Many aviation safety experts claim that business flying is safer than personal flying. Dick Collins says they’re wrong, and you can’t tell the difference in the first place. An interesting blog post from Air Facts.
Before every flight, pilots make some sort of go/no-go decision, even if it happens nearly instantly. A good decision-making process involves a review of the weather conditions, the health of the pilot and the condition of the airplane. On a sunny Saturday this can be easy. But when bad weather moves in or there’s a significant squawk on the airplane, making the decision not to fly is often the toughest one we make as pilots.
But there’s another factor that comes into play more than we probably admit: passengers. We all want to make a good impression on our passengers, and prove that we are safe and proficient pilots. And the added stress of a personal relationship–especially if it’s your spouse–can make the go/no-go decision a lot tougher than what an airline pilot might face with anonymous passengers concealed by a cockpit door. You can see this “spouse factor” when you read the reader comments in many of our Go or No Go articles (where we present a real weather briefing and you decide if you would fly the trip). Often times pilots comment that they would fly the trip solo, but not with their spouse on board.
That brings up today’s question: Do passengers change the way you plan or fly flights? Should they? And how do you deal with a nervous spouse? Are there any good ways to “sell” non-pilot passengers or spouses on flying in general aviation? Add you answer at Air Facts.
Threat and Error Management (TEM) is not a term you hear much in general aviation circles, but it is widely adopted among airlines and is taking hold in corporate operators as well.
I am exposed to TEM through my employer who does Part 121 training under-pinned with the Threat and Error Management philosophy.
TEM is the brainchild of human factors researchers from the University of Texas and in a way it is not new, it is rather a modernized form of risk mitigation that accounts for the human(s) that are in the loop. With so many accidents attributed to pilot error and with modern airplane reliability it makes sense that we focus on the human part of the equation.
I’ve been a pilot for over 40 years now, and I’ve done some stupid things. I’ve managed to stay out of serious trouble though…up to now. I was surprised and shocked to read about a friend and colleague of mine who wasn’t so lucky. My wife had picked up the New York Times that morning. I heard a shriek from her, and when she showed me the article I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach.
Dick Collins poses an interesting question for all pilots. The question relates to whether or not you think we should throw the loose cannons under the bus, accept the current safety record, and fly on with our remaining freedoms intact? Or, should we make changes that might rein in the loose cannons but that would likely swap a lot of freedom for the chance of a better record?
Click on the link to weigh in at Air Facts.