Safety Officer Teleconference (10)
• This call was started by Walter Kraujalis and dedicated to discussing the sad and unfortunate fatal business aviation accident occur since the last call two weeks ago, specifically the Gulfstream IV crash in the Boston area Bedford airport on Saturday, May 31. Three crewmembers and four passengers died in the crash. We all hold out our thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families.
o The purpose of discussing this event is not to try to figure out what happened. It will take an investigation to figure that out. Rather, I wish to discuss it from the standpoint that since the accident did occur, for those of us in the business of, or with responsibilities in aviation safety, what are we to do or think about this accident, if anything at all? Do we do nothing until the full NTSB report comes out? Or do we take some sort of action?
• Dave said that in response to the accident, their flight department took the opportunity to review what items they brief for takeoff and approach briefing. We have some new pilots. We don’t want to let the briefing get stale by saying “standard briefing”. We looked at the books again. We reviewed our callouts.
• Sam said that if we get too involved too early, we are only speculating. We don’t want some sort of knee-jerk reaction.
• Rick said they don’t operate a G-IV, but their owners asked our opinion as to what happened with the Bedford crash. We told them that it was too early to say exactly what happened, but that they too took the opportunity to review their takeoff briefings.
• Another caller mentioned that there has been mention of control issues reported by the crew.
• Dave mentioned that he was actually flying to Bedford today and they he fully expects one of the passengers to ask about the accident. He was interested in hearing what other safety officers were going to say on this call. He also mentioned that he had a relatively new copilot with him today and that he was going to talk to him specifically. To boost his confidence.
• Earl mentioned that in their ERP, they specifically do not speculate as to what happened. What happened in Bedford has not reach a conclusion yet. Sure, we shouldn’t be complacent, we should never get complacent. But it is important to not throw rocks.
• Rick mentioned that they had an event happen in their hangar. They ultimately performed a full root cause analysis. Before a root cause analysis, everything is just speculation. To change anything now is premature.
• Bob mentioned the book the Naked Pilot, about human factors for pilots. In the book, it says that generally the aircraft are reliable. Most accidents are a result of human error. Though it may be common to react by blaming the pilots, it is wrong. We could be chasing every speculation.
• Walter Kraujalis mentioned again that we are not trying to second-guess the pilots or anything that might have happened. I thought it might be worth talking among safety officers, that in light of there being an accident in our industry, what do we do? Nothing? Wait for the NTSB report? Or take some sort of action, and if so, what kind of action?
• Rick mentioned that maybe an EMAS system at the end of that runway would have changed things. It appears the ILS antennae system was a problem too.
• Another caller said that airfield operations should be working on this. I guess for Bedford it is a matter of how much it costs to install EMAS and how many bizav ops there are.
• Walter Kraujalis then tried to summarize how the discussion has gone so far. That we would tell our principals that it is too early to say what caused the accident. That we are on top of it, staying in touch with any news from the NTSB, the FAA, the OEM. When any news is released as to cause, we will act upon it. In the mean time, we have taken the measures to review our procedures that might be related to the accident including our review of takeoff procedures and looking at what runways have EMAS systems. Is that what I’m hearing from everyone generally?
• Mike said that he agreed, but they included paying some attention to passenger habits. To make sure the passenger’s seat belts are secure and using their shoulder harnesses.
• Dave mentioned that was a good point. To refresh passenger briefs. We don’t use cabin attendants, so it is important that the passengers properly prepare the cabin for takeoff and landing.
• Eric asked whether anyone provided safety training specifically to their key passengers.
• Rick said that they made a video themselves that the passengers could watch.
• Someone asked how they determined what should be covered in the video.
• Rick responded that they put a committee together to discuss and decide that.
• Wanda mentioned that any passenger that is new to their cabin attendant, ie they have not met them before, they give them a complete briefing that includes sterile cockpit, evacuation, everything.
• Walter Kraujalis again mentioned that our condolences go out to the families involved with the accident.
• That concluded the call. It was 30 minutes in length. Next call is Tuesday, June 24th, at 11:30am Eastern time. Thank you for your participation. Please let other Safety Officers know of the opportunity to join the call or to access these meeting notes.
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