Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan said he worries about the flying skills of pilots today. The type-rated Learjet 45 pilot, who was the last man to walk on the moon, commented to AIN at last month’s Bombardier Safety Standdown in Wichita, “I worry about the complacency that technology is imposing on pilots. Pilots tend to become overwhelmed with all the lights on these glass panels and forget they still have a responsibility to fly the airplane.” Cernan believes that part of the solution is pilots being honest about their flying skills and their shortcomings.
By all accounts, the 1996 genesis of Bombardier’s Safety Standdown, an event that now regularly draws nearly 500 aviators to Wichita annually, was rather humble. Bob Agostino, director of Bombardier’s Flight Operations at the time and a trained accident investigator, asked his pilots for their thoughts after a particularly difficult accident investigation. One of them, Air Force veteran Dave Sullivan, explained how the military dealt with similar issues.
The FBI’s National Aviation Safety Officer, Special Agent Troy Smith, was named the first recipient of the Eugene Cernan Safety Standdown Award at the October 10 Bombardier Safety Standdown annual banquet in Wichita. Smith, who began his FBI flying career while assigned to the San Francisco field office, told the audience, “Before I applied for the FBI’s top aviation safety job, I had no previous formal training in aviation safety.
Bombardier, sponsor of the annual Aviation Safety Standdown held in Wichita, is soliciting nominations for the new Eugene Cernan Safety Award, to be presented for the first time at this year’s event, which begins October 8. Cernan, a former naval aviator, NASA Apollo XVII commander and the last human to walk on the Moon, has been a regular Standdown participant since Bombardier started the program 16 years ago.
The ninth annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil, will be the site for an expanded Bombardier Aerospace Safety Standdown Latin America. The two-day seminar will take place August 13 and 14 at the Grand Hyatt São Paulo Hotel.
The third annual edition of Bombardier’s Safety Standdown Latin America will take place next month in conjunction with the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE). This year’s expanded two-day event on August 13 and 14 in São Paolo, Brazil, will include a half day of breakout workshops on safety topics not covered in the general session. The seminar is free and open to pilots of any brand of jet but registration is required by August 10.
Actor William Shatner will be a guest speaker at the 15th,annual Bombardier Safety Standdown, which takes place next Monday through Wednesday in Wichita. This year, the Safety Standdown format will combine the general sessions with workshops on a variety of safety-related topics. Speakers at the general sessions will include NTSB member Robert Sumwalt; Convergent Performance CEO Dr.
The NBAA National Meeting and Convention will be hosting a Career in Business Aviation Day on Thursday for local youth from 12 years old to college students. The goal of this initiative is to slow the erosion of existing talent in the business aviation industry and attract the next generation of aviation enthusiasts and innovators.
Bombardier’s first safety standdown in Latin America drew a crowd the day before the opening of the annual Labace show. The company had 150 people signed up in advance but 210 showed up for the event. The manufacturer sponsors similar standdowns in Wichita and Geneva, where it coincides with Ebace. The Labace standdown emphasized the importance of the sharing of knowledge and experience acquired outside the formal learning venue.
The First Flight Foundation received the $20,000 Annual Combs Gates Award and $20,000 from the National Aviation Hall of Fame in recognition of its restoration of the iconic Kitty Hawk, N.C. monument that honors the Wright Brothers’ first flight there in 1903, and their achievements thereafter.