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Entries for January 2014

Safety’s Hazard
By Scott Skola

Safety and helicopter maintenance have had a long – and interesting – relationship.  During the past two decades, safety has played an ever-increasing role and is now one of the primary influences on each and every task mechanics perform.

But can too much initiative in the name of safety have a more negative than positive effect in a maintenance environment?  Can safety actually become a hazard? 

"What you talk’n bout, Willis?”

No, this is not about removing basic safety procedures, nor regressing to the old days of bathing in MEK, or working 48 hours straight to change an S-76 transmission.  This topic focuses on the current shift to apply abstract safety initiatives directly into aircraft maintenance procedures. 

TAKE 5! A new idea
By Ian Robinson

CRM, ADM, BLA, BLA, BLA: What do they really mean? Lets get specific, look at ourselves, and discover if we are accident-prone.

Safety Introspection

We all work in inherently dangerous environments. Will you take a five-minute journey into self-discovery? If 65-80% of all aviation accidents are related to human error, let’s attack the statistics - We can learn from others.

My 2 Cents (December 2013)

Randy Mains

Six years after his historic flight, Orville Wright lost a friend in an aircraft accident.  He lamented, “What is needed is better judgment, rather than better skill.” 

    It’s been proven, whether flying single pilot or multi-crew, that faulty decision-making has caused far more aviation accidents than poor flying ability. 

    An element of crew resource management (CRM) examines nine hazardous attitudes and behaviors that can impede good judgement and decision-making. By identifying these behaviors and applying the anecdote to counteract them, you can break a vital link in the error chain and avoid having an incident or accident.

In its quest to bring the global helicopter accident rate to zero, the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) has analyzed more than 1,000 U.S. civil helicopter accidents and their causes. Having done so, the IHST’s investigators have come to two clear conclusions: (1) Helicopter accidents are ultimately caused by incorrect human decisions, and (2) the evidence shows that reducing the accident rate to zero is actually possible.

“After going through the NTSB investigations in detail, one thing has become obvious: No one has invented a new way to crash a helicopter,” says Matt Zuccaro, IHST co-chair and president of Helicopter Association International. “The reasons helicopters crashed ten years ago remain the same today, and all of their causes can be traced back to the people who flew, serviced, or managed the helicopters.”

One of the buzzwords used on TV by the politicians and talking heads is the word “paradigm.”  In fact, using the word in a sentence over a beer with buddies may cause their impression of your IQ to go up a couple points.  We commonly hear the pundits say things like, “It’s the new paradigm” or “The paradigm has shifted.”

Looking closer at the word paradigm, we see it means “a pattern of something; a model.”

Paradigm Aerospace Corporation (PAC) has been in the helicopter business since 1976.  Given their longstanding reputation as a “model” for quality, having the word paradigm as part of their name nearly four decades later almost seems prophetic.

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