SOAR+® Approved

cropped-Captain-Major-Web-Image-1080x300Patrick S. Major, medical In is pleased to announce that SOAR+® is an officially and finally Registered Trademark. Sextant Readings Solutions works closely with Patrick S. Major Inc. in supporting aviation safety management globally.

When using term SOAR+, Soar+, or otherwise referencing Patrick S. Major, Inc.’s proprietary safety of operations audit and resolution of safety issues process, and/or its flight data monitoring (FDM)-based safety of operations assessment, risk management, airmanship enhancement, and asset protection processes, kindly depict as follows “SOAR+®,” with the ® prominently displayed.

SOAR+, a practical, results-oriented, approach to the art and best-practice of aviation, represents the foundational underpinning for next generation safety management systems (SMS).

SOAR Next-Generation SMS Audit & Safety Issue Resolution

SOAR+

is a computer-based safety of operations audit, risk assessment and resolution of safety issues (ROSI) process supporting E-IOSA, IASA, ISBAO as well as SAIs, EPIs, DOD, ICAO, regulatory compliance, NetJets, internal QA/evaluation, and/or custom audit protocols.  SOAR+ raises the bar by risk-ranking audit standards, then reporting results in an intuitive, executive-friendly format that establishes a means for quantifying returns on investment (ROI) in safety.

SOAR+ is imminently configurable; e.g. A CASE version of SOAR+ is set to be installed at a major US based Maintenance & Repair Operation (MRO) soon; providing services to Pratt & Whitney, the US Air Force and UPS among others.  SOAR+ is also under consideration to support the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Federal Transit Authority (FTA) implementation of safety management systems (SMS) in US municipal transit and rail operations.  Could also work for airports, shipping, and hospitals it: wherever safety and compliance is linked to performance.

SOAR “AAP” is a flight data monitoring (FDM)-based safety of operations-assurance, risk management, airman-ship assurance and asset protection utility incorporating the identical ROSI process as SOAR+.  Unconstrained by traditional flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) paradigms, SOAR AAP optimizes the use of aircraft flight data recorders, the so-called “Black-Boxes,” before the crash: to optimize operations, training, and to actually prevent accidents by making practical application of information that is traditional used only to conduct forensic inquiry…after the fact.

SOAR+ Attributes –

  • Audit standards can be derived and/or imported into SOAR+ from any source: from ICAO, host country regulations, to internal airline oversight, quality control and quality assurance processes.
  • A gap analysis and corrective actions tool exemplary of highest standards in SMS.
  • Supports SAIs, EPIs, specific regulatory requirements (SRRs), as well DOD and Enhanced-IOSA requirements.
    • Also available as an IOSA-attainment sub-routine providing a sequential guide to air, ground and maintenance operators in achieving and maintaining IATA registration.
  • Standards and findings are risk-ranked in advance of the audits, and after, to guide in prioritizing effective action plans.
  • Reports are normalized to 100% to facilitate effective communications with non-technical stakeholders, and to
    • Establish a basis for quantifying return on investments in safety.
  • Both SOAR+ and SOAR AAP fill significant lapses in virtually all existing SMS computer-based utilities,
    • Can be integrated into existing SMS software.
  • There are Enterprise versions,
    • And versions capable of supporting-
      • Mobile devices,
      • Laptop PCs and
      • “Cloud-based” access.
    • The ROSI process includes prioritization of findings on the basis of safety and/or business, political and economic concerns, supporting unparalleled root cause analysis, safety risk assessment (SRA) and corrective actions implementation, validation, and assurance processes.

•     Indeed, SOAR+/SOAR APP may represent a credible foundation for what can best be described as “Next-generation SMS.”

