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Pilot tales.
#31
CASA's Flight Safety - The white hats within Rolleyes

The following FS article is IMO one of their better articles and aviation operators/MROs etc. should take note of the 'seven identifiable characteristics of a mudguard organisation' -  Wink :

Quote:Dirty secrets
By staff writers -
Sep 18, 2017
3588



[Image: mudguard-696x453.jpg]© Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Beware the mudguard organisation: shiny on top, but filthy underneath

The airline began operations in 1993 with just one aircraft. The following year, when its shares went public, there were fifteen. The year after that there were 50 somewhat elderly DC-9s (and a few newer MD-80s) bearing the logo of Valujet which had made a $US21 million profit in the first year. Some of the start-up airline’s other statistics were equally memorable: over the three years from 1994–1996 it made 129 unscheduled landings and its accident rate was 14 times that of the established airlines.

Then, in May 1996, Valujet flight 592, a DC-9 flying from Miami to Atlanta crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 on board. Used oxygen generators illegally stowed in the cargo hold without their safety caps on had caught fire. They had been placed there by a maintenance subcontractor despite federal regulations forbidding such hazardous cargo. The description on the cardboard box holding the canisters had been ‘company material’.

Pilot and writer William Langewiesche came to a scathing conclusion: ‘ValuJet Flight 592 burned and crashed not because the airplane failed but, in large part, because the airline did.’

Valujet was the model of a mudguard organisation. Like a road wheel cover on a vehicle, it was superficially impressive but dirty beneath its polished surface. Valujet was also somewhat less than the sum of its parts. A so-called virtual airline it contracted out many back office services, such as catering and maintenance. These were carried out by the lowest bidder with penalties imposed, according to contemporary media reports, for late return of aircraft to service. Here was a structure and a culture riddled with dysfunctional and dangerous characteristics.

There have been notorious ‘mudguards’ in Australian aviation, too. On 2 October 1994, a Seaview Air Aero Commander 690 flying from Williamtown, NSW, to Lord Howe Island crashed killing all nine people on board. The Commission of Inquiry into the accident stated that Seaview Air was ‘a slipshod, often wilfully non-compliant organisation in which breaches of regulations and unacceptable practices were … commonplace’.

On the day of the crash, the twin-engine turbo-prop aircraft was 220 kg overweight; the pilot was not validly licensed to fly the aircraft; the aircraft had not been properly serviced according to regular maintenance schedules; the company was operating as regular public transport but was only approved for charter work; the right engine of the plane had exceeded a 5400-hour manufacturer’s limit; during the last 12 months, numerous defects had not been recorded; and the life rafts were inaccessible. The culture that had developed in Seaview Air was, according to the Commissioner’s report, an ‘uncaring attitude of a greedy operator which threw caution to the wind without considering the consequences of putting lives at very real risk’.

The Commissioner’s report also took aim at ‘an incompetent and timid regulator’. Like Seaview, the Civil Aviation Authority, (which was dissolved and reformed as CASA and Airservices Australia) was not as impressive in performance as in appearance. The CAA failed to look closely at the operator which had been named in Federal Parliament as a safety risk.

There are at least seven identifiable characteristics of a mudguard organisation, although not all are required to produce a ‘filthy’ workplace. Do any of these signs ring a bell with you? If so, it’s time to take stock.

Low employee morale: Hands up. Have you ever called in ‘sick’ just because you didn’t want to go in to the office? Where there is low morale in a company, employees regularly call in sick, leave early, don’t complete their duties and have bad attitudes to work, so it is difficult to create a healthy and productive working environment.

Lack of career growth: Do you want to keep advancing your career but when you look around your workplace there is no encouragement or opportunities to do this? There is no training available and even after several conversations with HR about growth opportunities, nothing happens? And is your pay lower than desired and a pay rise only in your dreams?

Lack of compliance: The helicopter operator that ignores procedures in the flight manual because ‘that’s not how we operate here’; the maintenance organisation where you’re told to ‘just get on with it,’ in the absence of maintenance documents. These are danger signs.

