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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pilot yawning

What If I Can’t Sleep 8 Hours?

Sleep is precious. Ample scientific evidence exists that getting enough sleep sharpens the brain, improves mood, helps with weight management and boosts athletic performance. In fact, the American Heart Association recently added sleep to its cardiovascular health checklist. But what if you’re an aviation professional who struggles to get eight consecutive hours? Your total daily sleep may be enough.

Posted on November 7, 2022
Air rescue service team running to the helicopter on the heliport

To Declare or Not To Declare

Due to a greater prevalence of “critical events” compared to higher-status “emergency response plan-activating events,” we propose that critical events pose a powerful opportunity for practicing and refining emergency response procedures. We also feel organizations should “over-respond” to critical events out of an abundance of caution.

Posted on October 4, 2022
Upset Recovery Training

Get Yourself to Yes

I am not a picky eater, but I was 40 years old before I ever ate a Brussels sprout. My grandfather didn’t eat them, my father didn’t eat them, and I’ll be gosh darned if I was ever going to have one cross the plane of my mouth. (Stick with me—there’s a connection to aviation training and safety here!)

Posted on October 4, 2022
emergency response training

Managing In-Flight Emergencies in the Age of Advanced Air Mobility

By 2030, the global eVTOL aircraft market will transport 27 million passengers. Some vehicles will have a single pilot, while others will operate remotely or autonomously with only civilian passengers. Therefore, the companies commercialising this space have a duty of care to their employees and customers to ensure the safety of all on board.

Posted on September 6, 2022
An event is a free lesson... report it!

Safety Reporting: Crewed and Un-Crewed

It’s an exciting time to be part of the expanding UAS industry. It has been a whirlwind to watch the growth from its earliest days until now. Over the next few years, it will continue that evolution and expand in tandem with regulatory standards and guidelines for its safe operation.

Posted on September 6, 2022
businessman with jet lag

The Two Effects of Jet Lag

Everyone who has travelled in an airplane is familiar with jet lag. True, the effect only applies when travelling east or west. But jet lag is so pervasive and annoying—not to mention a safety risk for pilots—that it merits serious discussion.

Posted on August 5, 2022
woman holding digital tablet in the airport runway

Safety Reporting: An Obligation and Opportunity to Contribute to the Greater Good

Safety in aviation is always a top priority. There are many ways to approach this important task, with the first line of defense being a keen and constant personal awareness of one’s habits, health, skill and environment. But even under the best conditions, sometimes there are still various factors that lead to safety incidents or accidents.

Posted on August 5, 2022
man waiting for an interview

Staffing Challenges Remain Front and Center for Safe Operations – What’s Your Plan B?

While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ripple through the aviation community and the global supply chain, one requirement remains critical to our full recovery—maintaining appropriate staffing levels of qualified employees.

Posted on July 7, 2022
business aircraft at airport

What Does Modern Airmanship Mean to You?

The 9 Principles of Automation Airmanship, learned and applied and elaborated on over time with experience and insights gained from personal curiosity, research and training can form a resilient pattern of flight deck discipline that can fundamentally change how an individual pilot interacts with their aircraft and crew in the 21st Century.

Posted on July 7, 2022
aircraft in the hangar

Ground Incidents – Slow Down To Go Fast

There are approximately 27,000 ramp accidents and incidents worldwide each year. While the injury rate is about 9 per 1,000 departures, and we care deeply about the cost to our personnel, the price we pay for these mishaps goes far beyond the bodily toll. Ultimately, we must slow down to go fast.

Posted on June 2, 2022
Upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT)

What Stops Pilots from Training Like Elite Athletes?

Every pilot is cool, calm and confident when it’s VFR with the autopilot on and an airplane functioning flawlessly. What happens when one or more of these factors change; possibly inadvertent IFR or an unexpected mechanical malfunction?

Posted on June 1, 2022
usiness people discussing strategy with a financial analyst

Getting Your Boss to “Yes”

One of the most intimidating discussions with your Aviation Reporting Executive (ARE) may be regarding aviation’s operating budget for the coming year. These budget discussions are all about how successful you are at convincing your firm or ultra-high-net-worth owner to allocate the resources you need to successfully fulfill the desired service levels of your aviation organization.

Posted on May 2, 2022
Pilots flying an airplane

Selecting Items To Include on Your FRAT

At its core, the Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) is a pre-flight evaluation of potential threats faced in a mission or flight. Developed from research and detailed study of accidents occurring in the aviation industry in the early 2000s, the FRAT was revolutionary when it became mainstream in 2007.

Posted on May 2, 2022
Front view of business jet on runway

Developing Escalation Thresholds for Emergencies

Your view on what constitutes an emergency is significantly shaped by your education, training, life and career experience and by the scope of your responsibilities and job functions.

Posted on May 2, 2022
woman researching country

Elevating Situational Awareness to Future-Proof Your Operations

Recent global events underscore the need to elevate your operation’s safety profile. Doubling down on preventative measures for a growing list of risk factors requires a new level of situational awareness that includes operational safety and the health and personal security of your crew and passengers.

Posted on April 5, 2022
aviation operations

Understanding Human Factors in Safety Assurance: The Bowtie Method

Human factors may be the final frontier in aviation risk management. While those factors can’t be handled in the same way as, for example, issues with mechanical systems, there is new thinking in risk management that can help. It includes viewing a high-risk situation as an event and then using a so-called “bowtie diagram” as a tool for defining and addressing it.

Posted on March 1, 2022
business meeting

Riptide: Psychological Safety in a Cancel-Culture World

There is a dangerous riptide taking place between what is acceptable in our society and what is necessary in our workplace. As everything turns into an “us vs. them” war of opinions, the ability to respectfully listen to others is rapidly becoming a lost art. Aviation must, once again, demonstrate its leadership in constructive communication.

Posted on March 1, 2022
drone night flight

Safety Risks and Benefits of Flying a Drone at Night

It’s true that more commercial and personal small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are populating the skies, not only during daytime hours, but also at night. The FAA reports 260,276 certified drone pilots in the U.S. as of January 2022. As flying a drone at night becomes more popular, it is important to weigh the inherent safety risks and benefits of night flight and to take into account some safety practices.

Posted on January 31, 2022
pilot safety check

Making Safety Scintillating

Safety and risk management—two concepts that likely are not the most scintillating to enter your day. Do not let that dissuade you. If these two notions are not at the forefront of every aviation decision you are making, it is time to readdress your paradigm.

Posted on January 31, 2022
pilot checking aircraft

The Importance of Being Consistent—Aviation’s Most Cost-Effective Safety Tool.

Within the aviation community, one of the most basic tasks pilots learn from day one of training is to perform a pre-flight inspection (PFI). The PFI is a visual walk-around of the aircraft to enable the pilot, using sight and touch, to determine the basic condition of the aircraft, systems and functional controls for the purpose of flight.

Posted on January 10, 2022