SOAR+ is deliberately configured to be useful measuring the attainment of standards in virtually any environment. For example, SOAR+ could be a useful means to measure attainment of implementation standards in Ebola prevention and treatment procedures, methods and protocols, to report results in an imminently intuitive executive-friendly format, to measure the risk of failure to implement complete and comprehensive corrective measures, to conduct safety risk assessments on proposed corrective measures, to document approval of an accountable individual before deploying proposed corrective actions, to verify and validate implementation, controlling performance creep by means of a continuously renewable improvement process, and to quantify return on investment in health and safety of the population.  We would need to dissect Ebola prevention and treatment protocols to identify standards and then deploy auditors to record their observations in the SOAR+ safety of operations, risk assessment and resolutions of safety issues utility.

National Airlines receives FAA certification as newest US Flag/Domestic carrier

National Airlines receives FAA certification as newest US Flag/Domestic carrier

National AirlinesORLANDO, FL – National Airlines is proud to announce that on February 28, 2014, the FAA approved National to become the United States’ newest Flag/Domestic air carrier. National Airlines has a long history of supporting governments and militarys around the world — by, among other things, flying ad hoc cargo shipments in and out of crisis areas and also operating charter passenger operations for sports teams in the United States, visitors to/from Cuba, and contractors traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. US Flag/Domestic authority will allow National Airlines to expand its services to include conducting scheduled passenger flights throughout the United States and across the globe. It also provides an opportunity for National Airlines to continue its support of the US government travelers under the Fly America Act, whereby US government funded travelers fly on US Flag Carriers whenever available.

National Airlines maintains the highest standards of safety, security, and compliance. “This is nowhere more important than in the Middle East, which has been a significant market for National Airlines,” said Glen Joerger, National Airlines’ President. “This operating authority will further strengthen our position as an emerging passenger carrier of choice for discerning customers seeking US Flag service in the region,” he added. “This tremendous addition to National’s operating certificate reinforces our corporate commitment to serve every facet of transportation and logistics for our key clientele around the globe,” continued Joerger.

About National Airlines

National Airlines is in the National Air Cargo family of enterprises. National Air Cargo and National Airlines are headquartered in Orlando, Florida. National Airlines’ service as a global cargo carrier and passenger charter provider complements its sister companies: Together they provide multi-modal logistics solutions to getting difficult-to-move cargo quickly and safely to wherever you need it, and through the charter passenger service they have been honored to transport a diverse group of guests, from orchestras, to international and US sports teams headed to heated competitions, to alumni and other associations ready to cheer them on. And soon the premier passenger service National has been able to provide for its charter guests will be available for individuals to book and enjoy as well.

FAA Issues EMS Rule, Includes Additional Helicopter Operations

Source: Rotor News, Helicopter Association International (HAI) Feb 21 2014

 

FAA Issues EMS Rule, Includes Additional Helicopter Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finalized a rule requiring stronger safety measures for helicopter operators, including air ambulances. Changes include equipment, training and operational requirements, and all HAI members are strongly encouraged to review the rule.

The rule is primarily directed toward air ambulance operations, but also addresses commercial helicopter and general aviation helicopter operations, implementing new operational procedures and additional equipment requirements. Additionally, the rule revises requirements for equipment, pilot testing, and alternative airports as well as increasing weather minimums for all general aviation helicopter operations under Part 91 in Class G airspace.

For helicopter air ambulances, the rule requires operations with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 operating rules and introduces new weather minimums and visibility requirements for Part 135 operations. It mandates flight planning, preflight risk analyses, safety briefings for medical personnel, and the establishment of operations control centers (OCC) for certain operators to help with risk management and flight monitoring. The rule also includes provisions to encourage instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. It requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with both helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems. In addition, helicopter air ambulance pilots will be required to hold instrument ratings.

For all helicopters operated under Part 135, these rules require that operators carry more survival equipment for operations over water. Alternate airports named in flight plans must have higher weather minimums than are currently required. These helicopters must be equipped with radio altimeters and pilots must be able to demonstrate that they can maneuver the aircraft during an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) to get out of those conditions safely. As mentioned above, the rule assigns new weather minimums to part 91 helicopter operations in Class G airspace.

