These Are Good Folks
From Where I Sit…These Are Good Folks To Know
By Kevin Darcy
Director, RTI Forensics
The International Society of Air Safety Investigators, better known as ISASI, is a unique group of professionals pursuing excellence in aviation accident investigation and safety.
The Society of Air Safety Investigators was founded in 1964 “…to promote that part of the aeronautical endeavor wherein lies the moral obligation of the Air Safety Investigator to the Public, and to promote the education of its members.” That year the organization quickly grew to over 100 members from 35 countries. It was renamed the International Society of Air Safety Investigators in 1997 to reflect its composition and reach.
ISASI’s growth has paralleled aviation worldwide. There are now nine national and regional ISASI Societies representing members from 70 countries. There are 11 regional chapters in the United States alone. Individual membership now stands over 1,300. In addition, approximately 170 corporate members of ISASI represent all segments of the industry, government and the military; investigating authorities and government regulators, operators, airframe and component manufacturers, insurers and labor unions are members.
ISASI’s active working groups cover a range of subjects including Air Traffic Services, Corporate Affairs and Unmanned Aerial Systems. These working groups are particularly valuable because they create opportunities for international experts to collaborate and network.
What specific benefits does ISASI provide corporate and commercial operators? Education and networking opportunities abound at the annual seminar (this year in Salt Lake City) and at local chapter meetings. But arguably the main benefit is building relationships with colleagues, most importantly, your local investigating authorities.
If you are involved in an aviation mishap, there is little time to establish relationships and trust with investigators from the NTSB and FAA. The investigating community is small and close-knit. While favoritism by the authorities is usually not a concern, trust and a good relationship with the people running the investigation promotes communication and makes the entire process easier and more efficient. (And you can bet that the airframe and engine manufacturers already have established working relationships and a level of trust with authorities.) Active involvement with ISASI and regular attendance at ISASI seminars and meetings allows you to build these important relationships and trust before the “heat of the battle” of an investigation.
For operators flying internationally, the annual ISASI seminar provides great “bang for the buck.” Senior members of safety boards and lead investigators of most countries routinely attend the seminars as speakers or regular attendees.
As part of your continuing development and improvement of your emergency response planning, I strongly urge you to consider joining the International Society of Air Safety Investigators. You do not have to be an engineer or an investigator. Anyone with an interest in safety is welcome. From where I sit, the cost is minimal and benefits are large. Trust me. You will meet a lot of interesting and nice people.
More information about ISASI can be found at www.isasi.org or by calling 703-430-9668.
RTI Forensics, based in Hayward, Calif. RTI is a multi-discipline consultancy with a major aviation practice and is a long time ISASI corporate member and sponsor.
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