SM4 Safety Articles & Resources
The vast quantity of knowledge that must be stuffed into a pilot’s head is just one reason only 0.2% of the U.S. population has at least a Private Pilot Certificate. As the ratings grow, the percentages decrease even further. There are a variety of reasons the pilot population is small and dwindling. Having the self-discipline to get all that knowledge into one brain through study, training and experience is daunting and costly. However, once you get paid to fly, it’s all worth it.
When was the last time an aviation colleague asked you (or you asked yourself), “Is this good enough?” And what does “good enough” really mean? In my opinion, the very question constitutes an attitude of mediocrity. The real question for true aviation professionals should be: “Is good enough ever really good enough in any business or private aviation pursuit?” So many times, we use the descriptive phrases “world-class,” “best-in-class” and “excellence.” But do we really mean them, or are they simply “ear candy” because they sound good?
In the world of safety management, “power” might not be the first word that comes to mind. However, we’re going to explore an intriguing concept—the power that safety managers possess and how we can harness it to create a significant impact within our organizations.
Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles bring out the very best futuristic, gravity-defying and green versions of us all. The idea is not entirely new, offering vertical movement with lateral mobility and making the concept of a runway almost trivial.
After a poor night of sleep, it is common to feel tired, sluggish and even irritable. More important for air operators, poor sleep is also associated with increased fatigue—which can directly impact employee performance and put lives at risk.
Emergency Response Plans (ERPs), however, are much more infrequently used in most organizations. When an abnormal situation disrupts your operation, is your team versed in their roles? Are they prepared to handle the emergency? Do they know what their responsibilities are?
As air transport continues its recovery, airport operations—particularly passenger traffic—are steadily increasing to all-time highs. As this is occurring, airport ground operations are dealing with fixed gates and infrastructure challenges to service the increased volume. Workforce challenges, employee retention, system outages and weather impacts have challenged many airports and their handling agents to keep up. Airports and service providers must work together to manage the emerging risks.
There are many well-known three-word mantras that serve as “human performance shorthand” and can help us handle stressful situations more effectively. One new one we could all probably benefit from in our personal lives is “Relax – Reassess – Re-engage.” When the stuff hits the fan, it gives us somewhere to go mentally, and using it regularly improves the life-saving skill known as mental agility.
As the Global Director of Aviation Health at MedAire, I have witnessed firsthand the incredible strides our industry has made in addressing mental health issues among pilots.