Flight Safety Detectives Podcast Episode 26: A Free-Ranging Conversation with Expert Pilot Brian Shiff
Flight Safety Detectives Greg Feith and John Goglia tap their network of aviation experts in this episode that focuses on pilots. Brian Schiff, a pilot with more than 40 years of experience in the cockpit, is the special guest.
Shiff is a commercial pilot and flight instructor who is recognized for his enthusiasm and ability to teach in way that simplifies complex procedures and concepts. He is the creator of a webinar on the impossible turn (returning to the departure runway following an engine failure soon after takeoff) to the possible turn.
John, Greg and Brian talk about the state of the airlines, general aviation, and pilot training. They offer predictions on how aviation will rebound post COVID-19.
As always, the focus is on safety and avoiding accidents. They look at the deliberate steps that pilots and airlines should take as flights resume.
Charles Taylor was the first aircraft mechanic and the original unsung hero of aviation. He worked for the Wright brothers in their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. When they could not find a company to build them an engine for their glider, Charlie made one from scratch in about 6 weeks.
In honor of AMT Day, hear a little more about his story at https://vimeo.com/420492939/e8535aa90a (brought to you by the Mechanical Dragons).
COVID-19 requires airports and airlines to rethink procedures. Air travel involves crowds and shared spaces. Cleaning and other processes from curb to curb need to be adapted to ensure the safety of the flying public.
Lisa Kay, COO Environmental Health Services Group, NV5, leads a team that works with organizations to ensure cleaning procedures are done properly based on CDC, EPA and other guidance. She talks with Greg and John about current and emerging options that can help make airports and airplanes safe.
From air filtration, to approved cleaning products, to anti-viral coatings, to emerging technologies, the discussion covers the issues faced. Even the right solutions need to be applied properly by trained staff equipped with the right PPE.
John and Greg raise important considerations and use their experiences as passengers to look for the best solutions.
Most aircraft are not getting used as often due to coronavirus-related restrictions. The Flight Safety Detectives explore the safety issues created by parking and storing airplanes of all sizes.
Airplanes are machines that like to be used. Counter-intuitively, there is actually greater potential for things to break with lack of use.
Greg and John bring two experts into the conversation: Jason Lukasik, president of JL2 Aviation Consultants, and Ken MacTiernan, PAMA board member and a 32-year aviation maintenance technician for American Airlines.
These veterans of daily use and maintenance as well as safety investigations highlight how to prepare aircraft for short term parking as well as longer term storage or “pickling.” The biggest enemy is moisture and corrosion.
Listen and learn what needs to be done to ensure airplanes can be operated safety after storage. For large airliners doing it right means 60-100 man hours of effort!
Once again, Greg and John talk about the issues impacting commercial, business and general aviation that are otherwise overlooked.
As the world looks to get back on track, front and center is the need to maintain protections to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This is a challenge for the aviation industry that does not yet have a clear answer.
Greg, John and guest Dr. Joe Kravitz explore some options. They outline what is known about preventing the spread of viruses and the very real challenges of ensuring safety of crew members and passengers in air cabins.
Dr. Kravitz discusses the science behind the protocols he uses to assure safety and hygiene in his dental practice. The conversation highlights the challenge of disinfecting aircraft, the downsides of solutions that are being discussed, and what’s needed to truly provide a measure of safety.
COVID-19 will change air travel. This is one in a series of episodes where Greg and John explore the many implications.
The FAA will publish a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) to provide relief for aviation mechanic inspection authorization (IA) holders with recent and upcoming renewal deadlines. IA holders that were unable to meet renewal requirements by March 2020 (as required by 65.93), will have until June 2020 to do so.
The SFAR, prompted by industry groups, also extends deadlines for pilots, crew members, and flight schools.
The SFAR is scheduled to publish in the federal register on May 4. The version available for public inspection as of May 1 is linked below.
Greg and John take a deep dive into the accident investigation process related to engines with guest Jason Lukasik, president of JL2 Aviation Consultants in Eagle River, Alaska.
Jason shares his experiences in two roles. He was the air safety representative for an engine manufacturer. He also served with the FAA. He shares first-hand accounts of how engines are assessed and analyzed from the first moments of an investigation.
Listen as Greg, John and Jason tear down engines, looking for the important details that contribute to an accident. They also talk about the safety insights and enforcement actions that can result.
NTSB and FAA investigators are not deemed “essential” for the purposes of coronavirus guidance. That’s a huge concern for John and Greg as well as special guest Jason Lukasik, president of JL2 Aviation Consultants in Eagle River, Alaska.
Investigations of new accidents are all but on hold. Only basic information is being collected as personnel work from home. This even though investigators have biohazard training, proper protective equipment and the knowledge to conduct onsite investigations in a safe manner.
Perishable information is being lost as accidents are cleared and witnesses go without being interviewed. The NTSB and FAA say they plan to take up the backlog when operations get back to normal, but the work is sure to be much harder – and less insightful – as time passes.
There’s another wrinkle for the long term – the aviation industry role in providing expertise to crash investigations is dwindling. In the early 2000s, most manufacturers staffed up to have dedicated experts that contributed to crash investigations. This helped everyone identify root cases and safety issues more quickly.
Even before the heavy economic impacts of COVID-19, strapped manufacturers have not been back-filling investigator positions. That situation is certain to get worse as they deal with the losses from weeks and months of being all but shut down.
John, Greg and Jason share cases from their personal experiences to illustrate the risks and impacts these changes can have on air safety. They discuss the certain and urgent need to shift to new ways of handling air crashes and safety issues.
The PistonPower™ referral program allows PAMA members to offer customers a variety of maintenance programs and receive a commission of 3% of the enrollment fee. Learn more about the program and how PAMA members can take advantage of the opportunity.
The program also funds a scholarship for individuals interested in a career as an aircraft maintenance
technician. More information about that opportunity is available at Scholarship.
The live webinar took place on Feb 12, 2020. Tune in to the recorded version by clicking the register button, below.
It is with sadness PAMA announces the passing of Arthur C. "Butch" Giessman.
Butch was a supporter of the local and national aircraft maintenance organizations and was a founder and early president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). He was an avid supporter of the A&P schools to include Parks College, Southwest Illinois College, Missouri Technical College, Gateway Tech, Spartan School of Aeronautics, and more.
Butch asked that we not mourn his death, but celebrate his life. A Celebration of Life Party will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Wings of Hope, the Society of St. Vincent DePaul Archdiocesan Council of St. Louis, and the American Heart Association.