Premium On Safety - Issue 19, 2015 - 1

ISSUE 19 YEAR 2015


On Guard: Defying the Checklist 03
Flight Vis: Procedural Non-Compliance 04
More Than a Kick 05
ASI Message: Close Call or Midair? 06
Lessons Learned: The Better Part of Valor 06
USAIG Welcomes APS Upset Prevention and
Recovery Training to Performance Vector 08

Greetings! "Scheduled Air Carrier"
and "General Aviation" accident rates
are often compared to point out high
airline safety performance. Preliminary
2014 NTSB data put the scheduled
carrier rate at 0.16/100,000 flight
hours and GA's a sobering forty-two
times that at 6.7. It's reasonable to hail
the advanced structure and resources
at the airlines as the difference. I'm
always interested in how business
aviation operators tackle trying to
emulate an airline safety record with
far fewer resources. "Safety Manager"
is often a collateral role for a line
pilot or one of the chief pilot's many
hats. Still, the Breiling Report lists
the overall 2014 business aviation
accident rate at 0.5 and the fractional,
corporate, and charter jet rates all
below 0.35. That's the impressive
result of a lot of dedication and hard
work. Good enough? Of course not, so
let's keep after it together! Enjoy the
issue, fly smart, and fly safe.

Paul Ratté
Director of Aviation Safety
Programs, USAIG

Effective Crew/Passenger
Communication Requires Executive

we would be delayed. I'd seen it before-he'd give
me that long hard look, then declare, "I checked
CNN and didn't see any problems." He had a
reputation for putting heat on his pilots and questioning their information, authority, and decision
making. His comments were sometimes out of
ignorance, sometimes due to corporate pressures and business obligations. At other times his
innuendos were an attempt to intimidate and see
who would cave. Unfortunately, this only served
to erode the confidence and authority of the very
crew he hired to run a safe operation.
I walked into the lobby to meet him...
If you've spent time in
aviation you've
In flight departments where safety is promoted
likely heard a few stories like
this or experienced them
and supported by upper management the tone
directly yourself. Where
can be contagious, resulting in crews with a strong passengers, in one form or
another, have attempted to
sense of pride and enthusiasm for their company.
pressure pilots to go against
their training and better
judgment and fly into situations that could comlatest updates, I searched the charts for an alterpromise safety, at other times-not passengers or
nate. The sky was clear at our home base and
management, but rather senior pilots or "cowboy
the forecast promised a beautiful fall day. The
crews"-have been guilty of operating in a manner
briefer came back on the line and announced our
which compromised safety.
destination was still zero/zero and the nearest
Can corporate flight crews set passenger
alternate was 150 miles away.
expectations to mitigate risk during variI heard my boss pulling his car into the hangar.
ous phases of flight? With so many different
I swallowed the lump in my throat as I started out
personalities and agendas among pilots and
to meet him. He was not going to be happy that
It was 5 a.m., the sky was dark and a cool breeze
was blowing out of the west at three knots. My
co-pilot was preflighting the aircraft and preparing the cabin for passengers while I ran through
the cockpit checks and picked up the weather.
Our destination was solid IFR and the forecast
called for little change over the next several
hours. We were scheduled to depart at 6 a.m. to
get the boss to an important meeting by 8 a.m.
Without any delays we'd have him there with time
to spare, but the weather didn't look promising.
At 5:30 a.m., I called Flight Service again. As
the weather briefer put me on hold to check the

(continued on page 2)


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Premium On Safety - Issue 19, 2015