High turnover: Are people at your organisation constantly leaving? Your desk mate changes before you ever really learn their name? Workplaces that have a toxic environment tend to have a high revolving door for employees. Why hang around if you are being mistreated or the conditions are not what you signed up to?

Poor communication: Do you often feel left out of the loop regarding important information? Do you get little or no feedback on your performance or when you do, it’s negative and not constructive? Or when you do something great does your boss take all the credit? A lack of communication characterises most toxic workplaces and can lead to increased stress levels, negative attitudes, and feelings like you are working in a vortex never really understanding what is happening.

High stress: Employees who work in a stressful environment will find that it can interfere with their productivity and performance and can impact their physical and emotional health. You tend to get sick more often, sustain more injuries, lose confidence and have higher levels of fatigue and depression than people who work in calmer workplaces. The maintenance contractor that Valujet hired, SabreTech, was according to Langewiesche, ‘… inhabited by a world of boss men and sudden firings, with few protections or guarantees for the future. As the ValuJet deadline approached, they worked in shifts, day and night, and sometimes through the weekend as well.’ This would have been a very high-stress environment to work in.

Dysfunctional: Is there always an office drama? Are you anxious that colleagues are talking behind your back? And do meetings feel like a waste of time inevitably leading to chaos where nothing is achieved?

If you work at a place where there are always rumours and gossip, there is misunderstandings, favouritism and infighting, and management are constantly washing their hands of the problems?

‘Every accident, no matter how minor, is a failure of the organisation,’ said Kenneth Andrews of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1953 and ‘is a reflection on management’s ability to manage, except for act of God. Accident prevention is a management function. Even minor incidents are symptoms of management incompetence that may result in a major loss.’

Clean up or clear out: what you can do

The link between workplace stress and poorer safety is both intuitively obvious and well established in occupational health and safety research. In short, stress and fatigue are the parents of error. Aviation adds another layer of danger: work such as maintenance and ground handling can be not only dangerous in itself, but mistakes made here can add to the risks of flight.

An important point about mudguard organisations is that they do not necessarily reflect personal stupidity, arrogance or a dismissive attitude to safety. No-one, even in the most dysfunctional organisation wishes for an accident, or is unaffected if one happens. The problem is more deep-rooted than one so-called bad apple. Systems themselves can go off track, seemingly out of human control.

Writing about Valujet 592 Langewiesche says, ‘The two unfortunate mechanics who signed off on the non-existent safety caps just happened to be the slowest to slip away when the supervisors needed signatures.’

The good news is that if you find yourself on the dirty side of the mudguard, you have options. Walking away is only one of these options, and should be a last resort. It may remove you from the problem, but it doesn’t fix it.

There are resources available to repair and maintain organisations. And the time to take advantage of these is before an organisation turns sour. Part of the role of CASA’s aviation safety advisors (ASAs) is to make ‘house calls’ on aviation organisations. They can advise on organisational leadership, safety resources, and practical steps to build a safety culture. ‘We don’t judge. We just want to help,’ says ASA team leader Alf Jonas. He emphasises that an organisation does not need to be ‘at death’s door’ to qualify for a check-up. ‘A check-up is always a good idea, even if you seem healthy. It’s never wasted time,’ he says.

CASA’s Safety Behaviours: Human Factors for Engineers resources kit has two videos that are valuable watching. The first case study, Crossed Wires, paints a short, but according to many viewers in the aviation industry, compelling picture of an out-of-control organisation. The second video, The Right Connections, shows but does not preach the solutions: a renewed emphasis on order and procedure, initiated in the most basic activities of the organisation, and reinforced by example from the very top.

[b]Further information[/b]
Carillo, R. A. (2004). Breaking the Cycle of Mistrust to Build a Positive Safety Culture.
Langewiesche, W, ‘The Lessons of ValuJet 592’, The Atlantic, March 1998.
Lauriski, D. (2016, April 28). Seven Characteristics of a Positive Safety Culture — Predictive Safety.
Staunton, J. H. (1996). Report of the Commissioner/Commission of Inquiry into the Relations between the CAA and Seaview Air, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.
  
