Safety & Training

I recently started down a path that I first heard about in 2006, when I saw Professor Sidney Dekker speak at the Transport Canada Aviation Safety Seminar in Halifax. These seminars were a tremendous contribution to the Canadian industry and, for the life of me, I never quite understood why TC stopped hosting them.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening my axe.”
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.
Minister of Transport Marc Garneau will soon be deciding whether the draft flight and duty time regulations that were published in Canada Gazette, Part I on July 1, 2017, should be brought into law this summer, and how much they should be modified in response to comments from industry stakeholders.  
The second annual All Canada Aeromedical Transport Safety conference took place Nov. 21 to 23 at the Ornge headquarters in Mississauga, Ont. The event entertained 56 attendees from 21 organizations – a nice uptick from the 37 attendees last year.
Why do some movies end happily, with the appropriate music playing as the credits roll, because only the pilot died? There are so many to choose from where the pilot is introduced, often becoming more than a peripheral character, yet departs early and often gruesomely.
Am I fit to fly? There has been a considerable volume of debate over the past five years or so about Transport Canada’s move towards harmonizing the Canadian regulatory framework with the rest of the world. But what does all this mean to those of us “at the coal face”? What can I and what must I do to stay safe?
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.
Ss a newcomer to this industry, I must say I was amazed by Colin Pelton’s story of fighting B.C. and Alberta wildfires, as told by Paul Dixon on page 14. The long hours, the dangerous conditions, the lack of communication, the unpredictable demands, the skill and expertise required, the stress of seeing people and property threatened – I had no idea that flying helicopters could be such a heroic activity.
Finding solutions to growing the pilot shortage in Canada is one of the most pressing issues facing the Canadian aviation industry – and it’s a challenge that affects all segments, from large commercial operations to northern operators, the military and rotary-wing operators from coast to coast.
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.

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