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Transport Canada Update-Personnel Licence Booklet
by the Personnel Licensing Division, General Aviation, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

A Canadian Border Services (CBS) study on document security risk analysis of 50 federal documents, determined that current Canadian aviation documents (licences and medical certificates) fall into a high-risk category. The CBS made recommendations to address the security-related risks.

Based on these recommendations, Transport Canada Civil Aviation approved the design and implementation of a new format for aircrew and air traffic controller licences. The licence booklet will be similar to the present-day Canadian passport.

The licence booklet will be issued to all current licence holders and will conform to international standards. Transport Canada plans a "phased-in" approach for the initial booklet issue, which is expected to be completed by spring 2008. Transport Canada will begin issuing licence booklets to airline transport pilots and air traffic controllers, followed by other licence holders. In consulting with our industry partners, we have determined that there will be no cost to licence holders.

The licence booklet

The new licence booklet will consolidate all Canadian aviation personnel licensing documents and will also include the holder’s photograph and signature, licence and medical labels, a language proficiency rating, a competency record and security features for positive authentication. It will be divided into four sections:

  1. Administrative

    • This section will provide licence booklet instructions, abbreviations and definitions.
  2. Personal Data

    • This section will contain the licence holder’s photograph and signature.
    • Personal information currently found on existing licences will also be included: the holder’s name, address, licence number, radio operator certificate number and citizenship.
    • In accordance with the CBS recommendations, the licence booklet will have an expiry date.
  3. Licence Label

    Note: The licence will no longer be a stand-alone document, but will be attached to the licence booklet in the form of a licence label.

    • The licence label will indicate the type of licence and ratings held by the individual and will also include a language proficiency rating.
  4. Medical Label

    Note: The medical certificate will no longer be a stand-alone document, but will be integrated within the licence booklet in the form of a medical label.

    • The medical label will specify the holder’s licence number, medical category and any health-related restrictions or limitations.
    • This section will also allow space for medical renewals.
    • In order to validate the new licence format, a valid medical label must be attached to it.

Proposed example of the personnel licence format

(not to scale)

What’s next?

Information on the new personnel licence booklet will be updated on the Transport Canada General Aviation Web site and in various aviation organization publications.

An instruction handout will also accompany the licence booklet when it is mailed out to holders.

Thoughts on the New View of Human Error Part II: Hindsight Bias
by Heather Parker, Human Factors Specialist, System Safety, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

The following article is the second in a three-part series describing some aspects of the "new view" of human error (Dekker, 2002).
This "new view" was introduced in issue 3/2006 of the
Aviation Safety Letter (ASL) in an interview with Sidney Dekker.
The series presents the following topics:
Thoughts on the New View of Human Error Part I: Do Bad Apples Exist? (published in ASL 4/2006)
Thoughts on the New View of Human Error Part II: Hindsight Bias
Thoughts on the New View of Human Error Part III: "New View" Accounts of Human Error (to be published in ASL 2/2007)

Hindsight Bias

Have you ever pushed on a door that needed to be pulled, or pulled on a door that needed to be pushed-despite signage that indicated to you what action was required? Now consider this same situation during a fire, with smoke hampering your sight and breathing. Why did you not know which way to move the door? There was a sign; you’ve been through the door before. Why would you not be able to move the door? Imagine that because of the problem moving the door, you inhaled too much smoke and were hospitalized for a few days. During your stay in the hospital, an accident investigator visits you. During the interview, the investigator concludes you must have been distracted, such that you did not pay attention to the signage on the door, and that due to your experience with the door, he cannot understand why you did not move the door the right way. Finally, he concludes there is nothing wrong with the door; that rather, it was your unexplainable, poor behaviour that was wrong. It was your fault.

The investigator in this example suffered from the hindsight bias. With a full view of your actions and the events, he can see, after the fact, what information you should have paid attention to and what experience you should have drawn from. He is looking at the scenario from outside the situation, with full knowledge of the outcome. Hindsight means being able to look back, from the outside, on a sequence of events that lead to an outcome you already know about; it gives you almost unlimited access to the true nature of the situation that surrounded people at the time; it also allows you to pinpoint what people missed and shouldn’t have missed; what they didn’t do but should have done (Dekker, 2002).

