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Teamwork: the key to a safe operating environment
May 12, 2021
Teamwork is absolutely essential in establishing a safe operating environment in all facets of aviation – and while often overlooked, flight dispatch teams certainly play a pivotal role. Here’s an example that illustrates just how close team interactions can create a positive result and work to establish a more cohesiv...
IFR Logbook: Another Column
May 12, 2021
Instrument training, Practical Test evaluation, most instrument flight rule (IFR) practice and the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirements for recency of experience are measured primarily in getting the airplane down from altitude. There’s very little focus on proficiency for making a takeoff and departure in IM...
In search of an objective quantitative framework to assess fitness for duty
October 18, 2019
When we are fatigued we are impaired. Our reactions are slowed, and we experience lapses of attention, become impulsive, lose situational awareness, and become prone to distraction. The greater the level of fatigue, the worse the impairment. NTSB and NASA sources estimate that fatigue is a factor in one in five aviati...
Are you coming to Safety Standdown in 2019? Here’s how to maximize your experience!
September 12, 2019
When I first attended Safety Standdown on its 10th anniversary in 2006, the theme was “War on Error,” akin to its early roots of the teachings of Dr. Tony Kern and Convergent Performance.
The path to leadership and elevating your standards
August 30, 2019
In aviation and similarly specialized fields, we often promote people on measures that heavily weigh technical performance. For instance, experience as a maintainer might lead to a role as supervisor or eventually to a position as the Director of Maintenance. Experienced aviator? ...
When good just isn’t enough
August 13, 2019
When I think about this year’s Safety Standdown theme of “Elevate Your Standards,” I am reminded of Captain Eugene Cernan. I met Gene in 2004 at my first Safety Standdown, and I have to admit, I was a little awestruck. My heroes were there in force. Wally Schirra, Bob Hoover and Gene were sitting in the Captain’s Quart...
Hypoxia: What Pilots Need to Know
August 06, 2019
Ask any Pilot about the procedure for a rapid depressurization at altitude…You will get the same response every time. PUT ON YOUR MASK! But what about a slow or insidious depressurization?
Elevate Your Standards in Aircraft Maintenance
June 20, 2019
Standards can be defined as, “A measure of quality or attainment.” Quality is a very important measure when it comes to aircraft maintenance. Our standards provide us with a foundation for our actions. If we have low standards in aircraft maintenance it will show up in low dispatch reliability, high incident/acciden...
Winds of change: our standards when it comes to weather
May 10, 2019
I believe I speak for everyone in the Midwest when I say, “Welcome back spring!” The 2018-2019 winter season seemed like it would never end and judging by the discussions I had with colleagues throughout North America, this sentiment was a common one....
Automation, Airmanship and Bombardier Safety Standdown
July 17, 2018
Almost 70 years ago, one of the earliest commercially available computers was delivered to the US Government by the Remington Rand Corporation, the UNIVAC-1. The joke that circulated for years afterward goes like this: A bunch of scientists created a huge machine capable of complex calculations and called it UNIVAC. E...
The Normalization of Excellence. Sounds cool – what is it?
July 17, 2018
Gotta tell you, I was thrilled when I first heard that the Bombardier Safety Standdown was adopting a concept from one of my books as the theme for 2018. Then I started to worry.
The Normalization of Excellence
June 01, 2018
The theme for Safety Standdown 2018 is the Normalization of Excellence. At first glance, these words may seem contradictory, after all, excellence isn’t normal, it’s exceptional. Excellence is achieved by the best of the best – it wins Super Bowls and Olympic gold medals. If you move from the field to flight deck, shou...
What Does “Intentionally Safe” Mean?
April 17, 2017
What does it mean to be “intentionally” safe? “Intentional” implies that you go beyond a basic level of safety because of an effort you are making. Safe means the mitigation of risk, which in aviation can be subjective based on the type of aircraft you operate, mission, environment, and an operation’s risk tolerance....