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Author Topic: Aircraft Accidents and Pilot Professional Development  (Read 4531 times)
RiverAux
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« on: July 05, 2008, 11:15:21 PM »

Below is an article from the July issue of the Safety Sentinel.  It highlights something that has been seen in previous reports, however personally I would like to see comparative stats about the PD status of all CAP pilots.  For example, if roughly the same percentage of all pilots have level 1 as those having accidents, then PD probably isn't a factor.

Quote

RENTAL CAR MENTALITY
This is a term that I started using in 2005 after significant research as to the reasons for our aircraft mishaps. It seems that 72% of our aircraft mishaps
were accomplished by CAP pilots that had only completed Level 1 in their
Professional Development. If you looked at the pilots who had completed Levels 2 through 5, the mishap rate for that group dropped dramatically to between four and six percent.

My next question was WHY! Many of Level 1-only pilots were very slipshod
in their preflights and almost never performed postflights. The reasons I
received were, “I did not have a flashlight and it was too dark” or “it was
raining and I did not want to get wet, etc”.

After interviewing many pilots in both the Level 1 and Level 2-5 groups, I
started to notice answers that were quite different. In the Level 2-5 group, I was
receiving answers that showed a caring or concern for the CAP and it’s assets.
True, I received similar answers from both groups when asked, “Why did you
join the Civil Air Patrol.” Many of both groups said that it was cheaper to fly
CAP aircraft than to go the usual route and rent from an FBO or purchase their
own aircraft with ever climbing upkeep rates.

I found that there was a connection between advancement in Professional
Development and a concern regarding CAP aircraft. You would never think of
taxiing close enough to a fence, building or another aircraft and damage your
aircraft. Why then did so many of the Level 1-only pilot group take that
chance?  The information that I received from those, and many interviews since, tell
me that by not continuing with their Professional Development, they never
learned the inner workings of CAP and never gained the understanding that
resulted in giving CAP or it’s assets the care or concern they would give their
own assets; hence, the Rental Car Mentality.

Civil Air Patrol does not have bottomless pockets as many of our members have noticed the last few years. There have been severe cutbacks of the NHQ Staff as well as major cuts in funding for other areas within CAP. With these cuts, it becomes even more necessary to gain a better Safety Mindset when we are using CAP assets.
Col Lyle E. Letteer, CAP
National Safety Officer
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lordmonar
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 05:33:50 AM »

I have heard this before....

It's a BS connection.

Completing your level 2 is not going to make anyone any safer.

The true connection is....those pilots who are shoddy in their pre-flights and other airmanship....are also shoddy in their PD.

I agree with that statement.

But making said shoddy pilot complete his next PD level is not going to make him any less shoddy as a pilot.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
RiverAux
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 01:51:40 PM »

As I said, I don't think they've proved a correlation between PD and accidents at all.....but, it does make some sense that those who care little about CAP and only do the minimum might also not take as much care with the planes as those that do.

Its interesting that if the Chief of Safety thinks lack of care about CAP is the major problem associated with CAP airplane accidents, that the solution that national is following is to try to financially penalize those involved in accidents.  Thats a reactive solution that doesn't address what they think is the problem. 

By their own statement, the problem is a lack of PD among pilots (again, they haven't proved it to my satisfaction, but lets go with it....) so the proactive solution would be to encourage more PD among pilots in order to prvent accidents from happening.

How might they encourage more pilots to participate in the PD program?  Well, one obvious way would be to eliminate special appointments for pilots.  Therefore, if they want any rank, they would have the incentive to earn it rather than sitting at their special appointment rank for their entire CAP careers.  Now, since a private pilot only gets 2nd Lt, a commercial/instrument pilot gets 1st Lt, and and a CFI gets Captain.  This really would  only affect the CFIs (since you can be a 2nd Lt or 1st Lt with only Level 1) and I have a hard time believing they're causing many of our accidents. 

So, special appointment elimination isn't going to do the trick they want. I can't see limiting flying opportunities only to those who have completed Level 2 working either.   
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Frenchie
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 06:08:35 PM »

The true connection is....those pilots who are shoddy in their pre-flights and other airmanship....are also shoddy in their PD.

I don't see that connection either.  I could care less about PD or anything else which involves promotions in CAP.  I do spend a lot of time developing airmanship.  I'm hardly the only one in my squadron which feels the same way.

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lordmonar
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 06:31:08 PM »

The true connection is....those pilots who are shoddy in their pre-flights and other airmanship....are also shoddy in their PD.

I don't see that connection either.  I could care less about PD or anything else which involves promotions in CAP.  I do spend a lot of time developing airmanship.  I'm hardly the only one in my squadron which feels the same way.



This is one of the problems with statical analysis.  We got to two facts......pilots involved in accidents have shoddy preflights.....and pilots involved in accidents are only level 1.

So you can say that All shoddy pilots don't care about PD.   But you can't say those who don't care about PD are shoddy pilots. 

Take flight plans for example......a majority of GA accidents happen to pilots who do not file flight plans.....so remember to file your flight plan......as if because you file the flight plan is going to add 10 more gallons of gas or reduce the cross wind on landing.  NO amount of flight plan filing is going to make you safer.