Thinking more about the case above, put yourself inside the situation and try to understand why you had difficulty exiting. In this particular case, the door needed to be pulled to exit because it was an internal hallway door. Despite a sign indicating the need to pull the door open (likely put there after the door was installed) the handles of the door were designed to be pushed-a horizontal bar across the middle of the door. Additionally, in a normal situation, the doors are kept open by doorstops to facilitate the flow of people; so you rarely have to move the door in your normal routine. In this particular case, it was an emergency situation, smoke reduced your visibility and it is likely you were somewhat agitated due to the real emergency. When looking at the sequence of actions and events from inside the situation, we can explain why you had difficulty exiting safely: a) the design of the door, b) the practice of keeping the fire doors open with doorstops, c) the reduced visibility, and d) the real emergency, are all contributing and underlying factors that help us understand why difficulty was encountered.

According to Dekker (2002), hindsight can bias an investigation towards conclusions that the investigator now knows (given the outcome) that were important, and as a result, the investigator may assess people’s decisions and actions mainly in light of their failure to pick up the information critical to preventing the outcome. When affected by hindsight bias, an investigator looks at a sequence of events from outside the situation with full knowledge of the events and actions and their relationship to the outcome (Dekker, 2002).

The first step in mitigating the hindsight bias is to work towards the goal of learning from the experience of others to prevent recurrence. When the goal is to learn from an investigation, understanding and explanation is sought. Dekker (2002) recommends taking the perspective from "inside the tunnel," the point of view of people in the unfolding situation. The investigator must guard him/herself against mixing his/her reality with the reality of the people being investigated (Dekker, 2002). A quote from one investigator in a high-profile accident investigation states: "...I have attempted at all times to remind myself of the dangers of using the powerful beam of hindsight to illuminate the situations revealed in the evidence. Hindsight also possesses a lens which can distort and can therefore present a misleading picture: it has to be avoided if fairness and accuracy of judgment is to be sought." (Hidden, 1989)

Additionally, when writing the investigation report, any conclusions that could be interpreted as coming from hindsight must be supported by analysis and data; a reader must be able to trace through the report how the investigator came to the conclusions. In another high-profile accident, another investigator emphatically asked: "Given all of the training, experience, safeguards, redundant sophisticated electronic and technical equipment and the relatively benign conditions at the time, how in the world could such an accident happen?" (Snook, 2000). To mitigate the tendency to view the events with hindsight, this investigator ensured all accounts in his report clearly stated the goal of the analyses: to understand why people made the assessments or decisions they made-why these assessments of decisions would have made sense from the point of view of the people inside the situation. Learning and subsequent prevention or mitigation activities are the ultimate goals of accident investigation-having agreement from all stakeholders on this goal will go a long way to mitigating the hindsight bias.

Dekker, S., The Field Guide to Human Error Investigations, Ashgate, England, 2002.

Dekker, S., The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error, Ashgate, England, 2006.

Hidden, A., Investigation into the Clapham Junction Railway Accident, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London, England, 1989.

Snook, S. A., Friendly Fire: The Accidental Shootdown of U.S. Black Hawks over Northern Iraq, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 2000.

COPA Corner-A Different Look at Accidents
by Adam Hunt, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA)

Canadian Owners and Pilots AssociationHistorically, when anyone in Canada looks for trends in aircraft accidents they work with the data collected by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). However, while TSB data are very useful, they aren’t the only data available; another source of accident reports is the aviation insurance industry.

Insurance reports are different from TSB reports for a number of reasons. One reason is that some accidents that result in insurance claims don’t meet TSB criteria to be reported, and so, the TSB will not have heard about them. Insurance reports should not be considered better than TSB reports, but they do show what is costing insurance companies money, and therefore, what will affect future premiums.

I recently received statistics concerning all insurance claims filed with the COPA aviation insurance program from 2002 to mid-2006. The program covers more than half the privately-registered aircraft insured in Canada. Claims reported during this period total over 300-about 1% of insured aircraft per year. This means that 99% of pilots did not file a claim during that time, which is good news.

Not all the reports resulted in insurance benefits, as some claims were not covered, some were withdrawn and some are still being considered or are before the courts. Many of them were for very small amounts of damage; only a small number were major accidents. Nevertheless, all the reports were a result of some sort of aircraft accident and the picture that emerges, when the data is analysed, puts a new perspective on where the risks lie in personal flying these days, and what is costing aircraft owners money in insurance premiums.

