Safety Standdown Delivers Knowledge That Saves Lives

 - September 16, 2013, 1:45 PM
Human-factors expert Dr. Tony Kern will give a presentation on the Zoology of Safety at this year’s Bombardier Safety Standdown, which begins September 30.

Bombardier’s annual Safety Standdown, organized by the manufacturer’s business aviation flight operations team, begins in Wichita on September 30. The standdown is designed to foster a safety culture through better communication. Military aviation uses the standdown concept–essentially grounding a particular squadron or fleet–when a significant high-risk safety issue emerges.

Standdown time focuses all eyes on the problem, as well as the solution. In the workshops, for example, attendees don’t simply talk about what a water crash might look like; they practice underwater egress training in a swimming pool. The AirCare Facts full-motion emergency simulator will also be on-site to demonstrate practical smoke and firefighting techniques.

This month’s event comprises four days of talks and workshops and, as always, is offered at no cost to attendees. The standdown regularly attracts pilots from every corner of the industry: civil, military, airline and government flying. “This year we expect quite a few business aviation pilots, but also crews from all branches of the U.S. military, the FBI, the FAA, the NTSB and Transport Canada,” a Bombardier spokesman told AIN.

Human-factors expert Dr. Tony Kern will give a presentation on the “zoology of safety” at this year’s event. This is a look at how man’s survival hinges on the same two forces that affect survival in the rest of the natural world: awareness and adaptation. “Tony Kern’s session will be a real experience,” said the spokesman.

The event started in 1996 as an internal safety review and improvement process for the Bombardier Learjet flight demonstration team. Three years later the company opened it up to other pilots, and since then more than 6,700 aviators worldwide have attended.