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Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« on: December 14, 2006, 08:00:55 AM »

The Key to Safety is Personal Responsibility and Common Sense

I believe that the key to safety is that every person first insure that are safe.  we have an excellent system in place, CAP Safety issues are among the finest such programs I have ever seen.

However, there are time when we have to live beyond even that standard.  How many of us have let little things pass.  A tire on an aircraft that looks wrong to us...yet we went up any way because the PIC has flown since Orville and Wilbur?  Cadets asked to remove Chalks while an aircraft's prop is going because someone dropped tha ball?  Firing up the engine and driving off with persons unseat-belted?

It is the little things...and by that I do mean not the badges and uniform little things...that effect safety.

Solving such problems begins with ourselves, understanding that safety programs and procedures are not there "to annoy us" or "make things difficult," but rather to prevent disaster.

Then, this vigilance, coupled with our every watchful falcon's eye of our brother and sister officers; will insure safety in all that we can control.

Pilots fled from our units like rats off the Titanic when 60-1 was changed a few years back.  The sudden idea that they could no longer be lax and were now more accountable (which I have always felt was a give in being a PIC).  Why was that?  Was it that a new "culture" was being created that might challenge the idea that CAP is a "FLYING CLUB" instead of a professional organization of trained VOLUNTEERS in service of their nation's Air Force?  Who could say?  Who would dare say?

Agree or disagree...
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
Psicorp
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 605

« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 03:08:48 PM »

Sir, that's pretty much what I harp on discuss during safety meetings, the concept that your safety is your responsibility. 

With aircrew the one thing we do see a lot of is deverence paid towards more experienced members without vocalizing "is that supposed to be like that?".  I think that's why the risk of crashing goes up exponentially in direct correlation with  the number of CFI's on board.

Another issue I see/hear a lot is the "that won't/can't happen to me" syndrome.  Everyone likes to think of themselves as being better than average and forgetting that major mistakes happen to people who are aren't any less or any more intelligent/experienced than the average person.  That means that an incident we may scoff at as being incredibly stupid CAN happen to us when we let our vigilence slip or catch "hurry-up-itis".

Regarding the "Flying Club" mentality, my Squadron and Group commanders are hyper-sensitive on how our aircraft are treated.  They are not rental cars that you just hop in, go, and abuse.  I think if every aircrew member and trainee had to spend some time per month/quarter washing, cleaning, and inspecting CAP aircraft it would go a long way towards building not only pride in the aircraft and in what we're doing, but also more of an awareness of the little details that could get us later on (chipped prop, loose screw, tire condition, etc.).  The same applies to CAP automobiles, when was the last time someone other than the driver washed it?  When was the last time the seatbelts way in the back of a 15 pax van were inspected?
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Jamie Kahler, Capt., CAP
(C/Lt Col, ret.)
CC
GLR-MI-257
ELTHunter
Seasoned Member

Posts: 346
Unit: SER-TN-170

« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 03:43:44 PM »

I work for a metals manufacturing company that had an injury rate of 16 back in the mid 1990's.  The common acceptance was that we were in a dangerous industry and accidents would happen.  The company was sold/purchased in 1997 and the new President set a goal to be a VPP (Voluntary Protection Program) site by 2000.  A VPP site is fairly rare in the country as a whole, and our's was only the 14th or 16th in Tennessee when we achieved the milestone in 2000.  Today, we have an injury rating that is around 1, and it has been over 1464 days since we had a lost time accident.

To get VPP acceptance, it took a major culture change.  Every employee had to accept responsibility for his safety and the safety of co-workers.  Employees had to become comfortable with not only pointing out to someone else when they saw them performing an unsafe act, but also had to become open and accepting when someone pointed out that they were doing something unsafe, it was for their own good, not to embarrass them or something.

It also took everyone accepting and internalizing the concept that ALL accidents are preventable, and that a zero accident goal IS possible, no matter what the environment.

I have done presentations in our safety meetings that compared the CAP ORM program with our safety program.  They are very similar.  The main difference I see in CAP is that we have members from all different occupations, backgrounds and safety cultures and we are trying to indoctrinate them into a fairly demanding safety program in one meeting a week and possibly one activity or so a month.

I think CAP does reasonably well in the safety arena, especially considering the barriers that we have to work around.

