For the uninitiated
I should like to point out that working on, near or around aeroplanes is
As I am
fond of telling the participants on my courses the statistics do not support a
long and healthy life.
incidents are reported to be costing commercial airlines in the region of USD10
Billion a year.
no concept of what a ‘Billion’ is. We will, for the moment anyway, stick with
the devalued American ‘Billion’ that is One Thousand Million. A British Billion
is One Million Million.
impossible to imagine one billion. Our brains just will not encompass such a
number. We think we know but we do not.
our brains have problems with any number greater than, say, seven!
Americans announced that there was trade deficit of three trillion dollars—yes,
dear heart, three trillion dollars, everybody tutted and shook their heads.
had said that there was a trade deficit of one hundred and forty five dollars
and ninety cents there would have been uproar. Why? Because we can imagine
smaller numbers; we know what they will buy; we are accustomed to smaller
Trillion? No chance.
me, do a small exercise. Get your mobile ‘phone or iPad—or what you will, out
and tell me what you were doing one billion seconds ago.
go back to the original thought.
incidents are said to be costing Ten Billion US Dollars EVERY YEAR!
single incident is avoidable. Every single incident is the result of someone:
that they know what they are doing,
someone else knows what they are doing,
has had training. Every single person that goes near an aeroplane has had some
instruction about safety.
may be scoffed at but they do not lie. We know, for example, that people get
sucked into jet intakes. They die. Yes, we have all heard the stories—maybe
even seen the video where a guy goes down an intake and survives. A rarity.
go down a jet intake the depression that was there already now gets worse
because your body is creating an obstruction to the airflow. The engine is
still ‘sucking’ for all it is worth.
lungs will empty and then they will try to rip out of your body resulting in
your death by drowning—in your own blood. If you are lucky the engine will chop
you into tiny pieces
Yes, it is sickening. It is extremely unpleasant but it is a fact. It is what happens if you stop thinking for a moment. This guy was highly experienced; he was 64.
people get struck by propellers, tail rotors on helicopters, main rotors,
ground support vehicles?
in human terms is tragic. The friends and family now enter a period of great
sadness known as ‘mourning’; Husband, Dad, Friend is gone.
said that these are incidents but we know that there is a difference between
incidents and accidents.
It is the
combination of these that costs so much.
rules, regulations, laws, checklists and training for a reason.
reason is to keep you safe.
my ‘Aviation Maintenance Rules’?
Look after yourself
Look after your colleague(s)
Look after the equipment.
that Rule 1 is ALWAYS ‘Look After Yourself’. You are in the best position to do
that. Don’t just ‘look’ but ‘see’. Don’t just ‘hear’ but ‘listen’. Don’t
Rule 2 is
not to look after your friends because often you will work with people you
don’t like. One guy said to me, “You don’t like me very much, do you?”
him that he was wrong. I didn’t like him at all.
But he is
still a colleague! One day you may need him to look after you.
Alarmingly, you will work with people who do not like you. No, really. No matter how likeable you think you are, somebody out there dislikes you with a passion.
means that you keep the equipment serviceable and safe. Repairs or replacements
are costly and that can mean that there is no pay rise this year—clearly contravening