The accident reports were all analysed using the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), designed by Douglas A. Wiegmann and Scott Shappell, as described in their book, A Human Error Approach to Aviation Accident Analysis (Ashgate Publishing, 2003). This system uses Dr. James Reason’s "Swiss cheese" model of human error and turns it into a useful tool for classifying accidents. Broadly, HFACS identifies accidents by layer. The first layer is "Unsafe Acts of Operators" and The second layer is "Preconditions for Unsafe Acts" and with personnel and environmental factors. The third layer is "Unsafe Supervision." The fourth layer is "Organizational regulatory oversight and company culture issues. The HFACS system is the current global standard for accident classification and is used by the Canadian Forces.

Each insurance report was classified using HFACS, and then the numbers were added up to look for trends. Accidents that could not be classified with a high level of confidence were marked as "undetermined" and totalled 7.7%.

The remainder fell into 42 classifications. The following list summarizes the top 12 factors:

  1. Physical Environment-Windstorms: 12.6%. Windstorms were the cause of the greatest number of claims. There was ground damage to the aircraft in all cases. The good news is that no one was injured in these accidents.
  2. Skill-based Errors-Poor Technique-Loss of Control on Landing: 11.9%. These accidents were all likely due to lack of skill or recent practice-and not lack of original training, as when the pilot did the licence flight test they had the skills to land safely. Many of these accidents involved crosswinds and the pilot’s apparent inability to deal with them.
  3. Technological Environment-Engine Failure: 10.0%. This number is surprisingly high.
  4. Physical Environment-Hail Damage: 9.4 %. Again, these accidents were all ground damage cases and no one was injured.
  5. Perceptual Errors-Misjudged Distance or Clearance: 5.8%. These were mostly taxiing accidents where the aircraft was too close to another plane or object and hit it, although one was a wire strike on landing.
  6. Skill-based Errors-Poor Technique-Loss of Control During Take-off: 4.5%. These were similar to the landing accidents described above, and probably show a lack of skill and recent practice.
  7. Decision Errors-Inappropriate Manoeuvre or Procedure: 4.2%. These were mostly poor decisions to taxi aircraft on unsuitable surfaces that resulted in prop strikes.
  8. Human Environment-Theft: 3.9%. The majority of these were break-and-enters to steal radios and loose equipment, although a few attempts to steal engines, props and even whole aircraft were noted.
  9. Skill-based Errors-Poor Technique-Stall: 3.2%. Like the take-off and landing accidents, these seemed to be mostly due to lack of skill and practice. Accidents resulting from stalls are often fatal because they occur at low altitudes; otherwise, they wouldn’t be reported as insurance claims.
  10. Skill-based Errors-Omitted Step in Procedure- Gear-up Landings: 3.2%. Proper and consistent use of checklists can often prevent these very costly events.
  11. Human Environment-Vandalism: 3.2%. These cases reported intentional damage done to parked aircraft.
  12. Physical Environment-Snow Load Damage: 2.6%. Surprisingly many of these accidents involved floatplanes that sunk under snow loads while still on the water. Go figure!

An honourable mention goes to those accidents caused by starting the engine with the tow bar attached; they accounted for 1.0% of claims.

There are some definite trends here! First, 33.9% of the accidents were a result of skill-based errors, compared to only 6.5%, which were assessed as based on poor decision-making. Assuming that these pilots had the necessary skills when they passed their flight tests, it would seem that their skills degraded to the point where landings and even takeoffs were not assured. These pilots need more practice to ensure that they maintain their skills. So, if you are rusty, invest wisely in a checkout with an instructor and make sure you fly regularly to maintain your skills.

The second trend is that a lot of damage is happening to aircraft when they are on the ground and tied down-windstorms, hail, theft, vandalism and snow loads are significant factors. Most of these aircraft were damaged while parked outdoors; so storing the aircraft in a secure hangar would go a long way in solving most of these issues. (There were accidents that occurred while putting aircraft in hangars-hangar doors were closed on aircraft and a racoon even fell from the rafters and damaged a wing quite seriously-but overall, aircraft fare much better indoors than outdoors.) In many parts of Canada there is a serious shortage of hangarage-this is an issue that needs to be tackled locally at airports around the country-let’s get those aircraft indoors!

A third item to note is the high number of engine failures. Most of these were not on ultralights powered by two strokes-they were on certified aircraft. Are owners getting the planes properly serviced when they should?

Finally, there are some accidents that would be easily prevented if we followed our checklists carefully, such as gear-up landing and starting the engine with the tow bar attached. These could be easily prevented, if we would simply slow down and not allow ourselves to be rushed. After all, "tow bar checked-stowed" is the first item on your pre-start checklist, isn’t it?