Same thing with PD .....no amount of PD is going to make you a better pilot.

Hence why I said it was a BS connection.  It is two unrelated facts that only have meaning if you are an insurance actuary.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
RiverAux
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 07:10:20 PM »

Quote
This is one of the problems with statical analysis.  We got to two facts......pilots involved in accidents have shoddy preflights.....and pilots involved in accidents are only level 1.
They just didn't take the analysis far enough to show that pilots with lower PD levels have a disproportionate amount of accidents.  Without taking that next step the insurance people wouldn't put any faith in it either. 
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heliodoc
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 02:06:40 PM »

Where was this study conducted??

If it was outside CAP and maybe done by the AF or some outside source, I may believe it

I haven't seen rental car mentality yet here

Another buzzword for safety types to justify paperwork and existence

Let's see some REAL proof and with all the troubles with eservices,  WMIRS and whatnot.... how many of those Level 1's really turned into to 2,3, and 4's with alot of people playing catchup with these glorious systems??
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Flying Pig
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 03:10:04 PM »

What it doesn't take into account, and is probably more important than whether or not a member has completed a couple of on line courses or selected a Specialty Track is the aviation experience of those involved in the "study".  Instead, could there be a correlation between the flight experience level of a brand new "Senior Member" pilot, and a CAP Mission Pilot?


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heliodoc
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 04:00:36 PM »

how about a study from CAP's insurance company??

Let's see a real correlation in PD and and flight hours


Are you saying that a Col / Lt Col in CAP with all the Level 3 and 4 is more competent and SAFER than ANY other pilot in his / her age group??  I know you can not compare airline driver, freight dogs and others with the "type" of flying CAP does.  But I can guarantee one thing... I can be ultra safe one day and something WILL come to bite me the next...

Just because one has mastered  " all things CAP" does not mean they are exempt from any accident, just remember that.   

Online courses are awareness  and education only.  Education coupled with flying skill is what is important

Just because one takes an online quiz and goes to a Regional Staff College is just as prone to an accdent as anyone else out there


C'MON get a real study let's PROVE that rental mentality, just pony up dinero, it's not coming cheap Spacing - MIKE
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 04:28:35 PM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
sarflyer
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2008, 06:28:39 PM »

Hey guys!

Everything you guys have said his true here but you know that law of motion out there:

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

With the number of unsafe and careless incidents occuring with aircraft are too many.  National is going to do something!  You can bet money on it!  ;D
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Lt. Col. Paul F. Rowen, CAP
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FW
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 07:19:14 PM »

Hey guys!

Everything you guys have said his true here but you know that law of motion out there:

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

With the number of unsafe and careless incidents occurring with aircraft are too many.  National is going to do something!  You can bet money on it!  ;D

I'm sure this will be brought up at the next NB/NEC meeting.  Question on everyone's mind will be:  "what should we do about it?"  Hanger rash and taxi incidents are increasing at unacceptable levels.  Now, is it because of the attitudes of the pilot/crew or, the (perceived) over regulation of our flying activities?  Are we being "overly precautions"?  Do we have so many regulations ORM becomes irrelevant?

Col Leteer is an expert in the safety field.  He knows what questions to ask and how to make sense of things.  So, I wouldn't take his thoughts lightly.  I just hope the NB/NEC can use this information to correct the trend.
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stratoflyer
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 09:24:09 PM »

I fly. I'm level one? But I can't rent cars. So am I supposed to still have the rental car mentality?
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Eduardo Rodriguez, 2LT, CAP
RiverAux
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2008, 10:15:27 PM »

By the way guys, its not my study, my proposal, or my idea...as stated earlier in the thread I believe that we have not been given enough information to evaluate whether or not a relationship between PD and aircraft accidents exists in CAP.  It very well could be, but as far as we've been told haven't actually done the type of statistics on the data that would need to be done to prove it. 
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Flying Pig
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2008, 02:25:38 PM »

As a pilot, I think it relates more to the aviation experience of a newer member vs. whether someone who took ECI-13 or not.   So here is a question, since I graduated from an NCO academy, hence, exempt from ECI-13, does that make me a safer pilot?
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FW
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2008, 04:27:18 PM »

While there may not be a specific corelation between PD and aircraft "accidents", there may be a corelation between member involvement/seriousness in being vs. aircraft "accidents".  Lack of a pilot's PD may just be a symptom; not a cause.

If we continue to recruit pilots who only want "free flying", and it is these pilots who cause the large majority of aircraft damage; we may suppose we are recruiting the wrong people for the job.  If this is the true problem, we need to change the way we do business or continue to absorb these costs.  

The "rental car" mentality  may be an appropriate analogy.  Very few individuals treat a rental car like their own.  Many flying clubs continue to complain about the poor conditions of their aircraft and most FBOs have no problem with charging responsible pilots for damages to the rented aircraft.  The question I still have is: what should we do about the increased trend in truly avoidable accidents like "hanger rash"?

