On one of my pages, I wrote that “Aviation Safety Is Learned Behavior” – remember? I stated that it demands constant focus and a true committment from the people in our industry. Well, many people in our industry have said some very meaningful things. No one in specific is leading the pack, but a few stick out, because they are real, deep and relevant to what we need to do, everywhere, to reduce the number of accidents & incidents. Their purpose is to mess with people’s heads, make them think, realize and act, rather than react.
This is a compilation of such quotes – as we may run into them out in the online world or in printed books. Some of them have been around forever – some are newer. None of them diserves to be ignored. Spend some time reading through them, and try to find a way for yourself to incorporate such messages in your daily flying/ teaching activities. If you teach students – print them and maybe spend a hangar flying session on discussing them?
A leading one in my book, stems from Mr. John King from King Schools, Inc.:
“We don’t have a liability problem in general aviation, we have an accident problem. And what’s needed in order to reduce that accident rate, is nothing short of a cultural attitude change that recognizes and acknowledges the risks inherent in all small airplane flying and encourages a more careful, conservative approach to managing that risk as best we can.”
In 1930, Rodney H. Jackson stated in Aeronautics Magazine:
“Real confidence in the air is bred only by mistakes made and recovered from at a safe altitude, in a safe ship, and seated on a good parachute.”
Not knowing the source, here is what my Grandfather would say often:
“I have met an incredible number of old pilots and quite some very bold pilots. I have yet to meet a old and bold pilot…”
Recently I received an email from a friend who is a Helicopter Instructor and Vietnam Veteran:
“The FAA puts out a daily summary for the Administrator. It starts with “fatal commercial accidents”, then “fatal non-commercial accidents” etc, etc, down through all the things that could possible go wrong in aviation in one day. Non-fatal accidents, pilot deviations, runway incursions, controller errors, etc.
There has only been one day when that executive summary had “NONE” in each category. That day was 9/11/2002 ….. the one year anniversary of the 9/11 attack. Of course the reason for that can only be speculation, but one plausible explanation is that on that day everyone was just a little more alert. Everyone was waiting for something to happen. Something that mercifully never took place. The point being that maybe if we all were just a little more alert we could have a major impact on safety.”
And another one, from a old timer Instructor I have come to respect:
“Anxiety is Nature’s way of telling you that you’ve already goofed up.”
One was excellent, also written by a long time Instructor, I happen to have on my Mentor’s list:
“Once you instruct people how to fly, you will quickly figure out that people can do incredibly stupid things. You cannot see what they think, you only have their actions to find out what they are trying to do. Some of these actions will be indicative for the fact that their “Idiot Light” just came on. Don’t find yourself flying with someone who’s “Idiot Light” is flashing. Pay attention to the idiot light and never just be along for the ride.”
Wilbur Wright wrote in a letter to his father in 1900:
“In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks.”
Steve Wilson, NTSB investigator, Oshkosh, WI , August, 1996:
What is the cause of most aviation accidents:
Usually it is because someone does too much too soon, followed very quickly by too little too late.
“Students practice until they get it right. Experienced pilots practice until they get it wrong…”
One of my favorites:
“One of these days, you could walk out on the ramp, see the aircraft you are about to fly and realize that today is your last flight…” and you will be sad!
“One of these days, you could walk out on the ramp, see the aircraft you are about to fly and DON’T realize that today is your last flight…” and that will be really sad!
“In general, the design of the nut that connects the yoke and the seat has proven to be the critical factor in flight safety. “
There will be more – until then – Fly Safe!