Insurance is a necessity that operators hope never to put to use, but with operating costs, especially for fuel, running so high, any opportunity to save money is always welcome. Insurance underwriter USAIG is helping lower costs with its new Performance Vector Plus program, which can save flight departments as much as 15 percent on insurance premiums.
Flight Operations Quality Assurance
Aviation insurance underwriter USAIG is adding up to 15 percent in new discounts for business aircraft operators that incorporate certain safety programs. Through Performance Vector Plus, USAIG customers can earn “good experience returns” when they meet any of three safety standards during a policy year while also avoiding loss claims. Each standard met earns a 5-percent return, for a potential total return of 15 percent.
Steve Charbonneau, a pilot and chairman of the corporate flight operational quality assurance (C-FOQA) Centerline program created by Austin Digital, is leading a team to develop best practice standards for data gathering from the digital flight data recorders (DFDR) that are now standard on most new large business jets. “The goal is to analyze and share data to give operators both the qualitative and quantitative boost they need to develop their organization into world-class operations,” he said.
The 58th Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) safety seminar for business aviation was held in Montreal last month under a new name. What has long been known as CASS (corporate aviation safety seminar) is now called BASS (business aviation safety seminar), “to align us better with the business aviation community, which comprises 60 percent of the foundation’s membership,” according to FSF CEO Kevin Hiatt.
The FAA is planning to expand a new safety data collection and analysis system beyond scheduled air carriers to all elements of the aviation community, including helicopters. The move comes as the helicopter industry formally acknowledged earlier this year that, while it has made considerable progress, it will likely fall short of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s (IHST) goal of reducing the helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) began its annual safety symposium with an attention-grabbing slide. It shows the accident rates for U.S. Part 121 airlines and all Part 135 operations for the years 2007-2011. The accident rate for all Part 135 operations is 0.60 per 100,000 flight hours, approximately four times worse than the airlines’ 0.159 per 100,000 flight hours.
The FAA, airlines and aviation labor unions have launched a partnership with the NTSB to share summarized safety information to help prevent accidents. The information to be shared through the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (Asias) will help the NTSB determine if an accident is unique or an indication of systemic risks.
FLYHT Aerospace Solutions (Booth No. 2893) is installing its automated flight information reporting system AFIRS 228 on Hawker 750 through 900XP models operating in Europe. Fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe will be the first to benefit from the new supplemental type certificate (STC).
EASA has granted the Calgary, Canada-based firm an “activation STC,” as a follow-on to a “provisions-only STC.” The provisions systems, already installed on 10 of NetJets Europe’s Hawkers, include the tray, wiring and antenna. NetJets Europe has ordered 30 AFIRS 228 complete kits.
Early next year, the Flight Safety Foundation (Booth No. 3532) expects to publish operational guidelines for its members on the conduct of stabilized approaches, according to COO Kevin Hiatt. The guidelines arise from analysis of trends gathered from corporate flight-operational quality assurance (C-FOQA) data.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) released the first of its top 10 ideas for reducing helicopter accidents, on July 10. Number one is to develop and install flight data monitoring equipment to record the actions of the flight crew.
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