The following represents a summary of affected entities:

Part 135 All Rotorcraft Operators:
Requires each rotorcraft to be equipped with a radio altimeter ( Section 135.160)
Adds Section 135.168 equipment requirements for rotorcraft operated over water. Helicopter operations conducted over water will be required to carry additional safety equipment to assist passengers and crew in the event an accident occurs over water.

Revised alternate airport weather minimums for rotorcraft in Section 135.221. This rule improves the likelihood of being able to land at the alternate airport if weather conditions in the area deteriorate while the helicopter is en route.

Revises Section 135.293 to require pilot testing of rotorcraft handling in flat-light, whiteout, and brownout conditions and demonstration of competency in recovery from an IIMC.

Part 135 Helicopter Air Ambulance:
Requires helicopter air ambulance flights with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 (Section 135.1, 135.601).

Requires certificate holders with 10 or more helicopter air ambulances to establish operations control centers (OCC) (Section 135.619) and requires drug and alcohol testing for operations control specialists (Section 120.105 and 120.215).

Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with HTAWS (Section 135.605).

Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with a flight data monitoring system (Section 135.607).

Requires each helicopter air ambulance operator to establish and document, in its operations manual, an FAA-approved preflight risk analysis (Section 135.617).

Requires pilots to identify and document the highest obstacle along the planned route (Section 135.615).

Requires safety briefings or training for helicopter air ambulance medical personnel (Section 135.621).

Establishes visual flight rules (VFR) weather minimums for helicopter air ambulance operations (Section 135.609).

Permits instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at airports without weather reporting (Section 135.611).

Establishes procedures for transitioning between IFR and VFR on approach to, and departure from, heliports or landing areas (Section 135.613).

Requires pilots in commend to hold an instrument rating (Section 135.603).

The rule is primarily directed toward air ambulance operations, but also addresses commercial helicopter and general aviation helicopter operations, implementing new operational procedures and additional equipment requirements. Additionally, the rule revises requirements for equipment, pilot testing, and alternative airports as well as increasing weather minimums for all general aviation helicopter operations under Part 91 in Class G airspace.

For helicopter air ambulances, the rule requires operations with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 operating rules and introduces new weather minimums and visibility requirements for Part 135 operations. It mandates flight planning, preflight risk analyses, safety briefings for medical personnel, and the establishment of operations control centers (OCC) for certain operators to help with risk management and flight monitoring. The rule also includes provisions to encourage instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. It requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with both helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems. In addition, helicopter air ambulance pilots will be required to hold instrument ratings.

For all helicopters operated under Part 135, these rules require that operators carry more survival equipment for operations over water. Alternate airports named in flight plans must have higher weather minimums than are currently required. These helicopters must be equipped with radio altimeters and pilots must be able to demonstrate that they can maneuver the aircraft during an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) to get out of those conditions safely. As mentioned above, the rule assigns new weather minimums to part 91 helicopter operations in Class G airspace.

The following represents a summary of affected entities:

