The Medallion Foundation is focused on changing the culture and attitude of commercial air operators and pilots flying in Alaska. The verdict? So far, so good. Fatal controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents among commercial air carriers have been reduced 57 percent from 2000 to 2009, according to a paper recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The nonprofit foundation, formed by the Alaska Air Carriers Association in 2001, has more than 40 members. Earning an accolade from the Medallion Foundation isn’t a simple task. It wasn’t until mid-October 2012 that it awarded its first rotor-wing Safety Shield award to Prism Helicopters of Wasilla, Alaska. The Medallion Foundation Shield earned by Prism was the result of participation in the foundation’s training classes, one-on-one company mentoring, and auditing in conjunction with and supplemental to the Foundation’s Five-Star/Shield programs. Prism Helicopters entered into Medallion Foundation’s Star Program in 2005 and has “starred” in controlled flight into terrain avoidance (CFIT-A), operational control (2006), safety (2007), maintenance and ground service and internal audit (2009). Safety Shields are awarded after all Star programs are maintained and a carrier passes a thorough audit of all programs.
The Foundation’s Five Star/Shield program exceeds regulatory standards of Part 91 and Part 135, and just recently the Foundation instituted an e-learning program that meets the training requirement for Part 135 operators to show proof of crew resource management training that is required after March 22, 2013, by 14 CFR Part 135.330 (b).