Friday, January 8, 2021

Run Aviation Safety The Same Way As COVID Safety

 Run Aviation Safety The Same Way As COVID Safety

By Catalina9

You would think it should work and be safe to run aviation safety the same way as COVID safety is run and managed. The public trust COVID processes completely and without concerns. We do not ask questions about experts’ qualifications and we demand that our leaders lead us down the safe path with their proven COVID safety processes. 

A successful process may be applied to other safety concerns and generate a safety outcome. A process that is used to operate a vehicle on icy roads can also be applied to icy runways or icy airplanes wings. The process is the simple plan – do – check – decide – act/adjust process. 

Plan is to establish an objective, which is for the public to feel safe or healthy. Do is to carry out what needs to be done to meet the objective. Check is to analyze data from the previous phase. Decide is to make an objective decision at the fork-in-the-road, based on collected datapoints. Decide is to make an objective decision at the fork-in-the-road, based on collected datapoints. Act, or adjust is to make changes to improve the process. The objective is for the public to feel safe by travelling on a road or runway surface that will provide friction, while it is the opposite for an aircraft wing. The do-phase is to apply the plan and conclude with a check or test of the result. After this data is analysed there will always be a fork-in-the-road, and when arriving here an educated decision is made. As the path continues one direction or another, adjustments or action may be applied to improve the road surfaces or quality of de-icing. The corrective action my be different in these examples, but all processes are the same. Gravel may be put on icy roads, chemicals on icy runways and de-icing fluid on an aircraft. At the end of the day the public feel safe and willing to drive the road or enter an aircraft departing from an icy runway relying on laws of nature to transport them safe to their destination. 

The onset of COVID surprised everyone and there was little or no data available to understand how react to the virus. In aviation there could also come a time when an unexpected or unknown event would take place. An aircraft cold for no apparent reason become uncontrollable, or a runway could be covered by a swarm of insects within a few minutes. 

Parking an airplane is a safety tool to eliminate a risk to aviation.
When COVID hit, everything came to a halt. Applying the same safety principle to aviation when an unknown event hits all flight stops, which was the reaction on September 11, 2001. Within a few days and after the risk was reduced all airplanes were flying again. If an aircraft for no apparent reason becomes out of control, the immediate action could be to stop all flights, since all aircraft are relying on the same laws of physics. When these catastrophic events occur and applying the COVID principle, the next step would be to plan, or define an objective. 

Since the objective is for the public to be safe, continue to keep all runways closed and aircraft parked is accepted by the flying or travelling public since it was widely publicized that there were no other reasons but for their own safety that these corrective actions had to be implemented. This also parallels the plan phase of the COVID attack. Since there is always a hazard involved when an object or person is moving, or moving close to each other, 100% safety was achieved by stopping all activities.   

The do-phase is to apply the plan, which is to communicate to teach the public that it is dangerous and unsafe to be a passenger on an aircraft since the cause or cure has not yet been defined. Time goes on and the flying and travelling pubic accept these conditions as true and stay put. This phase also parallels the COVID process.   

The next phase is the check phase where data collected is analyzed in a statistical process control software. Since there are no flights, the data shows that the applied corrective action works without any other incidents. The experts let the public know that parking the aircraft has been successful for the safe operations of an aircraft. However, since the flying and travelling public were unable to fly, they drove the highway, which resulted in an increase of fatal accidents. Since several of these accidents were cause by passengers who normally would fly, the fatalities were contributed to airline travelers. Since airline passengers now were causing highway accidents, severe restrictions were imposed on vehicle owners and secondary highways were closed. The major highways remained open without restrictions. 

Bird travel routes were not changed after several birds took an airliner down.
At this time about a year had gone by since the first out of control aircraft crashed. Pilots in remote areas had been flying under the radar, but since a policy stated that flying was unsafe a decision needed to be made as to what new safety actions should be. The decision makers had arrived at the fork-in-the-road where a decision of action was forced upon them. Still, without a cure or solution for the out-of-control aircraft it would be a defeat to their integrity if they allowed airplanes to fly again.

The final stage of the process is to act or adjust for continuous safety improvements. A decision was made to continue down the path of compliance enforcement, since it had been successful in preventing aircraft accidents. Enforcement actions would be taken against any pilot flying since there is a possibility that the aircraft could be involved in an accident. It was also decided to enforce penalties if a person who normally would be travelling by air was operating a vehicle on any roads. This final stage also paralleled the COVID process in that enforcement actions are taken against groups of people gathering. 

When applying this process to aviation safety an aircraft would never fly again since the aviation industry and the safety of the flying public is only safe when all aircraft are parked. 

When a root cause is unknown or there is no cure for the failure, two options become available. One is to do nothing, and the other option is to overreact and take extreme actions. The most logical safety option is to overreact to ensure safety. It is easer, less stressful, less work to say no and transfer the risk to someone else than accept responsibility and take measures to mitigate. None of these two options are steps to fulfil the purpose of the objective. What is missing in the equation is a third, but hidden option, which is to assess residual consequences and new hazards by doing nothing or taking extreme measures.  



Catalina9



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