"Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

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hangar3
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"Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by hangar3 »

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/comment ... inion.html



Is this really the case?
Did TC really withdraw oversight from all those fields? What is he referring to exactly?
I guess I am trying to understand what exactly this guy is ranting about. To me, his arguments don't seem very well supported in this article.



Also, is it fair to use an accident that happened in the US as an example of air regulation failure in Canada?
It was my understanding the plane flew 30' laterally and 80' above. I heard there were issues with taxiway lights not being marked the same at SFO, and that an inactive left runway had lights out, which could have played a role in making them think the taxiway was the right hand runway. Yes, it was a screwup, and I don't understand how you confuse a runway with a taxiway when it should be lit up like a christmas tree, but I'm not a commercial pilot and only have a few hours flying at night.

HOWEVER at the end of the day, I still respect the crew for acknowledging there was a problem and questioning the situation. That's how you should recover from a screwup and this conflict resolution is something that was less prevalent in the past as many previous accidents have shown. I could easily imagine the scenario where the pilots wouldn't have even questioned anything because they think it looks right, and just followed through. Clearly, it's no longer the days when you don't question authority or are afraid to point out issues in the cockpit or to controllers. Clearly, these pilots were attentive in the end, and resolved their situation. Isn't that a sign that safety has improved?

In my current (and previous) line of work, which is highly safety oriented, mistakes happen, and you are commended for fixing them properly and safely. So I am surprised to see someone ranting against these pilots' behaviour in that respect. We were never able to prevent safety issues, but we were able to increase recognition of safety issues, and that's as important in my opinion. Most pilots I know mention that the safety mentality has increased dramatically in the last few decades, one worded it by saying new pilots are "less Bush."


And regarding the Jim Prentice plane crash that he mentions, last I heard, was caused by the pilot being "incapacitated." No voice recording or anything to confirm. Could mean fatigued, heart attack, seizure, in the middle of a fist fight.... How is this a confirmed lack of TC oversight? By not mandating a cockpit voice recorder or video link in all planes maybe?


I am genuinely curious about this, and would appreciate your insight.
Discuss. :!:
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by complexintentions »

A union leader promoting his line, nothing more.

Everyone's agenda is to bring regulation in line with their interests. Governments, companies, or unions.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by cncpc »

I have never heard it said that the pilot of the Prentice aircraft was incapacitated. That would most likely have required an autopsy and I don't believe that an autopsy was possible due to the nature of the accident.

The aircraft departed Kelowna, climbed without issue to intercept its enroute course, turned towards that course, entered a rapid descent, made three 360 degree right turns characteristic of a spiral dive, and disappeared from radar.

The accident sequence seems to have been initiated at the level and turn on course. Assuming that it was on autopilot in the climb, something happened that the autopilot disconnected or malfunctioned at that precise moment. Incapacitation can't be ruled out as being involved in that, but I don't think its the most likely scenario.

I've heard that name Greg McConnell before, not sure where.

I think that in aerial firefighting and business aviation, the organizations themselves have the resources and the motivation to reach and exceed TC standards, and if oversight has lessened or stopped, it may be in recognition of that.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by confusedalot »

hangar3 wrote:https://www.thestar.com/opinion/comment ... inion.html



Is this really the case?
Did TC really withdraw oversight from all those fields? What is he referring to exactly?
I guess I am trying to understand what exactly this guy is ranting about. To me, his arguments don't seem very well supported in this article.



Also, is it fair to use an accident that happened in the US as an example of air regulation failure in Canada?
It was my understanding the plane flew 30' laterally and 80' above. I heard there were issues with taxiway lights not being marked the same at SFO, and that an inactive left runway had lights out, which could have played a role in making them think the taxiway was the right hand runway. Yes, it was a screwup, and I don't understand how you confuse a runway with a taxiway when it should be lit up like a christmas tree, but I'm not a commercial pilot and only have a few hours flying at night.

HOWEVER at the end of the day, I still respect the crew for acknowledging there was a problem and questioning the situation. That's how you should recover from a screwup and this conflict resolution is something that was less prevalent in the past as many previous accidents have shown. I could easily imagine the scenario where the pilots wouldn't have even questioned anything because they think it looks right, and just followed through. Clearly, it's no longer the days when you don't question authority or are afraid to point out issues in the cockpit or to controllers. Clearly, these pilots were attentive in the end, and resolved their situation. Isn't that a sign that safety has improved?

