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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Safety  |  Topic: Should the Safety Beacon be scaled back or discontinued?
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Author Topic: Should the Safety Beacon be scaled back or discontinued?  (Read 14777 times)
Live2Learn
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Posts: 645

« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2015, 04:06:30 PM »

We need these kinds of summaries to help illustrate that the problems and circumstances we face in one part of the country (as it pertains to aircraft and ground ops) may not be unique and that things can bite us when we least expect it.

Agree.  For example, some years ago I learned the "correct way" to check for fouled controls during my initial flight instruction.  Turns out it was not an effective technique for detecting control fouling.  After reading some NTSB reports of fatal accidents involving rigging and controls, talking with persons knowledgeable about those accidents, and several conversations with some very experienced pilots I revised my control check procedure... About two years ago the experience of others paid off when I caught a potential fouling problem during a pre-takeoff check.  I've picked up other useful checks from reading accident reports and safety articles, and from talking with other experienced pilots.  Several years ago an AI friend mentioned he'd found a loose horizontal stabilizer on a plane he'd just landed.  His boss took him out and showed him the up and down movement in the air foil that the AI missed in his pre-flight.  In 2011 I checked the horizontal stabilizers on a CAP 182 during my pre-flight and found substantial oil canning on one.  It turns out that someone had made a practice of moving the plane into its parking spot by pushing down on the tail - and in the process pulled TWELVE rivets through the 2nd and 3rd ribs on the left HZ. 

We learn from our experiences, but it's a far better strategy to learn from the experiences of others.  Better to avoid the pain and cost of our own personalized mishap, doncha think?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 04:15:14 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
SarDragon
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« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2015, 12:42:10 AM »

When I was in the Navy, I perused their safety magazine, Approach, every month. Over my career, it helped me avoid some safety issues that I might not have otherwise known about. I also passed these bits on to others.

I think the Beacon has merit, but the suggested change, to incorporate more BTDT articles, would improve both its quality and readership interest.
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Dave Bowles
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lordmonar
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« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2015, 01:17:22 AM »

When I was in the Navy, I perused their safety magazine, Approach, every month. Over my career, it helped me avoid some safety issues that I might not have otherwise known about. I also passed these bits on to others.

I think the Beacon has merit, but the suggested change, to incorporate more BTDT articles, would improve both its quality and readership interest.
Most USAF safety magazines were like that too.   But then there was an incentive for people involved in safety incidents to write up their BTDT stories and get them published.  OPR and EPR fodder.

Without a steady stream of publication ready articles....you are just not going to get that quality out of CAP.

Having said that though.....we can still go the USPA route and do a factual break down of the incidents with maybe a paragraph's worth of safety recommendations.

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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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SarDragon
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« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2015, 04:39:35 AM »

When I was in the Navy, I perused their safety magazine, Approach, every month. Over my career, it helped me avoid some safety issues that I might not have otherwise known about. I also passed these bits on to others.

I think the Beacon has merit, but the suggested change, to incorporate more BTDT articles, would improve both its quality and readership interest.
Most USAF safety magazines were like that too.   But then there was an incentive for people involved in safety incidents to write up their BTDT stories and get them published.  OPR and EPR fodder.

Without a steady stream of publication ready articles....you are just not going to get that quality out of CAP.

Having said that though.....we can still go the USPA route and do a factual break down of the incidents with maybe a paragraph's worth of safety recommendations.


Exactly!
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Dave Bowles
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MovingOnToOtherThings
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« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2015, 10:04:41 AM »

After reading this thread several times and several other safety related threads I have to think about my approach and feedback for myself.

I have been on both sides of the table when it comes to inspections. I have had my Policies, Programs, and Systems torn apart, questioned, and even once told I was flat out wrong. This is not an easy thing to sit through or accept. I have also been the Inspector on the other side of the table giving feedback to facility leaders and other EHS Managers. From the regulatory side most of the information is pretty cut and dry, from the cultural perspective.....not so much.

CAP just like many other organizations have policies and procedures that seem contrary to "common sense" (I do not like this term), and it just doesn't seem to fit the bill for what we perceive as what needs to be done. This is in regards to training, inspections, validation, and the like. However: most of this is more than likely driven with the intent of going overboard in some areas because of someone's mistake or accident. We also have to look beyond the surface of what we see and think is the reasoning they do what they do, but to be honest we REALLY don't know that much. Even for the Volunteer members that are part of the National Safety Team and others at NHQ, I am sure they receive their direction from someone appointed over them. The system we have is not going to fit 100% of every scenario or be accepted by 100% of our members. Overall I think it does a pretty good job.

