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The Squadron announces the release of the iFRAT, a stand-alone flight risk assessment tool for use on iPads, designed around the pilot who uses it.
“Time and again pilots and flight crews tell us that they think their risk assessments are horribly generic and provide little operational value. Conventional FRATs don’t permit the pilot a rapid and simple means to address their personal concerns about what they actually expect to encounter on their daily flights, ” says Dan Deutermann, Managing Director of The Squadron and a highly experienced helicopter pilot. “We listened, we researched, we tested some new models – and we are pleased to introduce the “iFRAT.”
Rick Christoffersen, The Squadron’s Director of Safety takes up the baton. “We knew we had to put the pilot in control of the process, and get them engaged in that process – that is how you make a risk assessment effective and meaningful.”
The iFRAT approach is quite different from other technology based risk assessment tools. The first thing you notice is the color slider that the pilot uses to convey their assessment of the risk, progressing from green, through amber and finally red. “We’re visual creatures, and the association of color to risk is ingrained in us early on, which makes the iFRAT assessment process very natural to the user” explains Christoffersen.
iFRAT breaks a flight down into 5 distinct elements: Planning, Environment, Assets, Communications and Event, referred to as the PEACE Model. The pilot records an assessment of each element, based on their flight experience and knowledge, and may be assisted by descriptors known as “Quick Texts”. These Quick Texts (QTs) are designed to jog the brain and get pilots thinking about the types and degrees of risk that can be encountered. They are selected with a single touch, and color-coded Green, Amber or Red, simply as a guide for the user. Only relevant QTs appear, depending on the flight profile selected by the pilot in the settings, for example, a night flight in a helicopter presents different potential hazards & risk factors than a day VMC flight in a fixed wing. In case some less common risk factors are identified, or if the pilot wants to capture more details, each element includes space to add additional notes.
Ultimately, the iFRAT generates a simple pictorial report exportable via email. The recipient, be it a family member, instructor, the safety officer, or even a Director of Operations, can instantly have your assessment in their hands so they understand it and can help if needed.
Whether you are a flight student on your way towards that first solo in a Cessna 172 or a crew performing a SAR mission on NVG’s in a large multi-engine helicopter, the iFRAT will kick start your aeronautical decision making process. Regardless of the experience level entering the cockpit, the simplicity of this tool will greatly assist the user in deciphering whether the risk is worth the gain.
Learn more by visiting www.the-squadron.com/ifrat
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