Any suggestions?
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stratoflyer
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 06:20:02 PM »

It seems to come down to who is a smoother pilot, not necessarily safer pilot. I know plenty of safe private pilots but they are not smooth. And being smooth with the airplane is good for its various parts, especially when on the ground. I flew with this one one guy that was riding the brakes on taxi all the way down the length of the runway. No real safety thing there, just not smooth.
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Eduardo Rodriguez, 2LT, CAP
heliodoc
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2008, 07:06:09 PM »

Let me put my A&P and former Army 67N and whatnot and Army Safety to work for a moment............

AND a former refueler and tug driver at a major FBO circa 1980's...................

When I personally damaged a Citiation 7 nosewheel while hooked to a tug, I had that sinking feeeling..

The next day I took the day off and assisted the company mech in reinstalling the nosewheel and swinging it after maintenance

My penance??  No pay   No pay equals lessons learned.  We ALL make mistakes

Jump ahead 20+ yrs and I come back to CAP and its wonderful safety issues.  Here I can make some professional A&P commentary......... Pilots sometimes do not respect mechanics, machinery, and in some cases their fellow man.  ENOUGH SAID??    The CAP $450K C182's are not going to be showroom new from Independence, KS the rest of the their sheetmetal lives while in CAP.  CAP ought to realize that.  Some of their C172 fleet left something to be desired.  I am not defending all pilots, mind you, but with the various ones we have we better get used to maintenance and WEAR and if there are accidents, we have to mitigate them , I would imagine.  Maybe for our penance, we ought to get USAF C130 drivers and jet jockeys to fly our missions for us, eh??  Think that will solve problems??

Scratches , dinged metal, granite outcroppings, bird strikes, riding brakes, overheated cylinders, oil leaks, blown tires, baaaad landings, overachievers, underachievers are NOT going to keep that showroom look to any of the CAP fleet if that is we are interestedin  Lets put all all on pogo sticks and pay homage to them.

OR how about a real training program teaching us how to handle towbars, tugs, how to avoid toolboxes rolling into sheetmetal

It sure seems interesting that CAP may have to do something about the accident rate or is it because insurance and labor rates are higher than 20-30 yrs ago

Maybe every Stan Eval type ought to be taken out to the woodshed and then in return Wing and Sqdn members and lectured whatnot about this and that.  4 hours a month is barely squeaking for myself for proficiency and that is fact....  But I sure know that there are plenty of Stan Eval types and IP's out there than can barely instruct or help people out.  There are certain few that have that capability in this organization.

Maybe CAP should have an 80 hour maintenance block of instruction for EVERY pilot from day 1 to year 80 and how to treat aircraft, how to to do the minmum MX required by FAA AC65 series and the 43 series

Prove the rental car mentality by structured facts and CAP ought to provide better MX awareness to its pilot membership.  I know it difficult , folks.  But to blame evrybody for a few, well that is just like the military.  We have to realize the shiny airplane syndrome is going to go away.  MX prices, 100LL prices, insurance and parts costs are not.....

NOW Everybody get on down and give me 50 ... got any better answers than the rental car mentality???
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FW
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2008, 07:49:53 PM »

Heliodoc, I don't think anyone wants to "punish all".  IMHO, we seek a means to reduce the increased trend in the stupid mistakes we make while handling our aircraft.  

Not respecting mechanics, machinery and their "fellow man" is, to me, one definition of the "rental car mentality".  However, what would be the best means to minimize this attitude?  Is it possible to teach respect?  Do we need to weed out the bad and keep the good?  How many safety days do we need?

No one expects to keep our aircraft in new condition and, I think having to deal with every nick and scratch is overkill however, bent struts, over stressed wings and bent props, etc. are items I would look closely at.  Also, running engines 4qts low on oil, riding on bald tires, flying with loose brake lines are kind of dumb.  As is bumping into a hanger or another aircraft because you're calling the FRO before the"flight" is really over. Now, what do we do with these pilots/crew members who cause or allow this stuff?  How many safety days do we need.  Why is it that some pilots never have a problem while others do?  

"We" worry about this stuff because "we" are the ones who pay for the damage.  CAP is self insured for hull damage and these funds come from our "appropriated grant".    The more cash we lay out to fix things, the less we get to train, fly and buy stuff.  And, to me, it's not fair that those pilots who are thoughtful and careful and have to pay for the mistakes of those that, consistently, are not.  


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heliodoc
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2008, 10:30:18 PM »

Agree totally, FW

Those are all legit logbook writeups

4qts low would chap my  fourth point of contact......

That is time to get everyone together including Stan Eval types and have some true remedial training even the check pilots and everyone else in that Wing

I would venture to say I am offending those types but you know what??  Those same people would be hunting my hide for the littlest thing.  I have been trying to get head wrapped arond things in the CAP flying program and so far with all this stuff, it really is NOT an enjoyable thing yet

Not that everything has to be enjoyable, but as a former MX type, I treat  the aircraft just like the UH-1 and -60's I used to service

I do understand self insured and all that, BUT again I will stick with what I have stated earlier

Maybe if CAP pilots were assigned to the aircraft just like biz jet operators, to go with the airplane during MX work, there may be a whle new level of appreciation for both flying and MX.

There MAY be Wings doing this already, but I do not think it is the norm
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