Airline Transport Pilot, and as a Commercial Pilot for single-engine airplanes and helicopters. He has over 30 years of flying experience, for the U. S. Marine Corps, American Eagle Airlines, Houston Helicopter and Delta Air Lines. He has international flying experience on the Boeing 777 and currently flies as Captain on the MD-88.


Emergency Preparedness and Response

Kent is a graduate of the National Search And Rescue (SAR) School’s Inland SAR Coordination course, and was the SAR Officer for MCAS Yuma, AZ. His SAR Coordinator responsibilities included Interagency coordination with over 50 Local, State, and Federal Response Agencies. He has over 25 years experience with the Incident Command System, authored the Incident Action Plan for MCAS Yuma, the Nation’s largest joint use airfield and facilitated the highly successful Southwestern US SAR Seminar.

Kent is also a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, Ancient Order of Shellbacks, American Library Association. Hobbies include sailing, small boat restoration and photography.

Implementing Safety Management Systems in Aviation, Ashgate 2011. Chapters on Practical Risk Management and Safety Promotion.
Defensive Posturing, NAFI Mentor 2009.
Practical Risk Management

Thanks for visiting the site!
“Clark” Kent Lewis
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