Apr 17 Safety Management Systems
SMS. If you don’t have one, get one. Whether you are a single Part 91 operator or the world’s largest airline, Safety Management Systems are scalable and can be applied to your operation. But I only recommend them if you want to fly smarter and save money. Otherwise they may not be for you.
The 4 Pillars:
Safety Risk Management
Safety Assurance
Safety Promotion
As a GA pilot you have many of the parts and pieces already out there that will support your personal SMS. First you make a personal choice to fly to your highest level of safety (Policy). Then use assets like your FBO, your mechanic, ATC, AFSS, FSDO and a personal minimums checklist to assist in risk analysis and assessment (Safety Risk Management). Sign up for and explore the Wings Pilot Proficiency Program (Safety Assurance). And tell 2 friends about it (Safety Promotion). Also tell your insurance company, maybe you’ll get a discount.
Not only is a personal SMS free, it might even result in more money back in your pocket! We’re all about free stuff here at Signal Charlie. Check out Apr 20 2007 post below and…
SMS Advisory Circular
Fly Smart,

Apr 17 NTSB Releases 2007 Aviation Accident Statistics
Filed Under Safety Management Systems, Aviation History

From the outstanding news service Aero-news.net

GA Accidents Up, But Fatalities Down To Lowest Levels In 40 Years

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary aviation accident statistics for 2007.
The Safety Board’s aviation accident statistics show while the overall number of general aviation accidents rose from 1,518 in 2006 to 1,631 in 2007, the number of fatalities in 2007 was down from 703 to 491. That 30 percent decrease resulted in the lowest annual total in more than 40 years.
In 2007, there were 24 nonfatal accidents involving Part 121 airlines (aircraft with 10 or more seats). One fatality occurred involving a nonscheduled Part 121 aircraft when a mechanic was fatally injured while working on a Boeing 737 in Tunica, MS.
No fatalities occurred among Part 135 commuter operators (fewer than 10 seats).
“The US aviation industry has produced an admirable safety record in recent years,” said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. “However, we must not become complacent. We must continue to take the lessons learned from our investigations and use them to create even safer skies for all aircraft operators and their passengers.”
Not all the news was so encouraging, however. According to NTSB records, on-demand (charters, air taxis, air tours and medical services when a patient is on board) Part 135 operations reported 43 fatalities (62 accidents, 14 fatal accidents), up from the 16 fatalities that occurred in 2006.
Foreign-registered aircraft accounted for 11 accidents in the US in 2007, with three fatalities from a single fatal accident. Of the 14 accidents involving unregistered aircraft, six were fatal and resulted in seven fatalities.
FMI: www.ntsb.gov/aviation/stats.htm
Fly Smart

Apr 13 Lockheed Martin Flight Service
Filed Under Weather, Runway Safety, Team Resource Management
Check out Lockheed Martin AFSS website.
Great info and a feedback link. And something you hardly ever find on a website anymore, a real-live-US-speaks-english-lives-in-America person’s name AND phone number.
Can’t change your plan unless you got one…
Fly Smart,