That being said.  We still have members do stupid things like taxi into objects on the ground.  In the real AF, aren't those types of incidents the kiss of death for a pilot?  From what I have observed, we don't hold pilots accountable enough for those types of accidents.  We still have room for improvement.
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Maj. Tim Waddell, CAP
SER-TN-170
Deputy Commander of Cadets
Emergency Services Officer
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 06:26:49 PM »


With aircrew the one thing we do see a lot of is deverence paid towards more experienced members without vocalizing "is that supposed to be like that?".  I think that's why the risk of crashing goes up exponentially in direct correlation with  the number of CFI's on board.

Another issue I see/hear a lot is the "that won't/can't happen to me" syndrome.  Everyone likes to think of themselves as being better than average and forgetting that major mistakes happen to people who are aren't any less or any more intelligent/experienced than the average person.  That means that an incident we may scoff at as being incredibly stupid CAN happen to us when we let our vigilence slip or catch "hurry-up-itis".

We cannot afford to allow too much "comfort,"  turning a blind eye to something because we might be, either aware of it or not, vainglorious in our view of our abilities.  I am reminded of the hubris that comes down on a man when he finishes the sayings..."what could possibly fo wrong?"

I agree totally with your words.
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 06:32:11 PM »

ELThunter,

One time I took notice of what I felt was a safety violation and how some Paperwork was done...when I told the then aviator about it his response was "don't be a kid about this stuff!"

That is the attitude I feel is dangerous.  That time when people are running things "off the cuff."  I think there needs to be nothing but professionalism in dealing with these sorts ofthings. We're talking about people's lives or dismemberment here, to tell some one "don't be a kid" when all that person wants is to see it that it happnes correctly and safely is folley.



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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
ELTHunter
Seasoned Member

Posts: 346
Unit: SER-TN-170

« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 10:21:13 PM »

ELThunter,

One time I took notice of what I felt was a safety violation and how some Paperwork was done...when I told the then aviator about it his response was "don't be a kid about this stuff!"

That is the attitude I feel is dangerous.  That time when people are running things "off the cuff."  I think there needs to be nothing but professionalism in dealing with these sorts ofthings. We're talking about people's lives or dismemberment here, to tell some one "don't be a kid" when all that person wants is to see it that it happnes correctly and safely is folley.





Totally agree.
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Maj. Tim Waddell, CAP
SER-TN-170
Deputy Commander of Cadets
Emergency Services Officer
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 12:09:45 AM »

ELThunter,

One time I took notice of what I felt was a safety violation and how some Paperwork was done...when I told the then aviator about it his response was "don't be a kid about this stuff!"

That is the attitude I feel is dangerous.  That time when people are running things "off the cuff."  I think there needs to be nothing but professionalism in dealing with these sorts ofthings. We're talking about people's lives or dismemberment here, to tell some one "don't be a kid" when all that person wants is to see it that it happnes correctly and safely is folley.





Totally agree.

Now...since some feel a need to stir it up in Safety.

What is the best tactful and professional way to deal with such a person as I described?

Many times it is a younger person telling a more experienced one.
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,339

« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 01:12:23 AM »

"Well, Capt Smith. I don't see it as kid stuff. I see as CYA management. Being a pilot, you're familiar with the FAA reporting requirements and the penalties for failing to comply with them. If I fail to comply with the CAP requirements and something bad happens, it's my rear end that'll be without insurance coverage, since you know that the insurance company will look at every way to get out of paying, and I can't afford the bill that I'll get stuck with."
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Psicorp
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 605

« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 01:22:41 AM »

Major,

That kind of attitude stems from a culture of blasť faire, doing what you want so long as no one gets hurt.  To turn that around, a zero tolerance stance needs to be taken.     

I can site a number of examples of this type of thing in my own work experience:

A rule was that truck drivers were to chock their wheels while parked at the dock.  One driver thought this was too much trouble and didn't do it.  The forklift operator inside the truck didn't notice that the truck had rolled forward and backed out of the truck carrying a pallat to the dock.  His horizontal travel was interrupted by the vertical.

An equipment operator was cleaning a machine.  The rule was that all equipment was to be locked and tagged out prior to the covers being removed. The employee thought this was too much trouble, since he was the only one working on the equipment and every so often he'd have to reenergize it to rotate it slightly, then tag/lock it back out.  Someone came around the corner and bumped the start button. 

