Safety In General Aviation

Posted by Gienne Van Engelen | 6/11/20 11:30 AM

Safety in General Aviation

Aviation is safety obsessed, and rightfully so. Captains take on the responsibility to get their passengers, crew, and equipment to its destination safely. It is an integral fiber woven into the culture of aviation. This is visible through the safety briefing flight attendants deliver before every commercial flight and in the preflights, emergency procedures, and checklist followed by pilots on every flight.

On the first day our students start flying with us, the whole focus of training is geared towards graduating safe and capable pilots. For example, during the journey from student pilot to private pilot in stage 1, the focus is being put on preparing the student to fly solo in the pattern. How? By building the confidence of the student and thoroughly going through emergency procedures and following our part 141 syllabus.

Throughout our 33 years of operating, safety has always been the #1 priority. Besides following strict guidelines set by the FAA we have also integrated our very own SMS, which stands for Safety Management System. This compliments our culture of safety. The SMS system is very similar to what they use in the airline industry. Our students and instructors make use of this to keep track of any safety related issues so we can address it with our team to minimize risk.

A commonly known truth is that aviation is the safest form of travel. However, during flight training we are flying general aviation airplanes with piston engines at lower altitudes. Most importantly; we do a lot more take-offs and landings then the airlines. According to research done by the Joseph T. Nall Report (This is a report that analyzes General Aviation accidents in the US) the most accidents happen during the take-off and landing phase. While Aviation is very safe, there are risks in training. That is why it is important to instill a safety mindset from the very first lesson.

One of our Instructors always starts his very first lesson getting to know his students and talking safety. “When I get a new student, I always tell them in the introduction of the first lesson: We are flying General Aviation airplanes, there will come a time when you will have to resort to your emergency training. Whether it’s something small like getting a flat tire, losing an instrument, your radios or something a bit bigger like in my case when the nose-gear didn’t retract fully and we still had to land.” Just remember, all activity that requires machinery and people has risks to it. Flight is no different. Which makes it imperative to be thorough in your pre-flight, knowledge, and emergency procedures and never to stop developing yourself as a pilot.

The fabric of aviation is strong because the fibers of training, safety, and standardization has been woven through decades of aircraft accidents and incidents. Each one is a learning opportunity. In fact, accident investigations is a regular subject of study for most pilots and has even become a TV show. Most students join us to enjoy the blue skies and see the world. The amount of study and book work is often overlooked. Rest assured, you will be spending a significant portion of your practices and studies on keeping yourself, your passengers, and your aircraft safe.

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