Apr 13 Weather Avoidance: Thunderstorms
Filed Under Weather
Spring is here and so are the thunderstorms. They are nasty, violent killers if we let them be. Last year a thunderstorm took out one a America’s most talented aviators, Scott Crossfield. The message here is that man and machine are no match for the enormous energy found close to these storms. Know before you go and take a wide, really wide path around one of Ma Nature’s spectacular displays.
And here is one thing I have never understood about flying. We work our butts of to get the quals and proficiency to go flying. We love flying. So what is the big flipping hurry to get back on the ground once we get up there! Sure fuel is expensive, but nowhere near the psychological devastation and monetary cost of a mishap. And if it’s too hairy to go flying, get caught up on some hangar talk. It’s really the time pressure that is the killer, not taking time to plan or time to adjust the plan based on the threat. The thunderstorm is just the agent.
AOPA has a Thunderstorm Awareness Resource page:
“It’s simple: Airplanes and thunderstorms don’t mix. The good news is that it’s not difficult to avoid these violent storms—if you know how to use the tools at your disposal. To learn more, check out the free ASF resources below.
Weather Wise: Thunderstorms and ATC Interactive Course
Learn how ATC describes precipitation, what weather radar services controllers can offer, and how to effectively communicate with ATC. The course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete, but your progress is automatically saved, so there’s no need to finish in one sitting. *This course qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program .
(Not only can you save your life, you can save $$$money$$$ too along the way to becoming a better aviator*)
Thunderstorms and ATC Safety Advisor
It’s good to have ATC on your side when storms threaten, but getting the most from weather avoidance services means being aware of some potential pitfalls. Download this Safety Advisor for a closer look at ATC weather radar services and strategies for dealing with some of nature’s most violent storms.
Thunderstorm Avoidance Quick Reference Card
ASF’s Thunderstorm Avoidance Quick Reference Card is a great resource for your flight bag or chart binder. Download it here, or request a printed copy by calling 800/USA-AOPA.”
Thanks to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation for providing these invaluable resources for FREE!
Fly Smart and Fly Wide,

Apr 1 Special Emphasis Item: Runway Safety**
Filed Under Human Factors , Threat and Error Management
1. The FAA breaks out 10-15 emphasis items in their Practical Test Standards.
There are 2 specific Runway Safety items, LAHSO and Incursion Avoidance, along with:
-Spatial D
-Wake Turbulence and LLWS Avoidance
-Checklist Usage
-Positive Exchange of Flight Controls
-Stall/Spin Awareness
-Collision Avoidance
-Precise Aircraft Control
-Sound Judgment
-Special Use Airspace and
2. That is the kind of focus Runway Safety needs, it is a Top of the Heap Special Emphasis Item! It will not be an easy thing to fix, and we ned an industry focus to reduce risk to the lowest acceptable level. You can see some of these areas have technological flight deck solutions such as TCAS, EGPWS, PWS and automation. We will need similar technologies for the flight deck, tower cabs and vehicles that operate in the protected area. Until then you are completely reliant on the Liveware within the system.
3. I’m hearing more Captains brief the airport threats as part of the taxi plan and I like that. Also Captains repeating Taxi routes, Hold Short and TIPH clearances.
4. ALPA is begining to publish feedback on identified hazards and recommended mitigations in our newsletter. It is important for the line pilot to see where their input has been recognized and action is being taken. We also need to review CAST recommendations and see where we are. ALPA has lost some key players from that initiative and it needs to be rejuvenated and sustained. We have a lot of work to do and our volunteer ranks were decimated by early retirements.
5. I personally like it when operators discuss how a problem was identified through reports and the SMS process applied to assess and place risk at appropriate level. Conduct a survey and get input from the line pilots and vehicle operators.
6. We certainly could be highlighting some of our high threat airports in the system and discussing various levels of mitigation strategies. Flight Plan alerts for airports that have had recent Cat A or B incursions, ex. FLL, SFO, BOS, ATL…?
7. Do we have a formal audit plan for the training and evaluating runway safety, and is it a “line of business” or a stand alone, accountable safety item for our managers. If it is buried in a “broad brush” requirement to “Operate Safely”, it will remain buried there. Remember when the Naval Safety Center folks came in for an audit of the Aviation Safety Program? We knew what they would look at because we had the OpNavInst 3750.6 Naval Aviation Safety Program and it broke out the specific areas of responsibility. If Runway Safety is not in the frontal lobes of our Organization and Supervisors, it will be hard to keep it up front for the pilot group and vehicle operators. Train-Operate-Evaluate-Improve….
8. Put out some runway safety materials in your hangar, ATC break room, FBO, etc… People will take them. Email if you need to find out how to get them, or call the Regional Runway Safety Office at 817 222-5059.
9. The Runway Safety folks at the Region are availbale for road shows and can put together packets. They are a deciated resource, in direct support. Team them up with your Ops and Safety crew, plus ALPA, Airports and ATC. Throw in aircraft manufacturers for good measure.
10. What are your thoughts and ideas?
Fly (and Taxi) Smart