MTF...P2  Cool
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#32
(09-19-2017, 08:48 PM)Peetwo Wrote: CASA's Flight Safety - The white hats within Rolleyes

The following FS article is IMO one of their better articles and aviation operators/MROs etc. should take note of the 'seven identifiable characteristics of a mudguard organisation' -  Wink :

Quote:Dirty secrets
By staff writers -
Sep 18, 2017
3588



[Image: mudguard-696x453.jpg]© Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Beware the mudguard organisation: shiny on top, but filthy underneath

The airline began operations in 1993 with just one aircraft. The following year, when its shares went public, there were fifteen. The year after that there were 50 somewhat elderly DC-9s (and a few newer MD-80s) bearing the logo of Valujet which had made a $US21 million profit in the first year. Some of the start-up airline’s other statistics were equally memorable: over the three years from 1994–1996 it made 129 unscheduled landings and its accident rate was 14 times that of the established airlines.

Then, in May 1996, Valujet flight 592, a DC-9 flying from Miami to Atlanta crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 on board. Used oxygen generators illegally stowed in the cargo hold without their safety caps on had caught fire. They had been placed there by a maintenance subcontractor despite federal regulations forbidding such hazardous cargo. The description on the cardboard box holding the canisters had been ‘company material’.

Pilot and writer William Langewiesche came to a scathing conclusion: ‘ValuJet Flight 592 burned and crashed not because the airplane failed but, in large part, because the airline did.’

Valujet was the model of a mudguard organisation. Like a road wheel cover on a vehicle, it was superficially impressive but dirty beneath its polished surface. Valujet was also somewhat less than the sum of its parts. A so-called virtual airline it contracted out many back office services, such as catering and maintenance. These were carried out by the lowest bidder with penalties imposed, according to contemporary media reports, for late return of aircraft to service. Here was a structure and a culture riddled with dysfunctional and dangerous characteristics.

There have been notorious ‘mudguards’ in Australian aviation, too. On 2 October 1994, a Seaview Air Aero Commander 690 flying from Williamtown, NSW, to Lord Howe Island crashed killing all nine people on board. The Commission of Inquiry into the accident stated that Seaview Air was ‘a slipshod, often wilfully non-compliant organisation in which breaches of regulations and unacceptable practices were … commonplace’.

On the day of the crash, the twin-engine turbo-prop aircraft was 220 kg overweight; the pilot was not validly licensed to fly the aircraft; the aircraft had not been properly serviced according to regular maintenance schedules; the company was operating as regular public transport but was only approved for charter work; the right engine of the plane had exceeded a 5400-hour manufacturer’s limit; during the last 12 months, numerous defects had not been recorded; and the life rafts were inaccessible. The culture that had developed in Seaview Air was, according to the Commissioner’s report, an ‘uncaring attitude of a greedy operator which threw caution to the wind without considering the consequences of putting lives at very real risk’.

The Commissioner’s report also took aim at ‘an incompetent and timid regulator’. Like Seaview, the Civil Aviation Authority, (which was dissolved and reformed as CASA and Airservices Australia) was not as impressive in performance as in appearance. The CAA failed to look closely at the operator which had been named in Federal Parliament as a safety risk.

There are at least seven identifiable characteristics of a mudguard organisation, although not all are required to produce a ‘filthy’ workplace. Do any of these signs ring a bell with you? If so, it’s time to take stock.

Low employee morale: Hands up. Have you ever called in ‘sick’ just because you didn’t want to go in to the office? Where there is low morale in a company, employees regularly call in sick, leave early, don’t complete their duties and have bad attitudes to work, so it is difficult to create a healthy and productive working environment.

Lack of career growth: Do you want to keep advancing your career but when you look around your workplace there is no encouragement or opportunities to do this? There is no training available and even after several conversations with HR about growth opportunities, nothing happens? And is your pay lower than desired and a pay rise only in your dreams?

Lack of compliance: The helicopter operator that ignores procedures in the flight manual because ‘that’s not how we operate here’; the maintenance organisation where you’re told to ‘just get on with it,’ in the absence of maintenance documents. These are danger signs.

