Premium on Safety - Issue 34, 2019 - 1

ISSUE 34 FALL 2019


Professional Development: Moving on Up 02
Best Practices: Integrate Safety With Legacy
Flight Deck Upgrades 04
Quiz: Dueling with Fuel 05
Lessons Learned: Defining "Discipline" 06
ASI Message: Perception and Reality 10
Spotlight on Safety: The Problem with DEF 12


Logic Must Rule When it Comes
to Compassion Flying
Impulsivity generally owns a bad reputation as a behavioral
characteristic, conjuring up notions of rash and risky actions
undertaken without sufficient pre-evaluation. But psychologists
will tell you it's a two way street. In the extreme, impulsivity can
be a serious negative personality disorder. But its more benign
variant lives in all of us to some degree and produces very
positive outcomes. It launches a bystander into the water to save
a struggling swimmer, drives an artist or author to pull an allnighter and create a masterpiece, or even unites soulmates for life
off a bold, walk-up introduction. Most of the time, we pull enough
instantaneous context from a situation to make the right call
between "hmmm, let me think about this" and "dive in now!" But
sometimes we don't. Have you ever hit  on a bit-too-frank
email you wish later you hadn't? (Guilty, as charged.)
The urge to help alleviate human suffering serves as an innate
trigger in many of us to favor acting quickly over engaging in
considerable forethought. That speaks highly of us as an empathetic
species, but from a threat and error management perspective, this
is a "gotcha." As aircraft procedures are developed, things that
tend to elicit incorrect crew responses or otherwise threaten the
aircraft are identified and resolved. Whether it takes a complete
system re-design or a just adding a cautionary note in the aircraft's
manual, pathways that are shown to frequently lead toward negative
outcomes are first identified, and then systemically closed.

If we agree that "sensing others in need" serves to activate our
impulsive tendencies, we've done the first part. So can being aware
of this "gotcha" help us better manage the resultant threat? Maybe
you recall a flight instructor telling you to "wind the clock and
let things marinate a bit before acting" in response to an inflight
emergency. It's good advice here too.
It's impossible not to be moved by the scenes that came out of the
Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. Other natural and
man-made disasters all around the world evoke equally serious need
for compassionate and generous aid. Aircraft are an integral part
of those kinds of responses thanks to their speed and operational
flexibility. But it has unfortunately been proven (many times) that
inserting an aircraft into a disaster response rashly or without
adequate coordination can wind up being a bad thing for the aircraft
operator, and even fail to achieve the intended objective of actually
helping those in need. If you are motivated to get your aircraft
involved in a relief response, the best way to do that is to affiliate
with an established charity. The NBAA's Humanitarian Emergency
Response Operator (HERO) database is a great way to quickly get
linked with relevant charities when needs arise. Further, the NBAA
has resources and guidance (at the link above) that will help steer
and focus an initial urge to help in ways that will boost safety for
you and your aircraft during the response while also maximizing
the positive impact for those in need. In other words: channel the
impulse, rather than become a victim of it. Fly smart, and fly (and
respond) safely!

Paul Ratté
Director of Aviation Safety Programs, USAIG

Video shared with NBAA's permission


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