In my current (and previous) line of work, which is highly safety oriented, mistakes happen, and you are commended for fixing them properly and safely. So I am surprised to see someone ranting against these pilots' behaviour in that respect. We were never able to prevent safety issues, but we were able to increase recognition of safety issues, and that's as important in my opinion. Most pilots I know mention that the safety mentality has increased dramatically in the last few decades, one worded it by saying new pilots are "less Bush."


And regarding the Jim Prentice plane crash that he mentions, last I heard, was caused by the pilot being "incapacitated." No voice recording or anything to confirm. Could mean fatigued, heart attack, seizure, in the middle of a fist fight.... How is this a confirmed lack of TC oversight? By not mandating a cockpit voice recorder or video link in all planes maybe?


I am genuinely curious about this, and would appreciate your insight.
Discuss. :!:

Here goes........

Merlin Preuss, the transport canada director of the day (and now long long retired) was given an order, no, had an order forced upon him from the politicians of the day, to slash budgets. So, this is where the safety management systems concept came to be a mainstay in canada. It is basically a wholesale transfer of responsibility from the government to industry, thereby reducing the need for government to provide resources, human or otherwise.

Imagine how much an army of inspectors would cost to police the entire country. Now, all you need is a skeleton crew to look at paperwork here and there, and rubber stamp things as OK.

You could write a book about the whole thing, but in a nutshell, it's all about money. I had the sad experience of being an employee in the place while this was all going on. I am no transport lover but even then, the dilution is plain ridiculous.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by Cat Driver »

Yes Merlin Preuss was the one who came up with the bright idea of putting the fox in charge of the chicken house and called it SMS.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by cncpc »

Cat Driver wrote:Yes Merlin Preuss was the one who came up with the bright idea of putting the fox in charge of the chicken house and called it SMS.
Merlin's allright. We grew up in the same place and were in high school together.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by Cat Driver »

You think SMS was a good idea cncpc?
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by Cat Driver »

double post.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by rxl »

Mr. McConnell is spot on.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by bobcaygeon »

Greg is the head of the TC pilots union. His comments are always the same!

I don't know where he worked if at all in the industry but I'd never go back to the way it was in 1995 when I started flying especially in the 703/704 world. Life now is boring with tons of approaches etc in the north and legal loads. Mtc is way better than ever and the new generation thinks different.

I give my head a shake when I look at who I learned from back and how we ignored the rules with heavy management pressures and because we made bad decisions. I was new and thought that's how everyone did it. TC was supposedly in the field but that did bugger all.

Pilot experience levels trump this by far.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by bobcaygeon »

Greg is the head of the TC pilots union. His comments are always the same!

I don't know where he worked if at all in the industry but I'd never go back to the way it was in 1995 when I started flying especially in the 703/704 world. Life now is boring with tons of approaches etc in the north and legal loads. Mtc is way better than ever and the new generation thinks different.

I give my head a shake when I look at who I learned from back and how we ignored the rules with heavy management pressures and because we made bad decisions. I was new and thought that's how everyone did it. TC was supposedly in the field but that did bugger all.

Pilot experience levels trump this by far.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by Cat Driver »

Am I reading this correct?

SMS is the reason flying is so much safer now than before SMS was brought in?
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by Nephilim »

The report referred to at the beginning of this post (aviation safety oversight in Canada published by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Committees) is flawed from the get-go. Under the Summary section concerning SMS “OVERSIGHT AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT,`” it states in part that SMS was first introduced with major airlines and airport operators in 2008 and air navigation service providers in 2009. It then states “Transport Canada is assessing whether to extend SMS requirements to other civil aviation sectors, including air taxi and commuter operators and companies that maintain their aircraft.” WTF? I thought SMS became mandatory for that aviation sector back in 2009 as well. If there was no/is no SMS in force with 703/704 operators, under what laws and authority were they/are they governed by Transport Canada under CAR's? The Report (http://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer ... 14/page-18) concludes; “Therefore, the Committee recommends: That the implementation of a Safety Management System becomes mandatory for all commercial operators, including the air taxi sector.”
Am I missing something here? Can someone explain this discrepancy to me?
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by confusedalot »

Nephilim wrote:The report referred to at the beginning of this post (aviation safety oversight in Canada published by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Committees) is flawed from the get-go. Under the Summary section concerning SMS “OVERSIGHT AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT,`” it states in part that SMS was first introduced with major airlines and airport operators in 2008 and air navigation service providers in 2009. It then states “Transport Canada is assessing whether to extend SMS requirements to other civil aviation sectors, including air taxi and commuter operators and companies that maintain their aircraft.” WTF? I thought SMS became mandatory for that aviation sector back in 2009 as well. If there was no/is no SMS in force with 703/704 operators, under what laws and authority were they/are they governed by Transport Canada under CAR's? The Report (http://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer ... 14/page-18) concludes; “Therefore, the Committee recommends: That the implementation of a Safety Management System becomes mandatory for all commercial operators, including the air taxi sector.”
Am I missing something here? Can someone explain this discrepancy to me?
As a former naive employee who was hoping for the best (I could not stand it anymore and finally found an escape), the best I can say is.......it will never change.