  • Part 135 All Rotorcraft Operators:
    Requires each rotorcraft to be equipped with a radio altimeter ( Section 135.160)
    Adds Section 135.168 equipment requirements for rotorcraft operated over water. Helicopter operations conducted over water will be required to carry additional safety equipment to assist passengers and crew in the event an accident occurs over water.
  • Revised alternate airport weather minimums for rotorcraft in Section 135.221. This rule improves the likelihood of being able to land at the alternate airport if weather conditions in the area deteriorate while the helicopter is en route.
  • Revises Section 135.293 to require pilot testing of rotorcraft handling in flat-light, whiteout, and brownout conditions and demonstration of competency in recovery from an IIMC.
  • Part 135 Helicopter Air Ambulance:
    Requires helicopter air ambulance flights with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 (Section 135.1, 135.601).
  • Requires certificate holders with 10 or more helicopter air ambulances to establish operations control centers (OCC) (Section 135.619) and requires drug and alcohol testing for operations control specialists (Section 120.105 and 120.215).
  • Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with HTAWS (Section 135.605).
  • Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with a flight data monitoring system (Section 135.607).
  • Requires each helicopter air ambulance operator to establish and document, in its operations manual, an FAA-approved preflight risk analysis (Section 135.617).
  • Requires pilots to identify and document the highest obstacle along the planned route (Section 135.615).
  • Requires safety briefings or training for helicopter air ambulance medical personnel (Section 135.621).
  • Establishes visual flight rules (VFR) weather minimums for helicopter air ambulance operations (Section 135.609).
  • Permits instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at airports without weather reporting (Section 135.611).
  • Establishes procedures for transitioning between IFR and VFR on approach to, and departure from, heliports or landing areas (Section 135.613).
  • Requires pilots in commend to hold an instrument rating (Section 135.603).

SMSLift

SMS LIFT Logo white

 

 

 

Why SMS Lift?

SMS Lift is a training solution to address the largest challenge in safety management system implementation that faces flight departments today: employee engagement. This course, designed to be self-facilitated and conducted at your pace, contains all the components for a small to medium flight department to capitalize on all the time and effort spent establishing an SMS. This easy to understand and facilitate course will demonstrate to your entire staff their important roles and responsibilities within this system.  It is not an explanation of an SMS program, but rather a demonstration of the complexity of the system and the critical roles each employee plays within the SMS.

SMS Lift Kit Contents_image

Excerpts from the Course Material

SMS Lift Participant Handbook Cover
SMS Lift Instructor Guide Cover

Let Convergent Performance elevate your existing SMS to new heights with the aviation industry’s #1 training courseware solution: SMS Lift.  This boxed collection includes:

  • An introductory lesson and a wrap-up lesson
  • Four two-hour lessons based on the Four Pillars of SMS
    • Safety Policy
    • Safety Risk Management
    • Safety Assurance
    • Safety Promotion
  • DVD that includes eight videos designed to facilitate learning
  • Comprehensive resource library
  • One step-by-step Instructor Guide to facilitate program implementation
  • Ten Participant Handbooks
  • Eleven personal Spheres of Safety Influence exercise forms
  • SMS Lift Capture Form, a form used to note lessons learned during the course
  • Manager’s Challenge and other additional resources

Order from our online store! The SMS Lift boxed collection includes enough class materials for 10 participants. Additional participant materials are available for purchase for larger class sizes. For large flight departments, bulk orders can be arranged. Contact us for details. For more information: SMS Lift Flyer For an introduction to the program (on YouTube): long version

WestJet Selects TechPubs

WestJet Selects TechPubs:

5 of the top 10 Airlines in North America Now A Customer of TechPubs Global

TechPubs Global, Longmont, CO January 22nd, 2014; TechPubs Global is pleased to announce its newest client, WestJet.  WestJet is one of five of the Top Ten North American airlines to select TechPubs’ TechSuite solution for their comprehensive technical publications and compliance management requirements in the past eight months.

With this award, TechPubs Global‘s TechSuite solution has become the preferred airline content management solution in Canada.  Version 4.4 of the TechSuite solution has been released, and will be implemented at WestJet over the next few months.

Click here to find more information on how TechSuite version 4.4 can help airlines, like WestJet, efficiently manage their manuals and regulatory compliance.

Annex 19 – The Next Steps in Proactive Safety Management

Annex 19 – The Next Steps in Proactive Safety Management

By Danielle Kelly

Sextant Readings Solutions - SMS ICAO Annex 19For the first time in 30 years, ICAO are set to release a new Annex – Annex 19 – that pulls together current safety management practices and future expectations for facilitating safety risks that exist in our lands and skies.

