The past year has brought encouraging news for general aviation safety overall, but the turbine sector’s record over the past 12 months is cause for concern. Clearly, we must redouble our efforts to ensure we operate as safely as possible, especially as the pace of business flying returns to pre-pandemic levels.
As we know, an aircraft accident rarely can be attributed to a single cause. Instead, the reason a crash occurs usually can be traced to a series of events or conditions that set the stage for tragedy. Therefore, it’s vital that we correct any identified weaknesses in our safety protocols and operating procedures.
The starting point for all of us should be to pledge to take personal responsibility for ensuring safety. Make sure you are on top of your game, mentally, as well as physically, and follow SOPs to the letter.
Second, operators of all types need to ensure their organizations establish and nurture a strong safety culture. Whether you are an owner-operator, or a small or large flight department, it’s essential that everyone in aviation operations and management is actively involved in mitigating risk and adhering to a high safety standard.
Third, our community needs to monitor accident trends and share data so that there is a broad awareness of where the industry needs to focus its accident-reduction efforts. For example, given the number of mishaps that occur during the approach and landing phase of maneuvering flight, operators should strongly consider taking upset prevention and recovery training to develop the skills needed to identify and prevent potentially lethal encounters.
NBAA has long made safety a core value, and this 14th Annual Safety Edition of Business Aviation Insider focuses on several topics that deserve our attention:
- Using independent, third-party audits to assess the strength of existing safety systems
- Building robust safety cultures to enhance air charter safety
- Utilizing science-based research to refine Part 135 rest and duty time regulations
- Devising a multifaceted approach to improving runway safety
NBAA remains committed to improving business aviation safety through a variety of initiatives, from promoting adoption of safety management systems and data sharing, to creating resources such as our new Small Flight Department Safety Guide.
In addition, NBAA continues to conduct world-class safety events, such as the Single-Pilot Safety Standdown and National Safety Forum. We are currently revamping the format of the National Safety Forum, making it a multi-day event in which participants can drill down deeper to understand accident causes and develop effective mitigations.
Only by taking an aggressive, proactive approach can we hope to achieve the highest safety standards to which we all aspire.