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.

SkyAngels has expanded its team. Angels are available in MORE locations!

Sextant Readings Solutions Inc - skyangels logo2

The Ultimate In-Flight Experience

SkyAngels has expanded its team.  Angels are available in MORE locations!

We now have Angels stationed in the following locations:

  • San Diego, CA
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Central California, CA
  • Bay Area, CA
  • Las Vegas, CA
  • New York/New Jersey

Please keep in mind, with enough notice, we are happy to relocate our Angels to your departure location.

EXCITING NEWS: if you are looking for a full-time Flight Hostess SkyAngels offers Placement & Recruiting services as well.  We will find the perfect Angel for your hiring requirements. You have more important things to spend your time on. Let us source the perfect crew member for you – seamlessly.

We look forward to hearing from you and caring for yours and your guest’s needs

www.flyskyangels.com  |  angels@flyskyangels.com  |  (310) 421-8153

GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE RENEWS ACSF SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP

ACSF Logo

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Bryan Burns
President
888-723-3135
bburns@acsf.aero

GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE RENEWS ACSF SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP 

Alexandria, VA,  March 27, 2014 — The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) is pleased to recognize Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation for its continued sustaining membership. The company has shown its commitment to the foundation’s vision of enhancing and improving safety through its generous financial support.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,200 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. The company employs more than 14,000 people at 12 major locations.

“Gulfstream is excited to continue to partner with the Air Charter Safety Foundation as a sustaining member, to further the mission and vision of the foundation,” said Gulfstream Aviation Safety Officer Tom Huff. “As a business aircraft manufacturer and world-wide service provider, it made perfect sense to continue as a sustaining member to further safety of air charter and fractional ownership flight operations.”

“The continued and generous support of Gulfstream enables the foundation to carry out its mission,” said ACSF President Bryan Burns. “We are extremely pleased that they share our vision to achieve the highest levels of safety in the industry.”

For further information, go to www.acsf.aero.

#      #       #

“The vision of the ACSF is to enable on-demand charter providers and fractional program managers to achieve the highest levels of safety in the aviation industry. This goal will be achieved through:

  • Promotion of risk management programs,
  • The adoption of one common industry audit standard,
  • Dissemination of safety information and,
  • Creation of additional programs that advance the goals of the foundation.”

ACSF and ARGUS International Collaborate to Offer Two Results with One Combined Audit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Bryan Burns
President
888-723-3135
bburns@acsf.aero

ACSF and ARGUS International Collaborate to Offer Two Results with One Combined Audit 

Alexandria, VA,  March 4, 2014 — The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) and ARGUS International, Inc. have been working together to offer the charter and fractional ownership industry a single audit combining both the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) and the ARGUS Platinum Standard. Both the ACSF and ARGUS are pleased to announce they have reached an agreement in principle.

In the near future, ARGUS will offer an Industry Audit Standard (IAS) module as an add-on to its proprietary Platinum Audit Standard. The IAS module will contain operational requirements that have been extracted from best practices used by the FAR Part 121 community and have applicability to the Parts 135 and 91K marketplace. Operators that successfully complete the audit performed against the Platinum standard, including the IAS module, will receive the ARGUS Platinum rating and be added to the ACSF registry.

Both ACSF and ARGUS believe this will be a win-win relationship for the Charter and Fractional operators as they work together to reduce operational risk and redundant workload associated with multiple audits. The two standards will mesh well together as the ARGUS Platinum standard has become the most recognized symbol of an operator’s overall quality to charter buyers around the world, and the IAS is focused on operational and maintenance initiatives that are applied and refined in an effort to assist the commercial business aviation marketplace in achieving safety metrics found in the U.S. Air Carrier marketplace.

ACSF Chairman Jeff Baum said, “The Air Charter Safety Foundation IAS recognized that the scheduled airline community, in part through the use of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and FAR Part 121, has demonstrated the best safety record in the aviation industry. ACSF Accreditation recognizes a Part 135 operator or Fractional Manager that is utilizing many policies and procedures common to their Part 121 counterparts to further enhance their overall Safety Management System.”