New Air Traffic Surveillance Technology to be Deployed, Starting in the North

NAV CANADANAV CANADA is taking the first step in the evolution from conventional radar to satellite-based position technology, known as automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).

The first ADS-B deployment will be in northern Canada, with a $10 million investment to provide surveillance and communications in the 250 000 NM2 of airspace over Hudson Bay.

The initial deployment promises to save customers well over $200 million in reduced fuel costs over 15 years, through more flexible and fuel-efficient flight routes. Further savings and customer benefits from ADS-B are expected as it is deployed elsewhere in Canada.

An ADS-B installation is the size of a filing cabinet

ADS-B ground stations receive signals from appropriately equipped aircraft to report their GPS-derived position, identification and altitude, as well as other information that can be coded into a target message. These messages are then processed and displayed to air traffic controllers, with a full picture of all aircraft in a given area.

The ADS-B equipment consists of a simple antenna, a receiver and a target processor, and telecommunications links to send information back to the appropriate area control centre (ACC). The technology is digital, solid state, with no moving parts and a minimal support infrastructure that costs much less than a typical radar site. In addition to being low-cost, the signals on which it is based are more accurate than radar reports. (The accuracy of radar reports decreases as a function of the distance from the radar source.)

Because there is no radar coverage over Hudson Bay, aircraft are forced to fly using procedural separation rules that keep them flying 10 min apart (or about 80 NM). ADS-B will allow minimum separation distances of 5 mi. for equipped aircraft.

Some 35 000 flights per year cross the airspace over Hudson Bay and the Baffin Island area as they follow the routes connecting North American to destinations in Europe and Asia, and vice versa.

ADS-B will be implemented in the Hudson Bay Basin in 2007–2008. Subsequent deployments will be in the rest of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and northern B.C., where there is no radar coverage today, and eventually in the rest of Canada as a replacement for, or complement to, conventional radar.

2006 David Charles Abramson Memorial (DCAM) Flight Instructor Safety Award

From left to right: Rikki Abramson, Wayne Gouveia (VP Commercial General Aviation, ATAC), Simon Garrett, Jane Abramson.
From left to right: Rikki Abramson, Wayne Gouveia (VP Commercial General Aviation, ATAC), Simon Garrett, Jane Abramson.

Jane and Rikki Abramson presented the 2006 DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award to Mr. Simon Garrett on November 6, 2006, at the Air Transport Association of Canada’s (ATAC) Annual General Meeting and Convention held in Victoria, B.C. Mr. Garrett is the Operations Manager and Chief Flight Instructor (CFI) at the Rockcliffe Flying Club in Ottawa, Ont., and the Airport Manager for the Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport. Mr. Garrett leads by example, as he is a strong advocate for promoting and advancing Canadian aviation safety. An accomplished aviator, he is a member of the Canadian Precision Flying Association, and won a Silver Medal at The National Championship in 1999 and a Bronze Medal in 2000. He also competed in the 2000 World Championships in Sweden. The deadline for nominations for the 2007 award is September 14, 2007.

For details, please visit

The Canadian Business Aviation Association Column-SMS and Communication

cbaa - The Canadian Business Aviation Association

Of the many facets of a safety management system (SMS) that is sound, appropriate and effective for its organization, the key to success will always be communication. First and foremost, the requirements of a generic SMS are fulfilled in a communication plan that summarizes the following concept: say what you do; do what you say; document what you say and do.

Within many integrated management systems (IMS), such as quality management systems and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), there is heavy reliance on communication; SMS is no different. Application of SMS methods will vary from simple to complex. Simple methods will evolve and grow over time to reflect the ever-changing face of an organization. No matter its complexity, an SMS is intended to be based on clear instruction.

Once everyone in the organization understands SMS and its root principles, an open, two-way interchange of ideas is possible-rather than a dictation of instruction. SMS relies on this two-way dialogue to ensure that the best possible ideas may be implemented.

Until now, smaller organizations have conducted business based on historical successes, or simply based on tradition (i.e. "we have always done it this way, and it works"). These approaches, however, may break down in the face of difficulties where no precedence has been set. Larger flight departments definitely have an advantage over smaller operations because they generally have the time and potential resources to put together the necessary processes to accommodate new issues that arise.

Because something has been done for a long time without incident does not necessarily mean it is the best way; documenting the current method allows for discussion, evaluation and improvement. The key is having all personnel understand and follow a daily routine that can be observed and quantified.

