SM4 Safety Articles & Resources

A wealth of knowledge provided by experts in aviation safety can be found here in our Aviation Safety Resource Library. From time-proven safety and risk management principles to updates on the latest in aviation safety regulation, you’ll find the information you need to strengthen the safety culture in your organization. The content available here can be used as curriculum in your organization’s safety systems, and the experts whose content appears here are available as aviation safety consultants and safety trainers.

Click on a category below or use the search tool on this page to find the resources you need. If there is a topic you would like to see us cover in the future, let us know by emailing us at .

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travel rebound

3 Things To Keep Your Eye on as Global Business Aviation Begins To Rebound

Since COVID-19 first entered our world in January 2019, it has taken us on quite a roller coaster ride with plenty of twists and turns. Few would have thought that we would still be in that situation over a year later, but here we are. It has been a challenging time for the aviation industry, but with global business aviation activity up 28% compared to 2020, down only by 9% compared to 2019 year to date, it looks as if our rebound is here.

Posted on June 7, 2021
caffeine power

Caffeine Will Enable Me To Power Through My Day. Right?

Worrying about the current public health crisis and how it affects our jobs, our lives and our health is something that all of us have experienced to some degree over the past year. Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of people have been reporting sleep disturbances since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Posted on June 7, 2021
runway in the mountains

Risk Is a Choice: How an SMS Can Help Prevent Runway Excursions

Every accident starts with a choice. It is a decision among a sequence of actions that can still be within the boundaries of rules, but for too many business aviation operations, it is a sequence of choices that ends in a runway excursion.

Posted on May 3, 2021
do it

SMS for the Small Operator

“I know that there are those who complain that they’re too small for a Safety Management System (SMS). Or that it’s too costly. Or that they don’t have time. One by one: No one and no company is too small for a SMS. The cost of a SMS is far less than the cost of an accident.”

Posted on April 30, 2021
airplane crash on runway

Pilot Error Accidents: There Is More To the Story

Working directly with an aviation emergency response firm gives me unique insight into the complex and often cascading factors involved in understanding accident causation. Although pilot error is an often-cited root cause, it is easy to see it is rarely, if ever, that simple.

Posted on April 5, 2021
airplane at hangar

SMS Policy Review: Is Your Safety Culture Adaptable, Flexible and Resilient?

As the early months of 2021 unfold, this is a gentle reminder that it is time to dust off the SMS manual and perform your company’s annual policy SMS review. While our current work days continue to go sideways with pandemic-based tasks, this might be a perfect opportunity to get some quality Zoom time with your accountable executive (AE).

Posted on April 1, 2021
aircraft maintanence mechanic

When Systems Fail: Overcoming Systemic Comfort Zones and the Rebirth of Self-Reliance

In the last week, I found myself smack dab in the middle of the plunging polar vortex that took power, heat, water and the ability to travel away from millions of people in Texas (including my family). This has become the focal point of a national debate about electrical grid reliability across the nation.

Posted on March 1, 2021
Running with time

How to Combat Revenge Procrastination

We all know that sleep is important. When we don’t get the 7‐9 hours of daily sleep recommended by the National Sleep Foundation and endorsed by a consensus of top scientists, we feel groggy and irritable. It can affect our relationships. Our performance at work suffers.

Posted on March 1, 2021
Man flying drone at sunset

15 Steps to Starting and Running a Successful Drone Business

Thinking about starting a drone business as a side gig or as a main source of income? Doing so can seem like an overwhelming task, but having a plan and doing things the right way can make it more attainable (and profitable). Here are 15 steps that will help you on your way to developing a successful drone business.

Posted on February 3, 2021
Emergency crew assisting plane on runway

Was There a Decrease in Runway Excursions in 2020?

We now know that a global pandemic affects different industries in different ways. Retail liquor stores, package delivery companies and online meeting software all saw COVID-related bumps in sales. Restaurants, bars and most of aviation have experienced a COVID slump.

Posted on January 29, 2021
Two parked airplanes glistening in a well-lit hangar

Enhancing Aviation’s Value & Relevance in Today’s Pandemic Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has violently disrupted nearly everything we previously considered “normal.” Who could have imagined that during the middle of March 2020, the business world would be so dramatically and radically changed?

Posted on January 12, 2021
Small plane flying above solar farm

2021 Is Here—Are You Ready?

The new year has begun and with it an assortment of resolutions to make ourselves better in one way or another. January is generally the month in which everyone shares those resolutions, and as a flight safety academy, we see numerous pilots interested in additional professional development events and training focused on countering loss of control-inflight (LOC-I). All great news!

Posted on January 12, 2021
Pilot wearing face mask completing preflight checklist

How Many Hours Are You Really Working?

While commercial airlines continue to struggle amid a dearth of passenger volume, many business aviation and charter air operators have experienced a strong recovery since the initial COVID-19 slowdown this past spring—and indeed, some are busier than ever.

Posted on December 1, 2020
Man wearing face mask checking his phone before boarding plane

Your Pandemic Operating Plan: Process vs. People

By now, most organizations seem to be well on their way to developing their pandemic operating plan, how they will continue to do business in a pandemic environment. In business aviation, the plan must detail how you will move people from location to location, stay compliant, and meet your responsibility and defensibility goals.

Posted on November 25, 2020
Standard operating procedure spray painted on road

The Bedrock of Aviation—Standard Operating Procedures… Consider the Variables!

Aviation is all about standard operating procedures and their more-beloved acronym “SOP.” With the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on staffing levels, operators have had to make some hard decisions, whose impact may not be readily apparent. This article illuminates the risk in assuming SOPs are, in fact, standards.

Posted on October 30, 2020
Drone flying through downtown

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Optimizing Operational Capabilities During the Pandemic

I think it’s safe to say that we are all waiting for the day when we can put COVID‐19 behind us and “get back to normal.” However, the reality is that this pandemic will continue to affect how we live our lives and conduct business for years to come.

Posted on October 30, 2020
Boy running through field with toy wings

Aviation Needs More Poets Right Now

Most of us began as dreamers and poets, all wanting to “slip the surly bonds of earth… dance the skies on laughter silvered wings… and reach out to touch the face of God.” Most know these words came from John Gillespie Magee Jr., who was a World War II Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot and poet. Most don’t know that he was killed in a mid-air collision over England in 1941.

Posted on October 1, 2020
Technician working on airplane propeller

Making your Risk Assessment Tool a STAR

Mention the acronym GUMPS to just about any fixed wing pilot and watch their eyes move upward and to the right. Their neurolinguistics are probably showing you they are visually remembering: gas, undercarriage, mixture, props and safety. It is a tried-and-true mental checklist and litany that has served, and saved, many a pilot

Posted on October 1, 2020
Four different face masks laying on table

Empirical Safety Data Finally Emerges Regarding Masks and Face Coverings. It May Not Be What You Expected.

More than six months have now passed since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) became an international household word. Paradoxically, only until recently has any demonstrable evidence surfaced to evaluate the recommendations coming from the health community.

Posted on August 28, 2020
Pilot in cockpit looking out to his left

Reinvention Throughout the Pandemic

Opportunity. It is a concept that helps us cope with the constant change and the flexibility required to endure the pandemic. The aviation industry has been hit hard, and everyone associated with it is having to reinvent themselves in one way or another.

Posted on August 28, 2020