The Annex looks to promote and enhance the alignment between the state and service providers and operators, which in my opinion should be welcomed and can only be a positive thing. Sharing and learning from each other is good, it’s what we are taught as kids and is something we would do well to remember as adults. ICAO have provided us with Annex after Annex of standards and regulations depicting how things should be done in the industry, with lots of references to safety for operation of aircraft, air traffic services, aerodromes, and airworthiness. This new Annex brings together all of these different provisions to further embed safety oversight and systemic risk sharing, but shouldn’t we be doing this already anyway?

There is a lot of emphasis on the management of safety risks, focusing on what we don’t want to happen, and on the sharing of information. However, how worthwhile the sharing of information actually is depends on what is done with it. ICAO appear to be providing an answer to bridging the gap between simply being aware of other industry incidents and proactively managing and implementing further mitigation strategies to prevent the same thing from occurring on our own watch. But why has it taken a new Annex to be published for us to do this, shouldn’t this be something we should be doing as part of working practice? How do organizations learn and share?

It seems ICAO have produced this Annex to show that it is no longer acceptable just to Prevent, Detect and Respond; we need to be able to learn and share information, particularly as the demand for air travel increases. To that end, ICAO has offered greater support for the next generation of safety management systems. The co-ordination effort being established between State Safety Programs (SSP) and the SMS provides an opportunity to improve the performance of the existing SMS to meet state safety policies and objectives, state safety risk management, assurance and promotion.

Like I said before, we can no longer be seen just to be preventing, detecting and responding to occurrences. Learning isn’t just about reporting, understanding, implementing and then backtracking; it’s much more than that – learning is the sharing of knowledge and information, so let’s get more information about our controls instead of the outcomes.  How about we manage the precursor and build our resilience?

Now, it’s all very well saying this but how do we actually achieve it?

Well, we need to start somewhere…so how about our controls? Do we have confidence in our controls?  If not, why not? And what do we do about it to make sure we are confident in the controls in place?

Yes, States play a role to establish and prescribe a State Safety Program in order for us to achieve an acceptable level of safety. However, it is up to the service providers and operators who fundamentally need to demonstrate and actively manage risk and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies through their own Safety Management Systems.

So, where do we go with Annex 19?

Well, we have to make time to look at what we’ve got; we know an SMS will give us the means to do everything we need to do and to be able do them effectively in terms of manage hazards and associated risks, log incidents and occurrences to be able to report on performance. There will no doubt be policies and procedures with associated workflows that are required to be followed to ensure the investigation is appropriately dealt with.

With Annex 19, we need more than this. We need a platform to not only do all the things we need to do, but also all the things we want to do; such as anticipating and predicting, strengthening our position and giving us confidence in our controls. Because if we’re not doing that…well…in the eyes of Annex 19…are we doing it wrong?

How does your SMS measure up against the new Annex 19 recommendations?

Sextant Readings Presentation on SlideShare has been viewed over 1,750 times

The Sextant Readings presentation – 8 Steps to an Efficient SMS – has been viewed over 1750 times on SlideShare.

Positioning the “8 steps to an efficient SMS” is intended to clarify some of the mis-information about Safety Management that is rife on the internet.  There is a lot of hype about SMS – usually focused on the particular strengths of a vendor’s offering.

However we view Safety Management in the context that safety is a direct result of  “A management system based on professionalism and safety principles” of an organization.  There are many ‘pieces’ of management system support in the offerings from so-called Safety Professionals.

At Sextant Readings we believe that supporting the management of an organization based on the principles of professionalism and safety is our business.  You can see the presentation here:


Finland’s transport regulator increases efficiency and improves reporting times to ECCAIRS

Finland’s transport regulator increases efficiency and improves reporting times to ECCAIRS

TraFiThe Traffic Analysis department of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TraFi) is involved in the collection and analysis of safety and environment information regarding Finland’s transport system. As part of their reporting obligations, the regulator is required to submit both accident and incident reports to the European Co-ordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS).