High turnover: Are people at your organisation constantly leaving? Your desk mate changes before you ever really learn their name? Workplaces that have a toxic environment tend to have a high revolving door for employees. Why hang around if you are being mistreated or the conditions are not what you signed up to?

Poor communication: Do you often feel left out of the loop regarding important information? Do you get little or no feedback on your performance or when you do, it’s negative and not constructive? Or when you do something great does your boss take all the credit? A lack of communication characterises most toxic workplaces and can lead to increased stress levels, negative attitudes, and feelings like you are working in a vortex never really understanding what is happening.

High stress: Employees who work in a stressful environment will find that it can interfere with their productivity and performance and can impact their physical and emotional health. You tend to get sick more often, sustain more injuries, lose confidence and have higher levels of fatigue and depression than people who work in calmer workplaces. The maintenance contractor that Valujet hired, SabreTech, was according to Langewiesche, ‘… inhabited by a world of boss men and sudden firings, with few protections or guarantees for the future. As the ValuJet deadline approached, they worked in shifts, day and night, and sometimes through the weekend as well.’ This would have been a very high-stress environment to work in.

Dysfunctional: Is there always an office drama? Are you anxious that colleagues are talking behind your back? And do meetings feel like a waste of time inevitably leading to chaos where nothing is achieved?

If you work at a place where there are always rumours and gossip, there is misunderstandings, favouritism and infighting, and management are constantly washing their hands of the problems?

‘Every accident, no matter how minor, is a failure of the organisation,’ said Kenneth Andrews of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1953 and ‘is a reflection on management’s ability to manage, except for act of God. Accident prevention is a management function. Even minor incidents are symptoms of management incompetence that may result in a major loss.’

Clean up or clear out: what you can do

The link between workplace stress and poorer safety is both intuitively obvious and well established in occupational health and safety research. In short, stress and fatigue are the parents of error. Aviation adds another layer of danger: work such as maintenance and ground handling can be not only dangerous in itself, but mistakes made here can add to the risks of flight.

An important point about mudguard organisations is that they do not necessarily reflect personal stupidity, arrogance or a dismissive attitude to safety. No-one, even in the most dysfunctional organisation wishes for an accident, or is unaffected if one happens. The problem is more deep-rooted than one so-called bad apple. Systems themselves can go off track, seemingly out of human control.

Writing about Valujet 592 Langewiesche says, ‘The two unfortunate mechanics who signed off on the non-existent safety caps just happened to be the slowest to slip away when the supervisors needed signatures.’

The good news is that if you find yourself on the dirty side of the mudguard, you have options. Walking away is only one of these options, and should be a last resort. It may remove you from the problem, but it doesn’t fix it.

There are resources available to repair and maintain organisations. And the time to take advantage of these is before an organisation turns sour. Part of the role of CASA’s aviation safety advisors (ASAs) is to make ‘house calls’ on aviation organisations. They can advise on organisational leadership, safety resources, and practical steps to build a safety culture. ‘We don’t judge. We just want to help,’ says ASA team leader Alf Jonas. He emphasises that an organisation does not need to be ‘at death’s door’ to qualify for a check-up. ‘A check-up is always a good idea, even if you seem healthy. It’s never wasted time,’ he says.

CASA’s Safety Behaviours: Human Factors for Engineers resources kit has two videos that are valuable watching. The first case study, Crossed Wires, paints a short, but according to many viewers in the aviation industry, compelling picture of an out-of-control organisation. The second video, The Right Connections, shows but does not preach the solutions: a renewed emphasis on order and procedure, initiated in the most basic activities of the organisation, and reinforced by example from the very top.
  

Sandy & Walter in reply:

Quote:Sandy Reith Sep 19, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Certainly some good reminders of failings that occurred in spite of supposed oversight by very expensive regulators.

In Australia did the change from CAA to CASA make any difference? Many if not most industry personnel would be hard pressed to discern the difference although judging by the Colmar Brunton report, the report commissioned by CASA to gauge industry satisfaction with CASA, things have not improved. In so far as the administration of General Aviation (GA) is concerned, hampered as it is with the most convoluted and unworkable rules framed largely as criminal offenses of strict liability, in CASA Chairman Jeff Boyd’s own words “its a mess” (Tamworth 2016).

