May

31

Stop, Look and Listen

Filed Under Safety Management Systems, Threat and Error Management | Leave a Comment
From our local FAA Safety Program Manager…
“DOT Says Serious Runway Incursions Still a Danger
The Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General (IG) said
in a report released last Thursday that runway incursions remain a
persistent, serious problem, despite the FAA?s efforts to reduce their
frequency. Though the focus of the IG?s study was at Boston Logan, Los
Angeles International, Philadelphia International and Chicago O?Hare
airports, where incursions have recently increased, the results of the
study gave recommendations for system-wide improvements. The study said the
FAA should engage in better information sharing to communicate root causes
of deviations and communicate best practices that have worked to reduce
incursions; focus more on controller human-factor issues and training; and
improve accountability at the national level to ensure runway incursions
remain a top priority. According to the study, runway incursions have
decreased from a high of 407 in fiscal year 2001 to a low of 323 in fiscal
year 2003. Since then, the numbers have remained relatively flat. According
to the IG?s study, the FAA did not comment on how it would address the
concerns noted in the report.”
And my thoughts on the matter….
An open, learning, just reporting culture will be a good start so that rich data can be gathered. then throw in valid risk assessment and a vigorous safety awareness campaign. “Stop. Look. Listen”. Another risk management system that works is “Ask, Assess, Act.”
We need to go beyond who did what, and look at “Why” it happened, and at what level the hazard was generated. Runway Incursions are an area where “Production” goals are outstripping “Protection” mitigations. Time pressure is huge at large airports to increase capacity, and it shouldn’t be. There’s only one thing that can happen when you try to put too much stuff in too small of a bag. There are latent hazards that reside at the Decision/Policy Maker and Line Management level, and they become active failures during the productive activities of controllers, ground vehicle operators and pilots. High ops tempo is always a factor, cognitive task loading leads to increased slips, lapses and mistakes. Invalid assumptions about system performance lead to skewed behaviors, high risk consequences and sub-optimal decisions.
Is the hazard more frequent (percentage wise) at these high capacity airports vs small towered fields? If so, capacity (production) is a risk element that needs to be transferred, eliminated, or mitigated.
Do air traffic controllers have reporting protections similar to those offered by ASAP? When we extend those privileges to everyone, all users of the NAS, then the number of reports will actually go up, which is a sign of a healthy reporting system. Then we will have a better contextual view of the system and be able to focus on “Why”, not “Who”. From there we can develop and implement valid action items and monitor their effectiveness.
Fly Smart
Clark

May

25

National Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center

Filed Under Aviation History | Leave a Comment
external image bell-47.jpgI Visited the Udvar-Hazy Center (UHS) at Dulles today, and it was phenomenal. My favorites today were the Bell 47, and Betty Skelton’s Pitts Special.
“The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world. ”
It’s well worth the trip.
Fly Smart,
Kent B. Lewis

May

9

Dr Funk’s Words of Wisdom

Filed Under Aviation History, Aviation Leadership, Threat and Error Management, Flying Safety for Dummies | Leave a Comment
I had a chance to talk to Dr Wally Funk on Wednesday and she took me through a crash investigation slide presentation that she delivers at safety seminars. I am working on a preservation project to digitize her slides. What struck me was the similarity of her comments to those of Herb Webber, another local safety rep who I talked to last year. (Herb’s wisdom is posted below).
It is amazing the number of crashes that could be prevented if people would use a checklist properly. Check for fuel. Check for contaminated fuel. Check your prop. Check your electrical system. Check that the CONTROL LOCK is REMOVED before attempting any junior birdman/birdwoman activities! Stay out of box canyons. You get the idea. The system tries to trip you up enough without helping it out.
Be professional, be smart. And as Wally says, “don’t wreck your airplane and yourself.”
Read Dr Funk’s Bio. Hold on to your jaw, because it will drop as you read it!
Fly Smart
Clark

May

9

Top Ten CFI-I Tricks of the Trade

Filed Under Aviation Leadership, Threat and Error Management, Flying Safety for Dummies | Leave a Comment
I pulled this list from the May issue of IFR magazine. The article discusses esssential tips and tricks for IFR flying. Good advice for everyone, I think.
1. Know how to operate within the IFR system, what/who/when to ask questions and gather information.
2. Know your equipment.
3. Seek understanding, knowledge and avoid “crutches”.
4. Watch you track.
5. Don’t believe one needle (aka trust but verify).
6. Utilize CRM to build SA.
7. Fly in actual IMC. Use building block approach, conservative go/no-go criteria and/or CFI-I.
8. Practice IMC to VMC transitions to land.
9. Learn Control and Performance method of flying. Power, Attitude, Trim.
10. Keep a positive mental attitude of continuous learning and applied wisdom.
Check out IFR
Fly Smart
Clark