However, cialis after recording high and continuously increasing aviation occurrence reports, mainly down to their limited resources, the regulator identified a need to increase the efficiency of their occurrence management process, improving reporting times to ECCAIRS.

Ossi Kasurinen, TraFi’s Safety Information Adviser, said: “Saving occurrence reports manually into ECCAIRS database requires a lot of work and was extremely labor intensive at times, especially as we have limited resource in which to do it. We required a solution that would help us to streamline our occurrence report management process as well as feed the ECCAIRS database more efficiently.”

TraFi develops safety of the transport system across Finland, promoting environmentally friendly transport solutions. It is responsible for transport system regulatory duties across the four main transport sectors of air, rail, land and sea, and so it was crucial they found a solution which would improve their occurrence management and analysis processes.

With Ideagen Gael’s Q-Pulse solution, TraFi benefit from a fully integrated safety occurrence reporting and incident management solution, allowing their aviation community to raise occurrences in multiple formats before being processed directly into Q-Pulse.

The regulator also use Q-Pulse for their safety data management and enjoy seamless and automated integration with the ECCAIRS database which has streamlined their previous manual processes to provide more effective safety oversight of Finnish Civil and General Aviation.

Ossi added: “Q-Pulse is customizable and makes it possible to import and export data from and to other systems, cutting down the manual process dramatically. As our data is stored in Q-Pulse, we will be able to analyses it using the solution and, as the solutions is used by a few of our aviation customers, there may be possibilities that we can experience some synergy benefits in data transfer also.”

“Our Q-Pulse solution has completely taken over our day-to-day operations in regards to managing safety and environment information. As well as receiving multiple occurrence reports from varying systems, we can manage and classify these reports before easily exporting them into ECCAIRS. It has helped us improve overall occurrence management – and the solution’s analysis functionality will help us fulfill our duties despite the limited resources that we have.”

Audit Management Software for Aviation

Audit Management Software for Aviation

Auditing throughout the aviation industry is a mandatory task to ensure that certificated organizations are performing to the strict regulations set out by the governing bodies. Audits are performed regularly throughout the aviation industry and contribute to complying with standards as well as identifying shortfalls and areas of improvement.

The Q-Pulse Audit Management module provides the ability to check a proposed audit plan for coverage, completeness and availability before finalizing schedules, automatically creating and updating the audit calendar. Past audit reports and historical data and status of all previous audit and CA/PA findings are available for review. Audit checklists can be created, exported and imported to and from external sources and audit packs can be created as points of reference.

A trail of departments visited, people spoken to, and processes checked etc, simplifies the creation of the audit report. Positive findings and opportunities for improvement are included, individual records created for each finding and the audit report agreed, formalized and tracked to conclusion through Q-Pulse.

Q-Pulse continually monitors the status of each audit action from when it is raised until closure and ensures the compliance management system is properly maintained, managed, and that actions are not overlooked. Q-Pulse can integrate with email systems to offer point-of-need access to audit records direct from automatic email notifications of upcoming or overdue events or actions.

Audit Management provides a closed loop system from scheduling, through planning, conducting and following up of audits in a manner that supports organization-wide improvement.

Offline Audit extends the Q-Pulse compliance management solution, enabling auditors to perform key activities when not connected to Q-Pulse. Auditors can complete checklists and record document findings while on-site at the point of need.

The objectives of Audit Management are to:

  • Provide a central repository for all audit management information that allows the demonstration of compliance with minimum overheads and disruption
  • Manage internal, external and third party audits across a specific or any number of compliance management systems
  • Identify potential improvements in systems, processes, equipment, material and people
  • Report both positive audit results as well as managing actions and findings  through to conclusion
  • Manage the complete audit life cycle from scheduling, planning and conducting to reporting and following up actions through to conclusion.
  • Manage Audits offline, providing the import and export of data to record and perform audits remotely