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RAFFCA & Aviation Safety

RAFFCA Safety News Letter


Thereis no shortage of 'wise sayings' in aviation..."There are old pilots &bold pilots..but there are no old. bold pilots" etc etc. Although UKGeneral Aviation enjoys a good safety record, the very nature of aviation issuch that there are plenty of ways to get yourself into trouble - with varyingdegrees of severity. As we fly more hours we gain 'experience'. This term isoften used as a euphemism for 'making mistakes'. There are just not enoughflying hours in the average recreational pilot's active years for any of us tomake all the mistakes ourselves. This means that we must pool resources andlearn from each others experiences.

Reports are just the tip.

Thereare, as we all know, formal mechanisms for this. All accidents, and certainother occurrences such as AIRPROX, must be reported and the outcomes ofinvestigations into these formal occurrences are published for widerreadership. The aviation magazines are full of accident reports from which wecan all learn. What about the non-accidents? These are the occasions wheresomething happened which could have resulted in an accident - but didn't. Itcould be, for example, that adherence to a club rule or practicing a procedureyou had been taught prevented a safety problem from becoming an accident. Howgood are we at learning from those?

These occurrences are often described using the 'iceberg'diagram below. The formally reportable stuff is very visible 'above thesurface'. However, below the surface is a much greater number of close callsand near-misses from which safety lessons could be learned and yet often gounreported, These are the ones which safety management systems try to catchbecause they are 'free lessons'. One of those wise aviation sayings is "wheneversomething goes wrong, there is always someone who knew it would". I thinkwe have all encountered that at some time or another. The safety occurrences atthe base of the triangle can also be seen as 'tomorrow’s accidents' - the oneswhich have not happened yet, but have come close.

What this is all leading to - is an initiative to encouragemembers of RAFFCA Clubs to report these safety occurrences openly so that wecan all share this information. The MAA "In Form" should be used byall Clubs and the Association is keen to foster an 'open and learning' approachto safety through their wide use.

Nothing in this is designed todetract from the existing formal safety reporting systems which must continueto be used. For RAFFCA Clubs operating on Government Aerodromes this is theDASOR which will be staffed by your Station Flight Safety Officer and sent tothe CAA SARG.

The "In Form" initiative is designed to capture thelessons which would otherwise go unreported.

The forms are simple to use and just require a few lines of freetext. Those submitting reports have the option to do so anonymously, althoughwe hope that Club members will let us know who they are so we can follow upwith any queries subsequently. Information from this system will be shared withother aviation bodies but can be 'disidentified' so that neither the name ofthe submitter nor the club appear on the report.

The "In Form" may be deemed reportable by the StationFlight Safety Officer who will elevate it to DASOR status and the RAFFCAAviation Safety Member will then be made aware with the ability to comment, supportor investigate.

The reports received from all RAFFCA Clubs willbe collated centrally and lessons shared around via a safety newsletter. Twotimes each year a RAFFCA Aviation Safety Newsletter "Safety Spot..." willbe circulated to all Clubs. Each edition will contain safety articles andinformation from safety reports.

As you will be well aware, there is no shortage of flight safetyinformation around in the GA press – mostly in the form of accident summaries.It is not our intention merely to reproduce more of the same. Each RAFFCASafety Newsletter will have a theme focusing on a specific safety aspect - suchas particular type of accident risk or a specific type of recreational flight.The aim is to produce something which is directly relevant to the type offlying carried out at our clubs and which will provide information of lastingvalue.

RAFFCA Safety Member

Sqn Ldr Gary Coleman
Sqn Ldr Ops
RAF Halton
HP22 5PG

DFTN: 95237 6666
Tel: 01296 656666
e-mail: hal-opsso2@mod.uk

RAFFCA Safety Report

  • Aircraft.

    This form is intended for use by Pilots and Operations staff at Flying Clubs affiliated to the Royal Air Force Flying Clubs Association (RAFFCA) to enable them to report safety occurrences, unsafe practices/procedures or other hazards.

    RAFFCA Safety Report

Airspace & Safety Initiative (ASI)

  • Airspace and saftey Initiative.

    The airspace & safety Initiative website (a joint CAA/MoD/NATS initiative aimed at GA).

    Airspace Saftey

General Aviation Safety Council

  • GASCO Logo.

    GASCo is a Charity that works to improve flight safety in all forms of general aviation. It is funded by the contributions of member organisations, pilots, aviation authorities and the public


Fly On Track

  • On Track Logo.

    Website dedicated to the reduction of airspace infringements.

    Fly On Track
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