Price of democracy I suppose.

Davey Crockett said it best. ''there ain't no ticks like politics, bloodsuckers all''
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by Cat Driver »

Few really understand just how morally corrupt the system really is at the top.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by hangar3 »

confusedalot wrote: It is basically a wholesale transfer of responsibility from the government to industry, thereby reducing the need for government to provide resources, human or otherwise.

Imagine how much an army of inspectors would cost to police the entire country. Now, all you need is a skeleton crew to look at paperwork here and there, and rubber stamp things as OK.

You could write a book about the whole thing, but in a nutshell, it's all about money. I had the sad experience of being an employee in the place while this was all going on. I am no transport lover but even then, the dilution is plain ridiculous.

Ok so basically this guy is lamenting the implementation of SMS on the basis that it has worked against the union he is leading.
And on that basis, he thinks that the AC incident in SFO (and all others) would be a demonstration of the failure of SMS?

But how exactly is this SMS working at the airlines. From what I understand, it's still pretty common to get TC inspectors on flights in Canada. So isn't TC still involved? I guess I'm not as familiar with how involved they are in the airline operations as I thought.

From my perspective, it makes sense to dilute the safety directly to the source of the work, but only if there is good oversight and consequences in the end for failure. With a previous stint in oil & gas, I have seen the SMS system work really well, sometimes to the point that companies can take it too far. But I've also seen it fall on its face, as there are still those companies that disregard the law - though it does eventually bite them in the behind. When it's good, I've seen safety become a company culture rather than an "us" vs "them" (the regulator) type of situation. When the company takes safety seriously, it's a good environment.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by confusedalot »

hangar3 wrote:
confusedalot wrote: It is basically a wholesale transfer of responsibility from the government to industry, thereby reducing the need for government to provide resources, human or otherwise.

Imagine how much an army of inspectors would cost to police the entire country. Now, all you need is a skeleton crew to look at paperwork here and there, and rubber stamp things as OK.

You could write a book about the whole thing, but in a nutshell, it's all about money. I had the sad experience of being an employee in the place while this was all going on. I am no transport lover but even then, the dilution is plain ridiculous.

Ok so basically this guy is lamenting the implementation of SMS on the basis that it has worked against the union he is leading.
And on that basis, he thinks that the AC incident in SFO (and all others) would be a demonstration of the failure of SMS?

But how exactly is this SMS working at the airlines. From what I understand, it's still pretty common to get TC inspectors on flights in Canada. So isn't TC still involved? I guess I'm not as familiar with how involved they are in the airline operations as I thought.

From my perspective, it makes sense to dilute the safety directly to the source of the work, but only if there is good oversight and consequences in the end for failure. With a previous stint in oil & gas, I have seen the SMS system work really well, sometimes to the point that companies can take it too far. But I've also seen it fall on its face, as there are still those companies that disregard the law - though it does eventually bite them in the behind. When it's good, I've seen safety become a company culture rather than an "us" vs "them" (the regulator) type of situation. When the company takes safety seriously, it's a good environment.
I would love to agree that it is simply a union guy working for self preservation, but no, in my humble opinion, the issue extends far beyond that. Recall again that I am no TC lover, so I... a) have no dog in this race. and b) sadly for me, seen the flip side of the coin on the ''dark side''.

One poster indicated exactly what a former judge stated, putting the fox in charge of the hen pen, or something like that.

Question. The FAA was looking to see if the new system was of any merit, did the FAA ever go SMS? Come to think of it, did EASA go that way? Just asking.

And I feel I must provide a disclaimer; My ass used to be in a seat, so I naturally believe in safety and will do everything to support it. So there, I am selfish. :wink:
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by CD »

FAA SMS - Specifics by Aviation Industry Type
https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/s ... stry_type/

EASA SMS Rulemaking Status
https://www.easa.europa.eu/easa-and-you ... ing-status
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Last edited by CD on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by confusedalot »

Very recent. 121 operators since 2015, manufacturers, and ATC. Non 121 operators still voluntary.
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Re: "Weak aviation oversight making skies less safe: Opinion"

Post by CD »

Lack of safety management systems found in “numerous” marine, aviation accident investigations: TSB
July 24, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter

Fifteen years after four passengers drowned in an accident aboard an amphibious sightseeing vehicle across the Ottawa River from the nation’s capital, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada warned Thursday that there has “been only limited progress” on expanding the application of safety management systems “to a broader range of companies.”

