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Brent Bergan

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About Brent Bergan

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    Fort Lauderdale, Fl
  1. Sms Works And This Is How...

    is that a good thing though? correct me if i'm wrong, the intent of the SMS is to identify potential problematic issues within an operation, address the issues and implement corrective actions to prevent future mishaps? I suppose with a small operator, 1 helicopter and a couple folks, maybe it doesn't make sense. Who has implemented an SMS program that has had a measure impact on their operation? As Chopterlol pointed out, yeah, it's attitude... and a lot of that is set from the top, the guys in charge making safety their priority. Thanks, Brent
  2. I'm currently researching SMSs and I wanted to reach out to operators who have a system up and running where the SMS has improved your operation, increased safety and your safety culture... or on the flip side, if you've attempted to implement an SMS and it's a paperwork exercise to meet the regulator's requirements or it's there to reduce your insurance costs. I'm working on an article for SMSs and would like to incorporate blog information into the article. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts information. If you would like to email me information, or would like to be interviewed for the SMS article, drop me a line at brent@verticalmag.com. Thanks, Brent
  3. Laser Incidents

    Thanks for the info.... just read about a MD man charged with lasing an ENG helicopter. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9022503006.html
  4. Laser Incidents

    A pilot from a local sheriff's office has been getting lasered recently and was wondering what other folks have done to find & prosecute these guys. I read one article online where New Zeland cops were getting lased, and they found the jerks who where doing it. After the incident, the Kiwis enacted a law where folks who do this can get up to 14 years in prison. The reason being, from what I’ve read, is that getting lased can be completely discombobulating. I’ve never experienced this problem, but, I wanted to know if you have, if you found the guy that did it and if that person went to jail?
  5. Fatigue Fast Plot From V911 Amtc Issue

    Ok Copter Jim... I put the files in a Word Document and they are attached. If you don't have word, let me know and I'll see if I can put it in a PDF. Hopefully the file will be useful. Thanks, Brent CopterJim_Fatigue_Assessment.doc.doc
  6. Fatigue Fast Plot From V911 Amtc Issue

    Copter Jim, i'm sorry to say, but I ran your program through the computer, went to eat dinner, came back and now my computer's hard drive no longer wants to cooporate, and it's fried. From looking at the schedule, it's a no brainer the 24 hour schedule is better for fatigue... the only thing you didn't add in there was the amount of sleep after you 3am on the 12 hour shifts and on the 24 hr shifts how much sleep you get after 2300... For the 12 hour shift, i put in a 3 hour nap from 0300-0600 and that helped tremendously with fatigue, leaving it in the yellow seciton. But without that fatigue countermeasure, the performance for the night shift was very, very low, in the red. Well, i'm in the market for new computer anyhow, hopefully I will revisit this forum in a week or so, and get back up and running with FAST for another week. It's reallly a great program, and I was looking forward to posting the results and I was interested in what other outfits were doing with respect to their schedules.... In the end, judging from FAST and personal experience, a 12 hour shift from 1900-0700 without sleep is definately a hazard of the job. Use the fatigue countermeasures to help you maintain wakefullness. Thanks for the interest, Brent
  7. Fatigue Fast Plot From V911 Amtc Issue