In the last several months CAP has shown that they are looking at the Safety program by doing an Internal GAP Analysis and focusing on the FAA program as described. I had the chance to read over the program while I was on vacation and found it to be a comprehensive approach that will help move our system forward. It will not alleviate every perceived risk that we have, but it seems like a good place to start. I have seen the same approach from other industries that are difficult to define, build, and narrow down. Even OSHA takes 8-10 years to update a Safety Standard. Perhaps our individualized opinions are based on single input and do not have to be vetted by so many different levels both inside and outside CAP.

My region commander and I had a great conversation (Col Bedgod) about the state of the Safety program over a year ago. He recommended me for the National Safety Team and I was appointed shortly after that. During my conversation with him I voiced part of my thoughts and concerns about the "State of Safety". One of the things he told me as we were talking was the difference between Safety Evolution and Safety Revolution. Out of all of the CAP Safety related conversations I have had in 14 years in CAP, that was probably one of the best discussions I have had the pleasure to be part of.

Perhaps we have to work within the context of what it is, we like CAP cannot make everyone happy, but we can try our best to keep them safe.

Hats off to the National Safety Team and their push to move forward
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LTCinSWR
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« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2015, 11:52:09 AM »

I believe the Safety Beacon should be continued for two reasons: generational behavior and learning methods.

The demographic of many of our pilots come from a day when magazines were a preferred method of delivering a focused message. Habits die hard, and even with modern technology, using an 'e-zine' (I know, that term seems archaic as well) is the best way to approach some people.

Secondly, using adult education (andragogy) theory, this appeals to the visual learner, as opposed to the kinetic and auditory. Most pilots are kinetic - visual by nature, so giving them the visual gives them something to consider which they reinforce and enhance by kinetic follow-up.

There is no sense in pulling a tool out of the tool box without having a better tool to replace it.
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Oklahoma Wing
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2015, 12:06:22 PM »

The Safety Beacon is still relevant; however it needs to be "upgraded" in my opinion.

Each military branch has its own monthly safety publication (I know the Navy and Air Force do).

The following is a selection of sources from each branch that I frequent:


Air Force: Combat Edge Magazine
Army: Knowledge Magazine
Navy & Marines: Approach Magazine

What do all of these have in common? They all have relevant topics and stories that teach valuable safety knowledge. I understand that Civil Air Patrol is not the military, however CAP could revamp the current Safety Beacon and turn it into a very relevant document.

A month ago, an article was posted on "Pilot's personal minimums." That is one of the first articles I have seen in the beacon in a long time that taught something relevant, useful, and will prevent somebody from making an error that could kill. Articles of this calibre need to be authored more frequently.

We are all professionals. If we are going to commit ourselves to executing our missions successfully and safety, we need a safety publication that meets that high standard. The Safety Beacon as an idea is still very relevant. I believe that it needs to be taken to the next level.


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rsuncloud
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« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2015, 08:59:36 AM »

I read a lot of great suggestions and people saying someone else should do this or someone should do that.

How about YOU write something interesting, provocative, educational and send it to National or present it at your next meeting
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 645

« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2015, 12:56:03 AM »


During my conversation with him I voiced part of my thoughts and concerns about the "State of Safety". One of the things he told me as we were talking was the difference between Safety Evolution and Safety Revolution. 

Perhaps we have to work within the context of what it is, we like CAP cannot make everyone happy, but we can try our best to keep them safe.

Hats off to the National Safety Team and their push to move forward

It'll be interesting to see how the safety program evolves.  The Safety Program is creature of a large bureaucracy so doubt"revolution" is a term likely to be more than unrealistic rhetoric.

There's abundant research and reams of data to support four and five point harnesses in aircraft, and even helmets for aircrew in some circumstances.  Our prior Wing Commander said he'd retrofit the older aircraft with four point harnesses.  New commander, new direction, and it doesn't look likely to happen.  Helmets are really a good idea if we're flying over broken, inhospitable terrain.  It would be a nice evolutionary step to allow members to wear 'em...  but they're not mentioned in 39-1, even in passing.  For several years the NTSB has listed engine failure as second most frequent "defining event" for aircraft accidents.  In September 2013 my Wing had three (3!!!) engine failures within a 24 hour period.  I heard rumors that other CAP wings in the Region were likewise enjoying a spate of engine problems.  I'm really surprised that no report addressing engine problems, maintenance, etc. hasn't been shared with aircrews and custodial squadrons.  Yet, we have several pages of direction in the national safety regs that describe in excruciating detail the type of reflective vests we must provide, and when/where they must be worn.  Maybe it's because the operations side (aircraft, anyhow) are their own fiefdom where Safety Officers (even at the National level) fear to tread.  At the moment I'm more than a bit skeptical that CAP is capable of having a meaningful, risk driven safety program.  I still hear slogans as the norm, rather than thoughtful assessments of risk, benefit, and mitigation.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2015, 04:26:55 PM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?
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TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 1,395

« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2015, 04:31:14 PM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?