“It is through a cooperative effort and shared mission of safety, that the Air Charter Safety Foundation and ARGUS have been able to bring this program to the marketplace through a single on-site audit event, thereby accomplishing an objective core to the mission statement of the ACSF,” noted Baum.

“ARGUS Platinum has for years now, represented the most sought after rating by charter consumers around the world,” said Joe Moeggenberg, President and CEO of ARGUS. “Yet we recognize that some operators require or desire compliance with other standards, yet dread the thought of the time and money associated with multiple audit events. ARGUS is very pleased to cooperate with the ACSF on their Industry Audit Standard (IAS) initiative, and happy to once again uniquely offer the marketplace the ability to perform one audit event with an outcome pertinent to both Platinum and ACSF requirements.”

“This will represent a significant decrease in both time and cost for each participating charter company, without any compromise to either standard or actual audit,” added Moeggenberg.

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).

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.

IHST Knows Why Helicopter Accidents are Happening; It’s Now Trying to Stop Them

Source RotorCraftPro  jhadmin posted on January 09, 2014 09:08

IHST Knows Why Helicopter Accidents are Happening; It’s Now Trying to Stop Them

Author: James Careless

In its quest to bring the global helicopter accident rate to zero, the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) has analyzed more than 1,000 U.S. civil helicopter accidents and their causes. Having done so, the IHST’s investigators have come to two clear conclusions: (1) Helicopter accidents are ultimately caused by incorrect human decisions, and (2) the evidence shows that reducing the accident rate to zero is actually possible.

“After going through the NTSB investigations in detail, one thing has become obvious: No one has invented a new way to crash a helicopter,” says Matt Zuccaro, IHST co-chair and president of Helicopter Association International. “The reasons helicopters crashed ten years ago remain the same today, and all of their causes can be traced back to the people who flew, serviced, or managed the helicopters.”

The Main Culprit

Based on U.S. data from the calendar years, 2000, 2001, and 2006, the majority of helicopter accidents occur in the Personal/Private (18.5%) and Instructional (17.6%) categories, followed by Aerial Applications (10.3%) and EMS (7.6%). The full breakdown is available online at www.ihst.org.

Despite the difference in flight applications, the main factor leading to both fatal and nonfatal accidents remains constant across all categories. “The analysis of the accidents revealed that a majority of them had a standard problem with pilot judgment and action,” said Fred Brisbois, co-chair of the IHST’s U.S. Safety Implementation Team and Sikorsky Aircraft’s former director of aviation & product safety.  He continued, “The initiating event in the accident sequence was the absence of adequate preparation or planning by the pilot, or in some cases incorrect judgment in reaction to the situation or event.”

‘Absence of adequate preparation’ covers many elements. It includes not checking what the weather is going to be like along the entire flight path, as opposed to just the departure and arrival locations. “A common issue is VFR-trained pilots finding themselves flying in IFR conditions, for which they are not trained,” said Bob Sheffield, an IHST Executive Committee member and AgustaWestland’s Senior Advisor on Safety and Fleet Operational Improvements. “Had they properly looked at the weather forecast before they flew, they could have avoided this situation and stayed safe.”

In such circumstances, under-prepared pilots can save themselves, their passengers, and their aircraft by just landing at the soonest, safest available location. “It’s such an easy solution to the problem,” Zuccaro said. “It’s better to wait on the ground until you can fly safely again, than to push the odds and risk disaster.”

Adequate preparation goes further than just proper pilot training and pre-flight briefings. It also covers everything from an aircraft’s flying abilities and respecting its limits to having sufficient fuel onboard, and keeping the aircraft properly maintained in line with manufacturers’ specifications and product updates.

Meanwhile, when it comes to training, adequate preparation translates to using available simulators to increase student pilot knowledge before going airborne, and not running avoidable risks when in an aircraft.  “Some helicopter instructors have been taking student pilots to 700′ and then having the students try to auto-rotate to landing, which is dangerous and unnecessary,” said Sheffield. “We recommend starting rotation training from at least 1,500′ AGL and resuming engine power no lower than 500′ AGL to minimize the risk until the student gains some proficiency.”

The Management Gap

The IHST has identified other human-controlled factors that contribute to helicopter accidents. They include not having a Safety Management System (SMS) in place, and not installing and/or paying attention to Health & Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM).