One employee thought that walking all the way around the train cars took too much time, so he took a shortcut by walking between two seperated cars.  He apparently had done that every day for about a week...until one day...while walking between them, the rail company decided to combine the train sets. 


All the personnel involved had been doing their respective jobs for years without incident, so after a while they started taking shortcuts that went unnoticed.  Unnoticed shortcuts are often viewed by employees as being permissible.   Unfortunately shortcuts put the employee at risk, and what's worse, that attitude is infectious.  Another employee may see the shortcuts being taken and start doing them her/himself.  Now many more people are at risk.   Take this one step further...something happens and it's not just the employee who's hurt, it's the supervisor/manager who's in hot water because she/he allowed the unsafe work environment to exist.

Protect your people, protect yourself..zero tolerance is the only way to go.  First time, write up...second time, suspension...third time, clean out your locker.   Some severe safety violations are a first time and you're gone situation.   Once people realize that you want them to go home with every body part they showed up to work with, they'll actually appreciate it...or they can sit at home.






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Jamie Kahler, Capt., CAP
(C/Lt Col, ret.)
CC
GLR-MI-257
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 02:16:17 AM »

"Well, Capt Smith. I don't see it as kid stuff. I see as CYA management. Being a pilot, you're familiar with the FAA reporting requirements and the penalties for failing to comply with them. If I fail to comply with the CAP requirements and something bad happens, it's my rear end that'll be without insurance coverage, since you know that the insurance company will look at every way to get out of paying, and I can't afford the bill that I'll get stuck with."

This seems to be a good approach in that it forces a persom to look at it from the perspective of "number 1."  A fellow CAP Officer relayed to me that some pilots with mondo hours was going to take them up... a tire looked a bit low an dwhen he poited it out he was treated like a "dork."

I would have grounded the operation.  What good are procedures if one is going to do them ceremonially.
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 02:18:20 AM »

Major,

That kind of attitude stems from a culture of blasť faire, doing what you want so long as no one gets hurt.  To turn that around, a zero tolerance stance needs to be taken.     

I can site a number of examples of this type of thing in my own work experience:

A rule was that truck drivers were to chock their wheels while parked at the dock.  One driver thought this was too much trouble and didn't do it.  The forklift operator inside the truck didn't notice that the truck had rolled forward and backed out of the truck carrying a pallat to the dock.  His horizontal travel was interrupted by the vertical.

An equipment operator was cleaning a machine.  The rule was that all equipment was to be locked and tagged out prior to the covers being removed. The employee thought this was too much trouble, since he was the only one working on the equipment and every so often he'd have to reenergize it to rotate it slightly, then tag/lock it back out.  Someone came around the corner and bumped the start button. 

One employee thought that walking all the way around the train cars took too much time, so he took a shortcut by walking between two seperated cars.  He apparently had done that every day for about a week...until one day...while walking between them, the rail company decided to combine the train sets. 


All the personnel involved had been doing their respective jobs for years without incident, so after a while they started taking shortcuts that went unnoticed.  Unnoticed shortcuts are often viewed by employees as being permissible.   Unfortunately shortcuts put the employee at risk, and what's worse, that attitude is infectious.  Another employee may see the shortcuts being taken and start doing them her/himself.  Now many more people are at risk.   Take this one step further...something happens and it's not just the employee who's hurt, it's the supervisor/manager who's in hot water because she/he allowed the unsafe work environment to exist.

Protect your people, protect yourself..zero tolerance is the only way to go.  First time, write up...second time, suspension...third time, clean out your locker.   Some severe safety violations are a first time and you're gone situation.   Once people realize that you want them to go home with every body part they showed up to work with, they'll actually appreciate it...or they can sit at home.

Thank you, this was very insightful.  This culture you mention is a REALITY in CAP.  Many people seem to think that there are no shortcuts going on...then, BAM!  Someone takes off with little fuel, or hacks someone up with a prop. 

Stories like these are important to post...we can learn from them. 

Why must someone die before people start thinking?
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
Hawk200
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,632

« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2007, 08:42:17 PM »

ELThunter,

One time I took notice of what I felt was a safety violation and how some Paperwork was done...when I told the then aviator about it his response was "don't be a kid about this stuff!"

