The European Cockpit Association (ECA) has called for “intense scrutiny” of the air transport industry’s assessment of risks and the principles of flying over conflict zones in the wake of the July 17 loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Aviation data provider Argus has highlighted deficiencies in safety management system audits in its latest Prism analysis of some SMS audit results from both private and commercial flight operations. Each audit looked for evidence of effective and efficient operations, as well as best SMS practices in line with ISBAO or FAA AC 120-92A standards. The report was created to highlight recurring deficiencies in those SMS audits.
The Squadron’s new iFrat flight risk assessment tool for the iPad uses a color-coded risk scale and breaks down flights into five elements: planning, environment, assets, communications and event. Pilots record an assessment of each element, based on their flight experience and knowledge; iFrat then generates a simple pictorial report exportable via email. New FAA rules require helicopter EMS pilots to conduct a risk assessment before each flight.
Internal evaluation programs and safety training account for a majority of the deficiencies highlighted in the 2013 audit report from Argus International based on its involvement with customers’ implementation of safety management systems (SMS) and their day-to-day operations. All aspects of the flight operation are reviewed during each audit, including the organization’s safety management system. The report is a summary of audit results and how they compare with the Argus Platinum and IS-BAO standards.
The Flight Operations Risk Assessment System (Foras) was created to quantitatively assess aviation risk factors with more than simple accident rates. As highlighted in the Flight Safety Foundation’s November 2013 AeroSafety World publication, the system breaks down risks into ever smaller elements to simplify analysis.
JDA Solutions last week announced its SafeAssure safety risk assessment (SRA) program designed to produce complete documentation of the SRA screening of airport projects. The new tool provides a proven method of identifying, analyzing and mitigating risks that might ultimately become apparent in a client’s safety performance. The SafeAssure program encompasses the five-step safety risk management requirements outlined in FAA Orders 8000.369 and 5200.11.
Although the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) believes the FAA has made progress on safety issues, it says the agency must expand and enhance the reliability of its key data sources. A DOT report issued last week says, for example, that the FAA faces challenges with establishing an effective risk-based oversight system for repair stations and aircraft manufacturers.
Helicopter EMS provider Air Evac Lifeteam has entered the third level of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) voluntary pilot project. Air Evac has 110 bases in 15 states and has been enrolled in the pilot project since February 2010. Dave Hardin, Air Evac’s director of safety, characterizes the company’s participation in the pilot project as a “challenging, but beneficial, process in the interest of safety.” Air Evac is only the third Part 135 operator to progress beyond Level 2, according to the FAA.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) has expanded its library of safety tools with 11 new documents for pilots, mechanics and operators. The tool kits and safety leaflets focus on four primary areas the team believes will help reduce helicopter accidents. These include safety management, training, maintenance and equipment/technology.
Flight risk assessment tools (FRATs) could help alleviate a common human-factors conundrum.
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