    The attached file is a graphic representation of a work schedule. It's really intuitive, quick and easy to plot. You can also take into account geographical postion, time of month, chaning time zones etc. It's pretty impressive. The location is important, as the program knows your location and will know when it's light and dark, which affects your human bio-rythms. The blue area is sleep, the red, work, and white area neither work or sleep. The next plots are the FAST plot of performance, from the work shedule. Not the drop in performance as the worker goes from day to night...
  8. After researching the fatigue article in the recent AMTC issue of Vertical 911, the folks who created the FAST program, or Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool aggreed to allow me to use the system for Vertical's safety forum. If you like, post your duty schedule, I'll run it through the FAST program, and post the plot so you can view what the FAST program produces. It's a great program, easy to use, and really helps out in fatigue and duty rotation analysis. FAST is 90% accurate.
  9. Good info Swamp... I hear you on the swapping of night to day shifts, or flight schedule. Appreciate the reply. I'm also interested in the Police & Fire Rescue guys -- how do you run your shifts, especially shifting from night to days? And how do you handle the extended high operational periods like that of a Southern California Fire season or time period? I would like to take your schedules and run it through FAST (Fatigue avoidance scheduling tool) software to see where your performance is, based on this tool. It actually predicts people's performance based on fatigue to the a 90% accuracy rate. If you're interested, please post your schedule, and how you operate. Some people are hesistant to be interviewed for stories like this, and I can understand that, my intention is to not throw stones at people for scheduling flaws, but to show how operators schedule over the 24 hour day, and how pervasive fatigue affects can be in shift work and operating helicopters. Than take those schedules, run them through the FAST software, and hopefully show how scheduling really affects performance. Also, if you do respond, please note if you are ablele to nap during the night shift if you're not flying and how many hours you're able to do that. Thanks for the assistance, Brent
  10. Great points.... without a doubt, the "apples to oranges" comparison, regarding commercial airliners. However, both fixed and rotary wing pilots have similar issues, and can run into similar problems. Swamp asked: "How much time is spent in the simulator doing uniquely rotary training?" Great point! Bell Helicopter is starting their P3 training program where they instruct in unit's speacialized training scenarios to assist pilots in the critical decision making process. Looking back at the CG's major mishaps, quite a few have come down to poor decision making and not realizing the hazards involved in the mission, or realizing the hazards, but failing to compare the hazards to the gains of the mission. Personnally guilty of this a few months ago... I forced a landing to the back of a ship, on a dark night with the ship at the pitch and roll limits, on NVGs with zero illumination, with a copilot right out of flight school for a mission that easily could have waited until the next day. The risks were high and the gain was about as low it could have been, yet I forced a mission that wasn't needed... why do we as helicopter pilots make decisions such as these? Sometimes it seems very difficult to turn down a mission, as perhaps we're all get'r done type of people, see it as a challenge vice a potential disaster... land when we shouldn't, or fly in incliment weather... I guess that's why we get paid the big bucks? My misadventure ended up in dropping off the guy I was supposed to, but it was the worst landing & takeoff I've had in 8 years! So getting back to the uniquely rotary wing training... yeah, that's absolutely good stuff. We actually attend annual simulator training and do our EP sims, instrument and a mission simulator event. In our mission simulator we make these decisions and have the chance to review our decisions with an experienced pilot. It's good stuff. Training people in critical mission decision making seems to be pretty important... it's always unfortunate when folks get shopped around for an EMS call and one guy takes the call, unaware of others that turned it down because of the weather and the call out ends in catastrophe. Well, time to roll... thanks for the comments! Great stuff.
  11. Don, thanks for the reply... As a non profit making organization, who picks up your operating costs, including insurance??? Safety is applicable in any organization, so is common sense. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. Number 2. They are not the same. I don't follow how they're "apple and oranges," as I left out the Navy/Marines/Army... the helicopters pick up people and deliver them somewhere... often the public use helicopters have a more challenging mission, sometimes not. For any NTSB accident that I've read through, they've neglected to find fault for who pays the operating costs. From what I've seen, it's derived from decision making upon the parts of the pilots, which may or may not be driven from the top to make a profit. So, are you saying that b/c public sector helicopters don't have to pay their operating costs, that's why they have a better safety record? I don't buy it... As for "another world, or naive..." say what you like, but for me, I really enjoy talking to people from every sector in the helicopter industry, I believe everyone has unique experiences and a differing knowledge base which makes a forum like this work. Do I have any civilian time... nope... but, I do have 8 years in the helicopter industry and working towards a pretty good safety background and I would think if people weren't abrasive over forums, people would be more willing to write in these things. And perhaps some good ideas would be generated... Thanks, Brent
  12. Unfortunately there seems to be news of a small or large accident emailed out from "vertical daily news" almost weekly, or at least 2 per month. If the airline industry had this many crashes/mishaps, no one would be flying. The NTSB put out reccomendations in 2006 regarding NVGs, TAWS, risk management, and call centers (probably a few more too)... but a lof of the time, as in the the most recent EMS crash, none of the reccommendations would have helped. I don't really see the issues that are out there in the civilian world, as I fly for the Coast Guard... we have our own issues, and I'm sure some are very much parallel to the civilian sector. What else can be done? One thing that is interesting to me, is the separation of public use helicotpers (police/fire rescue) from the civilian operators. They don't seem to have the same mishap rate as their civilian counter parts. (could be worth some research on the NTSB's website). What are your thoughts?
  13. Risk Management

    Hey Don... good info, I suppose I was a bit off topic. I'm very new to SMS, I really only heard anything about it at the previous heli-expo. Kimberly Turner of "Aerosafe" has started up an SMS business and is signing operators up left and right. Regarding the ISO-9000, I looked that up on the net, and I just saw that as industry or safety standards. Kimberly Turner referred to it as well... but, after somewhat of an understanding, it seems to me it's "system safety," or the company's safety programs, policies and procedures wrapped into one? From what you guys were talking about, it sounds like TC is attempting to dictate this to operators, and operators are puting out "paper programs" to meet the standards and move on and not have any real program? That's unfortunate... How has SMS positively affected your operation? Will SMS continue to progress and be the panacea for safety of helicopter operations? Thanks guys... interesting stuff! -Brent
  14. Risk Management

    Very interesting stuff… Risk Management, as everyone seems to believe, at the least the folks on this forum, is critical to ensure the safe operation of our helicopters. We (us in the Coast Guard) use ORM (operational risk management) as a means to place a numerical value on our risks associated with our mission. If that risk is high enough, then the “risk decision” goes to management, not to tell us to go or not to go, but allow appropriate oversight to our decisions as pilots… I really think there needs to be good working relationship between management, the pilots, mechanics and aircrew to truly have a working SMS system. Safety is driven from the top down, risk management is driven from the top down… without management buy in, and their leadership our pilots are free to proceed as the wish and really have their own personal system and not one developed by the management. I think everyone needs a voice and have the ability to bring their concerns to the top and be heard, and have a system that is able to be evaluated or audited by an external source… I suppose this is where TC would fit in? One last point… ultimately our risks change as conditions change and our risk constantly develops as our missions change. One of the Coast Guard’s most important tenants of ORM is monitoring risk throughout the mission. Often the question seems to be, “Can I do that mission.” Answering that question seems to be an immediate, “**** yeah I can,” (personally guilty), rather than the more appropriate question of, “what are the risks, and what are the gains?” If the risks are high and the gains low, then what am I doing? And if the risks are high, the gains are high… then how can I mitigate those risks? I suppose it’s a bit off the topic of SMS, but, I think a strong ORM policy and procedure is a critical element to a quality SMS. Are your SMSs developed internally, or do you outsource the SMS to allow independent oversight? What processes do you use? Thanks, Brent
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