It’s become obvious that CASA, an independent Commonwealth Corporate body, has no appetite whatever for meaningfull reform, reforms like medical standards for private pilots as in the USA , in spite of CEO Shane Carmody stated objective to administer on the basis of “evidence” (Avalon 2017).

 Sadly, saddled with such unworkable and unfair rules, coupled with fee gouging (e.g. $8000 upfront for a flying school permit, a permission to teach not required in the US) for all sorts of previously unheard of permissions, not to mention $283 biennial ASICs (special ID) with no relief for commercial pilots, instructors or the elderly, GA has suffered serious decline.

 Loss of hundreds of flying schools, lack of recency, high costs of fuel and maintenance, all symptoms of low throughput and lack of competition, has created general stress levels exactly as decried in this article in addition to loss of services and employment.


 Walter Riley Sep 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

Agree whole heartedly Sandy. The saddest thing though is that our regulator simply haven’t got a clue as to what’s really happening out there. Keeping the rules & regs at a level that they themselves have little idea about never lone the aviation Co’s trying to make a living in a convoluted industry. Jobs for the boys, power trips & no doubt some level of corruption which is almost a way of life in big business these days in Australia inc Govt’s is now so entrenched that our GA industry is all but dead at a commercial level & declining rapidly in the private sector.

Australia the wealthiest third world country!

The ‘Mudguard’ picture is a good one, it’s rife right here in Australia as well.

As is well known in our corrupt industry “Safe skies are empty skies”!

RIP Australian GA, was a really exciting area once upon a time Sad
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#33
Shamelessly cribbed from Pprune.

Posted by Centaurus (legend).

________________________________________
Just came across this link. At last; Aviation Safety Digests are available in digital form. Thanks to someone special who has done the hard yards to complete this wonderful achievement. Fill your boots  

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9wo9qzdor...0LzdqhYva?dl=0


Show your support and appreciation, download and enjoy some real, down to earth, first class reporting and commentary on aviation ‘events’, incidents and accidents from folk who actually had a clue (or two).  Not certain to whom our thanks must be directed, but to whoever you are.

THANK YOU.  Frontal Lobotomy.
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#34
Good news story amongst the dross - Big Grin

By Annabel Hepworth, via the Oz.. Wink

Quote:Virgin’s cadet pilot intake living the dream
[Image: cb2e4854d3985540f7600eacde761505?width=650]
Virgin cadets Lachlan Barr, Shelby Tillet and Angus Slattery
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM October 27, 2017
  • [size=undefined]ANNABEL HEPWORTH
    [Image: annabel_hepworth.png]
    Aviation Editor
    Sydney

    @HepworthAnnabel
    [img=0x0]https://i1.wp.com/pixel.tcog.cp1.news.com.au/track/component/author/d4b891a093ad6ddc703117011dc4fd61/?esi=true&t_product=the-australian&t_template=s3/austemp-article_common/vertical/author/widget&td_bio=false[/img]
    [/size]

When Angus Slattery was growing up his family worked in ground operations and now he wants to continue “living and breathing the industry”.
Slattery was among 18 cadets that Virgin Australia has selected for pilot training.

Growing up, he says he was lucky to be able to travel a lot. “I’d like to continue that and provide that to my kids and keep travelling and living and breathing the industry,” he said.

Also in his cohort to do the Virgin 54-week program in Adelaide is Lachlan Barr, who has wanted to be a pilot since he was a kid, and Shelby Tillet. The trio had come from Griffith University’s bachelor of aviation program. The pilot cadets started their induction this week. The trio will be in the “ab initio” (entry level) flight training program. The training will include 176 hours of flying, 60 hours of simulator training and 874 hours of theory training.

Virgin Australia director of flight operations Stuart Aggs said previously the carrier had run two courses of eight candidates that were ab initio only, but this year wanted to expand the scope to include those with flying experience as well as ab initio. After receiving all the applications, “we were so impressed by the calibre of talent we increased available places from 12 to 18,” Mr Aggs said.