“It’s the small operators who don’t have an SMS in place, because they see it as too onerous a job to create,” Bob Sheffield said. “I usually can change their minds, after I get them talking about a particular issue that they faced that was safety-related – say a flight that went wrong due to bad weather – and what they did after the fact to prevent the incident from happening again. Because this is what an SMS really
is: a compendium of lessons learned about safe flying and potential dangers, which are systematically organized and laid out for everyone to see and use.”

HUMS can also make a difference, but only if they are both installed and given attention. “The UK Civil Aviation Authority did an analysis of how HUMS was working for Bristow Helicopters in the North Sea,” Sheffield noted. “They found that up to 67% of incident equipment failures could be predicted accurately, based on the HUMS data before such failures actually took place.”

Regarding FDM, IHST has found that data compiled during flight operations is extremely useful not just to researching issues that occur, but also for prevention. “Before I came to AgustaWestland, I was Managing Director for Shell Aircraft, which flies more than one million passengers a year to its oil and gas properties,” said Sheffield. “Using Flight Data Monitoring information, we were able to show pilots what kinds of maneuvers went outside our operating envelopes. The result was that we went from an average of 1.3 exceedances on every flight to 0.13 per flight in just four years; a tenfold drop.”

The Need for Cultural Change

IHST’s research revealed two serious cultural issues that can lead to accidents occurring.

The first cultural issue is shortcuts. “Many smaller operators are pushed on their costs, and so they sometimes cut corners on required maintenance, pilot training, and other management functions to try to keep cost down,” said Matt Zuccaro. “The problem is that taking shortcuts always comes back to haunt you, sooner or later, simply because the ability of the aircraft and/or pilot to cope with normal flying changes has been compromised.”

The second cultural issue is the “mission first” attitude for which helicopter pilots are renowned. “Imagine that the flying conditions are unsafe for a VFR-only pilot, and then ask him to fly to pick up a package; chances are he won’t,” Zuccaro said. “Now change the scenario. Tell him that the pickup is for a critically injured infant at an accident scene. Chances are he will make the flight, because a life-saving mission comes first – even if the pilot is not capable of flying safely in such conditions.”

For the helicopter industry to get its accident rate down to zero – and get as close as it can to this point as a matter of practice – both cultural elements must change. “We must get operators big and small to understand that corner-cutting is too risky to do, and that the ‘mission first’ attitude, although admirable, is also too dangerous to continue,” said Zuccaro. “In both cases, we must switch to a ‘safety first’
culture, because only by putting safety first can we truly bring accident rates down and keep them down.”

The IHST’s Response

Having compiled all this information about helicopter accidents, the IHST is doing whatever it can to communicate its findings and solutions to helicopter operators, owners, and pilots. This includes a tremendous amount of free information on www.ihst.org, plus ongoing training sessions being held around the world. The safety group is also working “with our international partners to share common lessons learned to develop effective safety tools,” Brisbois said. “We will be holding an International Safety Symposium next year, immediately after Heli-Expo 2014, to foster the exchange of information and ideas to continue our resolve to reducing the accident rate.”

As for IHST’s goal of reducing helicopter accidents by 80% by the year 2016? “We have changed this goal, to aim for the zero accident goal on an ongoing basis,” Matt Zuccaro replied. “The problem with the 80% goal is that – although accident rates have indeed fallen since IHST was formed – there is an absence of reliable global information on helicopter hours and usage. As well, the 80% reduction implies that the remaining 20% of accidents are acceptable, which of course they are not.”

In all its efforts, the IHST will continue to hammer home the concept that helicopter accidents are indeed avoidable, through a combination of proper preparation and training, flight planning, onboard systems and flight monitoring, and compliance with regular maintenance schedules and manufacturer advisories.

“Every accident is preventable,” concluded Brisbois, who has 42 years’ experience in aircraft safety. “Design standards and system safety engineering throughout the industry have had a remarkable and positive impact on improving the design and airworthiness of helicopters. The human factors aspect remains to be the biggest problem: Simply put, it’s poor planning before going to the aircraft that sets the stage for poor aeronautical decision-making in the cockpit.