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Risk Management

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BDVI thank you for the document. I will keep it handy as it is too late for the incident I described. I could not get the link to come up. I am sure I have recourse where the remaining portion of my 4 month schedule is concerned. Really all I want to do is work on helicopters and not create more problems.



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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?





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Risk Management/Risk Assessment has been around for quite awhile. ORM is another form of PDM (pilot decision making) CRM (crew resource management) etc.

I am not taking away from any of them, but SMS (Safety Management System) encompasses them all, including a top member of the management team who is held responsible for enforcing same. I believe the FAA is in the process of implementing SMS.


SMS can be applied anywhere, one of our railways uses it. CBAA {Canadian Business Aircraft Association), similar to your NBAA has a system in place, which they run.


Commercial aircraft operations (Part 135) and Airlines in Canada will probably have the system run by non-profit organizations with in the aircraft industry as enforcers (Auditors) and Transport Canada making the rules and regulation and over site of the process. Bill C-7 will be reintroduced when Parliament reconvenes in September.


TC and the FAA are more reactive than proactive.


An operator is responsible for setting up their own SMS and have their own reporting functions and auditors in house. This in turn is audited by outside auditors appointed by TC, it's called "Auditing the Auditors".


I proposed this to TC in 1993, only then I was using ISO 9000 and an operator had to keep his certification under ISO or have his (OC) Operating Certificate suspended.


Once SMS is in place, it will provide a safer environment for all concerned, everybody will be operating from the same bible, enforcement of the SMS will come from industry provided AUDITORS.


Commercial operations are all business's that require profit to stay in business and keep people employed.


Over time, once SMS is in place lower costs in operating, insurance etc should be realized with a well rounded company.


Cheers, Don

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Guest Bullet Remington
Hand-holding and TA TAs? Some people are so high maintenance. :P :bye:


Ahem, sorry.


Risk Management...



Really??? I assumed MY maintenance level matched my IQ :wacko: LOW!! As in the negative numbers!! :unsure:


But hey, I like Ta Ta's! And any time I'm close to them, the stress levels drop. I do believe in some wonky way, this ties into SMS/ risk management is a perverse way!! :punk:


And Thx TQN. I thought You were PO'd at me!! :mellow:

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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!





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