He said Virgin looked for qualities including “a strong motivation and passion to fly”.

The most “challenging and rewarding” part of the cadetship was finishing it in the time frame.

“There is a high degree of focus and study required to pass the course and we require the cadet to achieve a high standard of manipulative technique and theoretical knowledge so they can finish the cadetship at an internationally recognised flight training school and move onto our main line fleet of aircraft,” Mr Aggs said.

“Commencing a career as a commercial pilot requires a high level of dedication and passion.”

The carrier runs the program in partnership with Flight Training Adelaide.
This intake will have 10 ab initio cadets and eight are already pilots.
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#35
Hornets at Newcastle V8 Supercars. 

Not really a pilot tale but nonetheless some excellent avgeek viewing, courtesy OzAviation Wink :






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#36
'Little Wings' - A Xmas inspiration - Wink   

Via Oz Aviation:

Quote:Little Wings, big heart

December 25, 2017 by Owen Zupp Leave a Comment

[Image: IMG_1038.JPG.jpg]

When young children require hospital treatment he tyranny of distance can make an already difficult time for families even more stressful. NSW-based Little Wings seeks to ease some of these difficulties through the astute application of aviation in a very professional manner.

Over five years Little Wings has completed over 1,250 flights, with more than 300 flights taking place over the past year. The operation continues to grow at a measured rate in keeping with its focus on “doing it right”, as chief executive officer Richelle Koller describes it.

And in the wake of a recent donation, Little Wings’ future may see it assisting even more families in need.

Taking flight

Founded in 2012, Little Wings emerged from a need identified in the oncology unit of Sydney’s Westmead Hospital, where children with cancer are treated. For children and their families who lived some distance from Sydney, travel was not easy. For some, the time between rounds of treatment was not long enough to justify returning home, while others with compromised immune systems were unable to travel by public transport due to the risk of infection.

With its lone Piper Malibu Mirage, Little Wings has been able to bridge that gap, flying patients and their families to the city where a journey by road would take greater than three hours.

A non-emergency service, Little Wings seeks to lessen the time, fatigue and financial burden associated with long distance travel and consequently improve the child’s quality of life, recovery process and family cohesiveness.

After the single-engined Malibu Mirage was made available to the charity the operation grew to encompass not just Westmead but the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick and Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital, with its service available to children and their families with any serious and chronic illness.

Arrangement between Little Wings and the hospitals are formalised within memorandums of understanding so that both entities are working towards a common objective with an appreciation of the other’s role. And only the hospitals can refer a patient’s case to Little Wings, ensuring that behind every flight there is a process confirming that a genuine need exists and priorities are respected.

The pressurised Malibu is fitted with a weather radar, while inside the air conditioned cabin four passengers can be seated in club seating arrangement, while its drop-down air-stair affords easy access and egress.

Doing it right

[Image: Little-Wings-1.jpg]

Based at Bankstown Airport, Little Wings offers the air of simplicity and professionalism that one would hope to find in any non-profit organisation. The staff wear uniform shirts bearing the charity’s logo, while the office that occupies the corner of the hangar is clean and efficient. A bench lines one wall where the pilot attends to flight planning and the operations manager the other aspects of the operation. There is no sense of excess and the strength lies in the organisation’s culture.

Little Wings utilises a small group of five volunteer pilots with Adam Holt of Salt Air Services serving in a check and training capacity. Critically, all pilots hold commercial licences and are instrument-rated with Little Wings operating its service under instrument flight rules (IFR).

With such a small, centralised team, the organisation is able to maintain genuine quality control with regular flight reviews of their crew. Operating the flights with these additional requirements provides an additional level of expertise and experience, but also offers a level of defence against the ever-present variable, the weather (although the weather can never be fully countered, regardless of the size of the operation or the aeroplane).

A recent flight departure was postponed to the following morning when the pilot experienced severe turbulence inbound to the destination and decided against making the return flight immediately. Koller fully supported the pilot’s decision emphasising that the purpose of the service is to, “…take the stress of travel away from the families, allowing them to focus on the kids,” further adding, “…and safety is paramount”.

