Safety Expert: Bizav Accidents Could Quadruple by 2021
Human-factors expert Dr. Tony Kern predicts that the business aviation accident rate “will go up 400 percent over the next 10 years” without significant upgrades to pilot training. Kern, a former B-1B bomber instructor pilot, made his remarks this week at Bombardier’s 15th annual Safety Standdown in Wichita. He said a perfect safety storm looms for a variety of reasons, including the failure of human-factors training to keep pace with advances in aviation technology, a new generation of pilots coming on line with “differing values with regard to entitlement and compliance” and “poaching” of experienced business aviation pilots and maintenance technicians by the airlines. “We’ve been drinking from the same human-factors training pool for 30 years,” Kern said. While he praised the proliferation of safety management systems (SMS), he said their adaptation absent a correlating change in a flight department’s culture could do more harm than good. “Habits are better than rules,” Kern said. This year’s Standdown attracted 468 attendees, who heard from a wide variety of experts, including three current members of the NTSB. Bonus audiocast: AIN spoke with Kern at the NBAA Convention earlier this month about professionalism in aviation.