In its annual report to Parliament, TSB said safety management systems have been on its watchlist since 2010. The watchlist “identifies the key safety issues that need to be addressed to make Canada’s transportation system even safer,” said TSB, a separate organization from Transport Canada that investigations incidents in rail, marine, pipelines and aviation.

“Numerous recent investigations have found companies that have not managed their safety risks, either because they were not required to have an SMS or because their SMS was not implemented effectively,” TSB said in its annual report, released July 20.

In that report, TSB also expressed concern about runway overruns.

This past May, TSB warned in an investigation report that not all Code 4 runways in Canada have a 300-metre runway end safe area “or a means of stopping aircraft that provides an equivalent level of safety.”

That investigation was into an June 5, 2015 runway overrun in Montreal, which resulted in no injuries.

TSB recommended in 2007 that Transport Canada “require all Code 4 runways” to have a 300-metre runway end safety area “or a means of stopping aircraft that provides an equivalent level of safety.” That recommendation was made in an investigation report into the August, 2005 Air France accident at Toronto International Airport. An Airbus A340 landed about 3,800 feet beyond the threshold of a 9,000 foot runway, continued at 80 knots past the end of the runway, and came to a stop on the east side of Etobicoke Creek. The upper portion of the fuselage was consumed by fire and 12 occupants of the Air France plane were seriously injured.

“Pilots must receive timely information about runway surface conditions,” TSB said July 20, 2017 in its annual report to Parliament. “TC must require appropriate runway end safety areas (RESAs); and, Canadian airports must invest in RESAs or other engineered systems and structures to safely stop aircraft that overrun. The TSB remains concerned that without these actions, risks to the public remain.”

TSB said this past June that the Leviathan II whale watching vessel, which capsized Oct. 25, 2015 near Tofino, British Columbia, did not operate under a certified safety management system and was not required by law to do so.

That report was released 13 years after TSB recommended Transport Canada “take steps to ensure that small passenger vessel enterprises have a safety management system.” In 2004, TSB released a report into the sinking of the Lady Duck, a vehicle built using a converted Ford F-350 truck chassis. On June 23, 2002, the driver of the Lady Duck noticed the vessel was floating lower than normal in the Hull, Quebec marine. Occupants were ordered to abandon ship but four passengers drowned after becoming trapped under the fabric awning.

“The picture that emerged from this investigation was one of an organization pursuing minimal compliance with regulations rather than one seeking to minimize risk through all available means,” TSB said of the Lady Duck.

In its report on the capsizing in 2015 of the Leviathan II, TSB noted that under Canadian law, passenger vessels carrying more than 12 passengers on an international voyage subject to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) “are required to develop a formal” safety management system.

That ruled does not apply to the Leviathan II which was conducting whale watching tours Oct. 25, 2015 out of Tofino and Ucluelet. After a breaking wave hit, 24 passengers and three crew members were thrown into the cold seawater without floatation aids. Six passengers died.

“If companies that operate passenger vessels do not implement risk management processes to identify and address environmental hazards in their area of operation, such as the potential formation of breaking waves, then there is a risk of a similar capsizing and loss of life,” TSB said in the report.

In a report on an aviation accident, released Aug. 17, 2016, TSB said it has “been calling” on Transport Canada “to implement regulations requiring all operators in the aviation industry to have formal safety management processes, and for TC to oversee these companies’ safety management processes.” That report arose from an accident June 10, 2013 when a King Air ran out of fuel and was forced to conduct an emergency landing in a field short of St-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, Quebec airport.

“The aircraft was extensively damaged, and the four occupants sustained minor injuries,” TSB said in 2016.

The King Air pilot determined that 500 pounds of fuel were needed to carry the flight and to land with a 30-minute reserve and although the weight-and-balance form “showed that there were 580 pounds of fuel at the time of departure” TSB estimated that in fact there were about 220 pounds of fuel.

“When risks are managed by means of a single layer of defence, such as relying on a single person to ensure flight safety, deviations from regulations or from standard practice can occur, thereby increasing the risk of incident or accident,” TSB said in the report.

The issue of SMS will remain on TSB’s watch list until the federal government “implements regulations requiring all commercial operators in the air and marine industries to have formal safety management processes and effectively oversees these processes,” TSB says on its watchlist page.
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