It is obvious that the culture of safety is shared and promoted from the top down within Little Wings.

The Malibu has the ability to cruise in the flight levels with a planned true air speed of 210kt. As required, a twin-engined Beechcraft B58 Baron is also utilised on a cross-hire basis when the Malibu is unavailable and the situation dictates.

And air transport is not the sole concern of Little Wings as the flights are supported by an impressive, modern fleet of Hyundai iMax and Santa Fe vehicles, generously provided by ‘Hyundai Help for Kids’ and driven by 20 volunteer drivers.

From door-to-door, the service falls under the Little Wings banner and is conducted using modern equipment.

“The organisation is small at this stage, but that also allows us to keep it tight,” Koller says.

With a strong accounting background in auditing, taxation and financial management as well as having held the role of director with a major accounting firm, Koller is well situated to oversee the financial efficiency of this non-profit organisation.

And as Little Wings is a tightly-run operation, there is room for growth, with a $300,000 donation from the Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund allowing the purchase of its own aircraft. After choosing Little Wings from a list of eligible charities, Commonwealth Bank staff made a salary-sacrifice from each pay-packet towards Little Wings in a gesture that was matched dollar for dollar by their employer.

With these funds available, the organisation set about an in-depth analysis to select a replacement for the Piper Malibu and the decision was reached to acquire a B58 Baron, similar to the aircraft that has been used in a relief capacity.

The Baron won out “due to its being twin-engined, possessing a greater range, a simplicity in its systems and economical to support,” Koller explains.

While there is still some time before the Malibu is retired, the plan is for the Baron to enter service before the end of the current financial year.

Owning the aircraft outright is a significant element in the successful Little Wings model, not only in financial terms, but in giving direct oversight and control of the aeroplane’s ongoing maintenance and serviceability. However, fuel and maintenance remain the organisation’s greatest cost and it is the generosity of the community and sponsors that covers this and allows the aircraft to continue flying.

Looking ahead

Koller sees Little Wings’ immediate goal as meeting demand within NSW as some hospital referrals are currently being rejected due to a lack of funding. However, she does recognise the potential of the Little Wings model to expand beyond NSW’s borders. But for the moment, the strength undoubtedly lies on the measured foundations that have been laid so far.

It is an indication of the hospitals’ satisfaction with the service that the referrals continue to grow and undoubtedly a source of frustration that the ability to meet the need is limited by funding.

There is also little doubt that there are many deserving charities in need of assistance in this day and age. Still, the opportunity to help our youngest citizens and their families in the toughest of circumstances will always strike a chord within us. Little Wings has the welfare of these families at the core of its mission, not only in providing flights for them, but in the way that it does so.

With the generosity of community support, sponsors and volunteers it is operating a non-profit aviation operation with a degree of professionalism that is the envy of a number of commercial undertakings. It is a relatively young, small and dynamic charity, that after five years is aiming to truly spread its wings to even more families while maintaining the culture that has been built to date. It is a goal to be admired.

If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, visit the Little Wings website here.

This feature story first appeared in the January-February issue of Australian Aviation, on sale on January 4.
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#37
Finally a good news pilot tale, via the Oz:



Outback airmail delivers a family of high flyers

[Image: eeb8513d2833dd4e8241b901a85f9e40?width=650]
Outback mailman Liam Daff makes a delivery after one of about 30 landings on his remote station route. Picture: James Croucher

The Australian

12:00AM December 28, 2017[size=undefined][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[size=x-small][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
Journalist
Sydney


Every Saturday, Liam Daff takes off in a small plane from Broken Hill airport to deliver mail to about 30 remote stations in outback NSW. The 27-year-old is flying in his father’s footsteps — his father Peter did the same mail run 40 years ago.

“Dad was always dressed in his pilot’s uniform, pretty much,” Liam said.

“Dad’s brother was into aerobatics and stuff like that; we were always going to airshows. Mum’s father was a pilot as well with TAA (the now-defunct Trans Australia Airlines).

“It seemed like I was always going to head that way.”

He is in a career that is increasingly in high demand, including abroad in countries like China.