That is the attitude I feel is dangerous.  That time when people are running things "off the cuff."  I think there needs to be nothing but professionalism in dealing with these sorts ofthings. We're talking about people's lives or dismemberment here, to tell some one "don't be a kid" when all that person wants is to see it that it happnes correctly and safely is folley.

You can easily take your own safety into your hands here. Don't fly with that person. If you don't fly, someone else won't either. Peer pressure can be used positively, just as easily negatively occurs. Besides, is it worth your life if they're wrong?

You tell your CO that you don't feel safe flying with someone because something looks unsafe, it won't take long for something to get fixed. And every month that goes by without meeting the approximate hour quota will expedite repair of things by the commander. The CO never wants to lose a plane.
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Major_Chuck
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 554

« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2007, 02:43:51 PM »

Depends upon the situation.  If you can get the message across diplomatically and not offend the person that their actions are unsafe it is usually the best bet.

However, there are times that you have to be blunt and tell them that they are 'unsafe' and you won't fly, ride, or work with them. 

Safety First starts with you.  I'm not willing to risk my life with a pilot, driver, or ground team leader/member that is unsafe.

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Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2007, 06:09:53 PM »

Depends upon the situation.  If you can get the message across diplomatically and not offend the person that their actions are unsafe it is usually the best bet.

However, there are times that you have to be blunt and tell them that they are 'unsafe' and you won't fly, ride, or work with them. 

Safety First starts with you.  I'm not willing to risk my life with a pilot, driver, or ground team leader/member that is unsafe.



Agreed...sometimes one has to be blunt and it is a difficult thing to do.  Most times non-pilot aircrewmen are so in awe of the situation that they are not truly comfortable pointing things out to more experienced aviators.  It is that sort of thing that allows horrible accidents, those that happen for small reasons that should have been addressed, to occur.
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
Major_Chuck
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 554

« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2007, 12:25:30 AM »

Some have no problem with being blunt and often they offend someone when they don't mean to be. 

Tough call to make when you are dealing with peoples personality quirks.  Some will be too thin skinned and get all in an uproar, others will shrug it off.  Some will harbor a grudge.

Tough indeed.
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Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
ZigZag911
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,986

« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2007, 04:46:10 AM »

  A fellow CAP Officer relayed to me that some pilots with mondo hours was going to take them up... a tire looked a bit low an dwhen he poited it out he was treated like a "dork."

I would have grounded the operation.  What good are procedures if one is going to do them ceremonially.

As would I, those 'mondo time' pilots should have thanked the other fellow for noticing the hazard!

A relatively tactful approach (and honest too!) is to phrase in terms of your concern for their well being.

When I've received an overly macho response to that approach, I go on to mention that I'd really rather not be calling their emergency contact person with news of their injury....or worse....

That tends to get people to focus!
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Donald
Guest
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2007, 12:59:44 AM »

Maintenance and transportation officer. Topic 15 passenger vans. I would like to comment on this topic due to our squadron has a 15 passenger van which has been targeted by the federal and state as very dangerous due to roll overs. In short it states that with 15 passengers or more the roll over rate is 70%. If the van has only 9 passengers the roll over rate is 28%. I have suggested to our squadron commander to remove the last two seats behind the rear wheels to eliminate the high roll over rate with 15 passengers. So  behind the driver and co-passenger three seats making the van hold driver and co-driver with 9 passengers. This is still over the 9 personnel rate of 9 in the van. The only thing it eliminates the possible weight behind the rear wheels. This weight could be three to a seat at 100 lbs of cadets times 2 making 600 lbs behind the rear wheels. If the weight is 2 feet starting behind the rear wheels the weight is 1200 lbs. Taking a corner in bad weather can make this weight a pendulum of one 1/4 of the van weight making it come around at any speed above 30 mph. I feel that all Cap squadrons in the areas which operate in weather where snow or ice or mountain areas should not operate a van rated for 15 passengers even 9 passengers that are not rated with 4 wheel drive and under 8 passengers. Note the insurance has insured the 15 passenger van as 12 passenger which doesn't match the van ID and this will let out the insurance company if there is a accident and make CAP lib.
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