Bombardier’s annual Safety Standdown here in São Paulo on Monday and Tuesday drew a record number of participants, confirming the event’s status as a key part of the build up to the LABACE show. According to the event’s manager, Janet Schiebelhut, the fourth Safety Standdown Latin America drew 325 registered attendees, with 285 present on the first day for six workshops.
The first Safety Standdown at LABACE 2010 had 125 individuals sign up in advance and about 190 showed up. “It’s not unusual where preregistration is not the rule,” said Schiebelhut, “but we handled it.”
The workshops offered a range of subjects, including “International Flight Considerations and Flight Planning,” “Cold Weather Operations, “High Elevation Operations,” “Aircraft Performance” and “Safety Management Systems: Team Approach.”
Dr. Dan Boedigheimer, vice president of operations for Advanced Aircrew Academy, presented the workshop on aircraft performance, discussing operations and asked, “It is legal, is it safe, is it smart?” He pointed out that an aircraft’s flight management system (FMS) database and Jeppesen information may not always agree, and that runway lengths as published may sometimes not take into account new construction outside the airport that has shrunk the runway protection zone.
Boedigheimer said the questions his audience asked indicated a high level of awareness and interest in safety. “I’m always pleased when I’m teaching ‘out to here,’ and the questions being asked are beyond that,” he added. “It tells me the people attending know the subject and want to know more.”
Dr. Tony Kern of Convergent Performance emphasized the importance of helping the industry better overcome incidents resulting from human error. “The largest untapped resource in the aviation world today is the difference between the levels at which we are currently operating and at what we are capable of,” he said. “The gap is not closed by meeting minimum regulatory requirements; it is closed through enhancing professionalism.”
Bombardier has pioneered safety through its standdown program since it was conceived in 1996 as a safety-training event for the company’s Learjet flight demonstration team. The event quickly gained a reputation for excellence beyond Bombardier’s customer base. In response to growing interest, the OEM opened the Safety Standdown to all pilots (corporate, commercial and military) in 1999 and elected to offer the training free to all participants. As of June 2013, more than 5,700 pilots, crewmembers, safety specialists and industry officials have graduated from it.
A number of aeronautical training institutions have endorsed the Safety Standdown for the quality and depth of its content. Among these institutions, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University credits all attendees for their participation.
In connection with the Safety Standdown program, Bombardier is accepting applications for the Eugene Cernan Safety Award, named for the last man to walk on the moon. The recipient of the award will receive a private dinner with Captain Cernan and an Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch,” representing the watch worn by Cernan on the moon. Nominations are being accepted at www.safetystanddown.com, and by e-mail at email@example.com.