“I think with the worldwide pilot shortage at the moment, pilots would seriously consider (taking jobs overseas),” he said.

“I think you could also expect that with the shortage and all the attraction of large salaries offshore it will put upward pressure on salaries here. I’m happy where I am at the moment, and happy to be gaining experience.”

His postie run has changed in four decades, but not much. Liam lands and takes off 30 times in one day at stations and properties 400km to the north.

For his father, snail mail had wings twice a week and he made between 27 and 36 stops. The Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six — named VH-TVT and brand new when Peter Daff was first flying — is still around and is flown by his son.

[color=#333333][Image: 7a0f89540c20a4d5c69380ee0ba1f1fc?width=650][size=x-small]Peter and Liam Daff with their old Piper Cherokee.

The past few weeks, leading up to Christmas, Liam’s journey has been especially gruelling as temperatures climbed above 45C and the plane groaned under the weight of food, presents and school equipment. “You did 36 takeoffs and landings in one day,” Peter Daff, who recently retired as a Qantas pilot, said. “You knew you’d done some work.”

Both father and son began as electricians working in the mines, but quickly moved up to flying.

Liam saved money while working in mines in Western Australia to get his commercial licence.

Peter moved from the mines to the office at the local air charter company. Both Liam and Peter started work for the same family, the Radfords.

“It was Steve (Radford) for me and Gary (Radford) for my father,” Liam said. “I couldn’t speak highly enough of them. They gave us our first shot, our first job. You speak to anyone — getting your first job is the hardest.”

In 18 years in the Qantas cockpit, Peter moved from his first plane, the Beech Staggerwing, to the Boeing 747, 767 and 737. “The 747 would be my favourite aircraft,” he said. “I was on the old classic.”

Liam has not ruled out moving along the same trajectory as his ­father. In the outback, the Royal Flying Doctor Service is an important employer of pilots, many of whom move on to big airlines.

“It comes down to experience; you just need a lot more hours,” Liam said. “You’re flying more technical and powerful machines, you’ve got the whole (flying) doctor service, medical service side, and you’re flying into pretty remote areas.”

Peter, 60, attributes his success as a pilot flying long-haul around the world to those first few years in the outback. “I enjoyed the time with Qantas but it all started back in Broken Hill,” he said. “Some of the most enjoyable flying was on the mail run. I’ve flown all over the world. I shifted all over Australia. I look back in fondness.”



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On behalf of Karlene Petitt... Wink:



[Image: ext?w=800&h=800&hash=cQnUI7OOc%2BNgWrHvR...DNnee8JJXk] 


ERAU Ph.D.Worldwide Aviation Research




Welcome to Petitt Doctoral Aviation Research



The Intent of this Research


HISTORY

Whenever an accident occurs the industry blames the pilot. However, if we continue to blame the pilot then no one needs to be accountable for necessary improvements. In 2016, the Office of the Inspector General identified that pilots’ lacked flight skills and exhibited problems monitoring their instruments. Incidents and safety reports have further identified confusion, lack of understanding, and mode awareness issues. 

However, I hypothesize that pilots are not to blame, but a larger system with underlying variables may be accountable.
  
PURPOSE

The purpose of this research is to identify the relationships between safety culture, pilot training, aircraft understanding, aviation passion, and the impact of automation usage, in order to identify the root cause of performance issues, beyond pilot error.   

ANONYMITY

You will remain anonymous—no names will be collected on the survey, ensuring your identity will never be linked to the results or your organization. You may also quit at any time without issue. 

There will be no risk involved in your participation, and your reward will be the positive impact that this research could have on your career and the safety of our aviation industry.  


Participation will take approximately 
10-15 minutes. 

QUALIFICATIONS TO PARTICIPATE

You must be a commercial pilot (airline, charter, corporate), with a required crew complement of at least two pilots. You may also be retired or between jobs if you were actively employed within the previous calendar year.  If you meet the qualifications and want to participate, please select the link below that will take you to the consent form, followed by the survey.   



Excellent initiative and it would be good to get some input from Downunda - go on you know want to...  Big Grin



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