The FAA’s recent reinterpretation of crew rest guidance sparked a vigorous discussion at the Flight Safety Foundation Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in San Antonio last week.
Occupational safety and health
Everyone agrees that airlines and major corporations need plans for deploying an emergency response in the event of an accident. The airlines, especially, are acutely aware of the intense media and regulatory scrutiny–and lawsuits–that follow any aviation disaster, especially one that involves substantial loss of life. All major airlines and large corporations have aviation accident response plans. Corporate counsel has seen to that.
Most companies have various departments that answer to the executive suite, and these departments–with the exception of flight departments–generally use some kind of robust reporting system, according to Jim Lara, long-time business aviation pilot and consultant at Gray Stone Advisors. “We decided to develop a business aviation-based metrics package, customized for each operation.” The idea was to give the reporting executive the tools to make an effective presentation to top leaders with the same level of fidelity as reports from other business operating units.
The Dubai Air Show will be the occasion for the first Gulf Aviation Training Event being held tomorrow and on Tuesday. The theme, “Averting the crisis: selection and training of Middle East-based flight crew for the next generation,” has attracted a number of prominent speakers.
Charleston S.C.-based Advanced Aircrew Academy now offers two international procedures training options as well as a new OSHA training course for aircraft maintenance technicians and pilots. International procedures training can be accessed through the company’s online distance-learning system or in classroom sessions conducted at the customer’s facility.
When I look at the Caribbean Airlines 737-800 that slid off a rain-soaked runway on July 30 at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan Airport outside Georgetown, without any fatalities and with only relatively minor injuries, I have two immediate reactions. The first is disappointment that we still have not gotten a handle on preventing runway excursions, the leading cause of accidents these days for commercial and corporate aviation.
Brush and Clean, a Fort Lauderdale manufacturer of commercial carpet and upholstery dry cleaning systems, has announced Hybrid Pro, a carpet and hard-floor cleaner designed for aviation. It comes in two models, the Hybrid Pro 25 and 45, both designed around counter-rotating brushes to scrub and lift dirt, grime and cleaning compound “to instantly produce dry, clean surfaces.”
The Japanese trifecta of tragedy has some people rethinking risk-assessment models and catastrophic risk in general. And maybe those of us in aviation should as well. After all, these models are only as good as the assumptions that are made about the likelihood of an event–or a series of events–occurring.
Certainly the news that there were no U.S. airline passenger fatalities in 2010 is cause for reflection and, yes, some self-congratulation by all those who made it possible. From airline and manufacturers’ boardrooms to the 10th floor of 800 Independence Avenue, congratulations are in order.
A new year brings new wishes for aviation safety. Or, in some cases, a renewal of old wishes from years past. It’s no small feat to strive to constantly improve an already enviable aviation safety record. But strive we must if we are to eliminate potential safety problems that in the right combination could bring down an aircraft or otherwise come together to cause injury or loss of life.