Safety & Training

There are many key components of a fully functional Safety Management System (SMS), both for the individual players in the system and its institutional masters.
Some of us are old enough to remember Paul Simon’s groove – 50 ways to leave your lover – but in this feature, I challenge you with some ideas gleaned from industry, with 15 ways to enhance your personal safety tools – for pilots, engineers, support staff and, yes, company managers.
At N 47°36’58,W052°45’10 lies Cougar Helicopters.
Does anyone want to work off-site anymore? I count myself in the group that loathes being gone too long these days.
The helicopter industry is in “survival mode,” according to some observers, buffeted by depressed oil prices and fatal accidents that have grounded key aircraft in the fleet. The natural expectation of tough economic times is that helicopter operators might shirk on safety measures and productivity could suffer as employees fear a redundancy notice.
Enhancing safety standards in the global helicopter industry is a process that is constantly evolving, as individual operators, OEMS and regulators strive to introduce new technologies and procedures to help prevent accidents and incidences throughout all levels of the business.
For almost seven years, the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) and others industry associations have been consulting on the content of Transport Canada’s (TC’s) draft for new fatigue management regulations. And with the exception of input provided by the National Airline Association of Canada (NACC), the proposals and input made by HAC and the various associations have been largely ignored.
One of the themes of this issue is innovation, and for some time I struggled to start, since the rate of advancement in aviation is breathtaking and we risk being replaced by robots in the not too distant future. Then it occurred to me, that innovation isn’t about just technology, or methods, or brilliant marketing schemes – it also applies to policy and to the direction an industry may move.
This issue let’s talk about our maintenance brethren. Often unappreciated, the fact remains that without our AMEs, we would have nothing to fly and no work. So, let’s address the safety side of maintenance in our daily helicopter operations.
As Helicopters goes to press, the Canadian helicopter community is being led to believe that the draft Fatigue Management Regulations published in a Canada Gazette I Notice of Intent (NOI) on March 25 (www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-03-25/html/notice-avis-eng.php) will be published for public consultation in Canada Gazette 1 by the end of June with very few changes.
Two years ago, in the wake of the mass murder/suicide of 150 passengers and crew on board Germanwings 7525, I wrote about the importance of looking out for our fellow pilots’ mental well being. I pleaded that the rush to regulate in the wake of the disaster not be done in haste, lest pilots with mental illness are driven underground, stop seeking help, and further put the travelling public at risk.  
Canada boasts one of the safest regulatory operating environments in the world but there is plenty of room for improvement – and changes are necessary to ensure it remains safe and secure in the months and years ahead.
Earlier in 2016, I listened to an inspiring interview with David Gregory, the former host of NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that truly informs this column. He was speaking of his time with the show and in the discussion he quoted the Book of Proverbs – “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be true.”
With some regularity, I am invited to speak to graduating helicopter pilot classes. I take advantage of the opportunity whenever I am able. It gives me a chance to better understand the psyche of the next generation of pilots in our industry – if the psyche of pilots can ever really be understood.
May 8, 2015, Kelowna, B.C. - A Letter of Affiliation between the Air Cadet League of Canada, British Columbia Provincial Committee (BCPC), and British Columbia Aviation Council (BCAC) was signed by representatives of the organizations on April 30. The signing ceremony took place in the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort at 1 pm.
April 30, 2015, North Bay, Ont. - Last week, Essential Helicopters celebrated its 2015 graduates at a convocation ceremony held at Canadore College’s Aviation Technology Campus.
April 17, 2015, Calgary - Finding the perfect career in aviation and aerospace takes passion, flexibility and the ability to capitalize on opportunities – and learning how to “wear your tie” and treat every day in a professional manner goes a long way, too.
April 6, 2015, Lausanne, Sui. - Breitling is calling for nominations for the FAI-Breitling Awards for 2015: the Breitling Milestone Trophy and the Breitling Youngster Award. Both awards will be presented in September at the Awards Ceremony of the FAI General Conference in Rotterdam (Netherlands), where the winners will be invited and hosted by Breitling.

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