Not sure about actual statistical date, but I think it would be common sense to believe a helmet would decrease your chances of a head injury in the event of an accident. But in a 182, that's a very obnoxious thing to be wearing in that small proximity.

Risk Mitigation vs. Feasibility and Cost
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Live2Learn
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Posts: 645

« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2015, 06:59:03 PM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?

There are other studies out there that the one listed below.  But this one is recent and on point.  Something to consider is the time we (search pilots and aircrew) have at our search altitude to brace for a crash if the engine hiccups or quits.  Basically, what is in front of us is what we'll hit.  In addition to SAR, we do SEL night and IMC flights, often over unlighted and inhospitable terrain.  A helmet in those circumstances will boost survival odds, perhaps by that small but critical margin.  Partial power loss is not all that uncommon in piston aircraft, nor are total engine failures.  FWIW, the NTSB lists engine issues as the second most prevalent "defining event" for GA aircraft accidents and fatalities.  While CAP might (????) be a bit better than the average for all GA, we don't have any silver bullets in our gun.  How many of us fly with our seat belts and shoulder harnesses tightened to 'crash' tensions?  Not many.  I can't reach the fuel shutoff or trim controls if my shoulder harness is really tight.  AND it's not very comfortable to be all bound up for extended periods of time. 

Do a google.com search on: 

Fatal and Serious Injury Accidents in Alaska: A Retrospective of the years 2004 through 2009 with Special Emphasis on Post Crash survival

By

Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety
Alaskan Region

December 2010

« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 07:09:23 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
THRAWN
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Posts: 1,873

« Reply #52 on: August 13, 2015, 08:42:54 AM »

This comes up from time to time. There have been big advances in the materials and design of helmets that are specifically designed for GA. Organic headsets, lighter materials, increased protection...all good things to prevent head injuries. The down side is the cost. Basic models cost about a grand. You also have to take into consideration that the materials don't last forever, so there is a certification period that needs to be remembered. I've always been kind of an advocate for helmets, in the air, on the bike, when you need it you'll wish you had it.
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Strup
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 645

« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2015, 10:33:48 AM »

It would be really helpful if CAP would negotiate some price discounts with helmet retail or wholesale sellers.  Gentex helmets are used by a lot of crop dusters, but they are worth more than their weight in gold.  Alpha Eagle is likewise a bit pricey, and also heavy.  Some of the LSA helmets are lighter (probably very adequate for the energy dissipation needs in light, SE piston aircraft) and less spendy.  I've talked with some suppliers who say they might offer a 10% discount if multiple units were purchased. 

Awhile back I asked the National Commander to evaluate four and five point harness retrofits of our older aircraft, and to evaluate helmets as an OPTIONAL piece of PPE.  As might be expected, I heard nothing back, not even acknowledgement of my question and request.  Since then some concession was made by the outgoing Wing Commander to allow helmets as a personal option.  As I mentioned, the previous Wing commander said he'd put retrofitted harnesses "in the budget".  What goes in the budget is just as easily dropped.  I think the absence of a coherent policy on aircrew PPE comes back to the CAP Safety Program.  Is "safety" really a priority for CAP, or is it just another check the box function.  Regretfully, the later appears by word and deed to be the real motivation for the Safety Program.
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A.Member
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« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2015, 10:49:48 AM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?
Seriously?!

Start by making the case that this is something even worth discussing, then we can go from there.  You'll have a difficult time convincing me and I'm guessing nearly all pilots that this is a problem in need of a solution.

That said, this is well off topic.
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 1,395

« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2015, 10:59:27 AM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?

There are other studies out there that the one listed below.  But this one is recent and on point.  Something to consider is the time we (search pilots and aircrew) have at our search altitude to brace for a crash if the engine hiccups or quits.  Basically, what is in front of us is what we'll hit.  In addition to SAR, we do SEL night and IMC flights, often over unlighted and inhospitable terrain.  A helmet in those circumstances will boost survival odds, perhaps by that small but critical margin.  Partial power loss is not all that uncommon in piston aircraft, nor are total engine failures.  FWIW, the NTSB lists engine issues as the second most prevalent "defining event" for GA aircraft accidents and fatalities.  While CAP might (????) be a bit better than the average for all GA, we don't have any silver bullets in our gun.  How many of us fly with our seat belts and shoulder harnesses tightened to 'crash' tensions?  Not many.  I can't reach the fuel shutoff or trim controls if my shoulder harness is really tight.  AND it's not very comfortable to be all bound up for extended periods of time. 

Do a google.com search on: 

Fatal and Serious Injury Accidents in Alaska: A Retrospective of the years 2004 through 2009 with Special Emphasis on Post Crash survival

By

Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety
Alaskan Region

December 2010

That's an all-too-common issue, and it's a reasonable debate on both sides of the argument. On one end, you have the published way of what needs to be accomplished (regs), reinforcing standards (policies and procedures), and traditionally-taught way of doing things (best practices). On the other end, you get the "it doesn't work that way very well" crowd. Not every way of doing something works for everyone.

You ever go up with one instructor who says "Who taught you to do that?" You respond with "My last instructor." They say "Yeah, don't do that anymore...do it this way..." It's a cycle that repeats itself. Who's right?

When it comes to safety especially, some things just don't always work 100% of the time, including the measures put in place to protect you from hazards. That's where it needs to be decided whether or not it's a control that is reasonable enough to prevent injury without causing further impedance to performance. Sometimes the control heavily outweighs the performance end, and sometimes the control starts to diminish performance and quality. It's pertinent to not only have experts on the control side, but also those who perform that task on a regular basis to discuss how it might affect their ability to perform.

The advocacy side is even more difficult because now you have to convince someone that your way is better than how they've always been doing it. It's even more difficult when the cost of doing so lands on you, not the person telling you to do it this way.

Flight suit, helmet, headset, initial training costs...all stuff that you have to pay for yourself, not CAP. It starts to become "one more thing" you get stuck with.

I don't agree with ever reducing advocacy, because it comes back to bite you in a liability sense. It comes to me all the time in my job as a safety auditor. "Well, they should have known it wasn't a safe practice." "So how do you advocate not only being safe, but reporting unsafe acts by the individual that might go unnoticed." Major importance. But at the same time, when it comes to budgets, safety is often the first thing that starts to get slashed when people start feeling like it doesn't seem to apply much any more and it's becoming a waste of time and resources to impose.

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?
Seriously?!

Start by making the case that this is something even worth discussing, then we can go from there.  You'll have a difficult time convincing me and I'm guessing nearly all pilots that this is a problem in need of a solution.

That said, this is well off topic.

Kind of agreed. As a pilot, I wouldn't be wholly opposed to wearing a helmet, if supplied. But do I need one? Do I have to pay for it myself? Meh...

And is there any topic on here that stays on track?  :P
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Alaric
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Posts: 781

« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2015, 12:41:20 PM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?

There are other studies out there that the one listed below.  But this one is recent and on point.  Something to consider is the time we (search pilots and aircrew) have at our search altitude to brace for a crash if the engine hiccups or quits.  Basically, what is in front of us is what we'll hit.  In addition to SAR, we do SEL night and IMC flights, often over unlighted and inhospitable terrain.  A helmet in those circumstances will boost survival odds, perhaps by that small but critical margin.  Partial power loss is not all that uncommon in piston aircraft, nor are total engine failures.  FWIW, the NTSB lists engine issues as the second most prevalent "defining event" for GA aircraft accidents and fatalities.  While CAP might (????) be a bit better than the average for all GA, we don't have any silver bullets in our gun.  How many of us fly with our seat belts and shoulder harnesses tightened to 'crash' tensions?  Not many.  I can't reach the fuel shutoff or trim controls if my shoulder harness is really tight.  AND it's not very comfortable to be all bound up for extended periods of time. 

Do a google.com search on: 

Fatal and Serious Injury Accidents in Alaska: A Retrospective of the years 2004 through 2009 with Special Emphasis on Post Crash survival

By

Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety
Alaskan Region

December 2010

That's an all-too-common issue, and it's a reasonable debate on both sides of the argument. On one end, you have the published way of what needs to be accomplished (regs), reinforcing standards (policies and procedures), and traditionally-taught way of doing things (best practices). On the other end, you get the "it doesn't work that way very well" crowd. Not every way of doing something works for everyone.

You ever go up with one instructor who says "Who taught you to do that?" You respond with "My last instructor." They say "Yeah, don't do that anymore...do it this way..." It's a cycle that repeats itself. Who's right?

When it comes to safety especially, some things just don't always work 100% of the time, including the measures put in place to protect you from hazards. That's where it needs to be decided whether or not it's a control that is reasonable enough to prevent injury without causing further impedance to performance. Sometimes the control heavily outweighs the performance end, and sometimes the control starts to diminish performance and quality. It's pertinent to not only have experts on the control side, but also those who perform that task on a regular basis to discuss how it might affect their ability to perform.

The advocacy side is even more difficult because now you have to convince someone that your way is better than how they've always been doing it. It's even more difficult when the cost of doing so lands on you, not the person telling you to do it this way.

Flight suit, helmet, headset, initial training costs...all stuff that you have to pay for yourself, not CAP. It starts to become "one more thing" you get stuck with.

I don't agree with ever reducing advocacy, because it comes back to bite you in a liability sense. It comes to me all the time in my job as a safety auditor. "Well, they should have known it wasn't a safe practice." "So how do you advocate not only being safe, but reporting unsafe acts by the individual that might go unnoticed." Major importance. But at the same time, when it comes to budgets, safety is often the first thing that starts to get slashed when people start feeling like it doesn't seem to apply much any more and it's becoming a waste of time and resources to impose.

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?
Seriously?!

Start by making the case that this is something even worth discussing, then we can go from there.  You'll have a difficult time convincing me and I'm guessing nearly all pilots that this is a problem in need of a solution.

That said, this is well off topic.

Kind of agreed. As a pilot, I wouldn't be wholly opposed to wearing a helmet, if supplied. But do I need one? Do I have to pay for it myself? Meh...

And is there any topic on here that stays on track?  :P

No
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RiverAux
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« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2015, 06:02:12 PM »

Is there any data on the problems and benefits of wearing helmets in small aircraft like ours?
Seriously?!

Start by making the case that this is something even worth discussing, then we can go from there.  You'll have a difficult time convincing me and I'm guessing nearly all pilots that this is a problem in need of a solution.

That said, this is well off topic.

All I did was ask if there was any data to back up the proposal made in a previous post. 
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 645

« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2015, 01:47:05 PM »



All I did was ask if there was any data to back up the proposal made in a previous post.

Your question was a good one, and NO this discussion of PPE is not "off topic".  If the Beacon is to be relevant it has to address and discuss topics like personal protective equipment and cockpit modifications/accessories that increase survivability and reduce injury.  CAP mission profiles are definitely higher hazard and higher risk that the average GA flight. 

As far as 'data' is concerned, there's a ton of data compiled the military that addresses helmets (why do we see helmets in all tactical aircraft...?)  I've heard that a discussion of helmets, with recent accidents as fodder, is nearing publication in the FAA Alaska Region. 

NOAA also has some interesting stuff from which indicated PPE and related cockpit accessories can be drawn.  Do a google search on "NOAA small aircraft crash survivability" and see what you get.  One very interesting power point by Dr. Anthony Brickhouse of Embry Riddles's Daytona campus is titled "The Science of Survivability".  It's a down loadable PDF.



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TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 1,395

« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2015, 02:28:07 PM »



All I did was ask if there was any data to back up the proposal made in a previous post.

Your question was a good one, and NO this discussion of PPE is not "off topic".  If the Beacon is to be relevant it has to address and discuss topics like personal protective equipment and cockpit modifications/accessories that increase survivability and reduce injury.  CAP mission profiles are definitely higher hazard and higher risk that the average GA flight. 

As far as 'data' is concerned, there's a ton of data compiled the military that addresses helmets (why do we see helmets in all tactical aircraft...?)  I've heard that a discussion of helmets, with recent accidents as fodder, is nearing publication in the FAA Alaska Region. 

NOAA also has some interesting stuff from which indicated PPE and related cockpit accessories can be drawn.  Do a google search on "NOAA small aircraft crash survivability" and see what you get.  One very interesting power point by Dr. Anthony Brickhouse of Embry Riddles's Daytona campus is titled "The Science of Survivability".  It's a down loadable PDF.

As always, the data may exist, but the next step is to convince someone going off of that data to consider the option, accept is as the best course of action, and implement it.

That's the very, very challenging part of safety. Awareness is generally easy. Advocacy, on-paper, is easy if you have an audience willing to hear you out. Getting them to actually go by your message is a whole new ballgame.
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