Consider, for example, a new pilot who is unfamiliar with the inherent risks to a particular operation. While a potentially risky situation has always been successfully mitigated in a particular way, unless that mitigation is clearly documented and communicated to all personnel, including the new pilot, the operation assumes an unnecessary risk. Effective documentation illustrates the means of preventing a recurrence of hazardous incidents. It can also demonstrate the company’s explicit intent to ensure a safe and secure operation.

Communication, in its many forms, has proven to be the basis for success in many businesses where an understanding of day-to-day activities is kept in balance, and where any existing problems are understood and quickly resolved. SMS ensures that effective communication is maintained and routinely improved upon, leading to the efficiency, safety and overall health of the organization.

Properly documented communication can ensure that traditionally successful methods will continue to be successful and allow for the department’s continued growth as new employees are introduced to proven procedures and systems. Lessons learned will be recorded, showing improvement and reducing negative performance.

An SMS is an evolving entity that is always looking to improve through re-evaluation and re-examination of systems and processes. Documenting procedures and conveying them to all personnel is one of the best ways to guarantee that all personnel understand how to identify potential risks and mitigate hazardous incidents before they occur.

CASS 2007 Reminder

The 19th annual Canadian Aviation Safety Seminar, CASS 2007, will be held at the Hilton Lac-Leamy, Gatineau, Quebec, April 30–May 2, 2007. The theme for CASS 2007 is Counting the Accidents You Don’t Have...Evaluating safety performance in a risk management framework.

Measuring safety is all too often reduced to counting accidents. However, accidents are rare, so this only tells a small part of the story; the whole story is more complex. Linking safety performance to outcome measures, such as accident statistics, leads to a reactive, rather than proactive, approach. Through a series of interactive workshops and a plenary session, CASS 2007 will explore how to evaluate safety performance, including, but not limited to, risk, human and organizational factors, system effectiveness, and safety culture. Our goal is to further our understanding of this necessary aspect of safety management, and look at how to apply this in a real-world setting.

For information on CASS 2007 please visit

Click on image to enlarge

Blackfly Air on SMS

Blackfly Air on Fleet Expansion

The action continues at Blackfly Air! The company seems unstoppable, as it has acquired a completely different aircraft type for its fleet to meet market demands. Expansion is both exciting and challenging for an operator, but the transition can be hazardous if not carefully planned and executed. Where to start if this is in the cards for your operation?

Suppose an important client were to ask for different services that you couldn’t readily deliver with your existing fleet. Would this be an opportunity for growth or the loss of potential contracts? Would the expansion be sustainable? Most operators have faced this situation as they expanded. While the decision is initially based on a business case, it always equates into an operational one as well.

There are several regulatory issues to be dealt with in this regard, such as aircraft certification and registration, qualifications for flying and maintenance crews, the operating and maintenance certificates, and more. Call any of your Transport Canada principal inspectors to discuss and coordinate the regulatory requirements associated with your planned fleet expansion.

The process of acquiring and implementing a new aircraft type within a company, whether it is permanent or seasonal, will benefit from being properly documented as part of the company’s overall safety management system (SMS). If fleet diversification is a favourable option in the future of your company, it may be advantageous to research and document the process now and incorporate it into your SMS. When you’re ready to expand, it may just go a lot smoother.

Role of Pilots in Wildlife Management

This excerpt from Chapter 10 of Sharing the Skies (TP 13549E) discusses the role pilots play as stakeholders in an airport wildlife management plan. Information is provided to heighten awareness among pilots and to describe actions that can be taken as part of an overall strategy to reduce the risk of strikes. While the information provided here is based on well-documented best practices, this information is not meant to take precedence over any procedures contained in approved pilot operating handbooks (POH) or aircraft operating manuals (AOM).

Pilots can reduce the probability and severity of bird and mammal strikes through prudent flight planning and the use of appropriate aircraft operating techniques. By observing and reporting wildlife movements to ATS providers and wildlife management personnel, pilots can also help protect other aircraft operators.

Pilot general flight-planning and operating principles

All pilots should plan and operate flights according to proven wildlife-strike risk-reduction techniques. The following strategies and observations apply:

  1. Plan your flight to operate at the highest possible altitude; the probability of bird strikes decreases dramatically above 3 000 ft AGL, and emergency situations are more challenging at low altitudes.
  2. Reducing speed also limits the severity of bird strikes-impact force increases as the square of the speed (TP 13549E, Chapter 12, Table 12.1).
  3. Avoid planning and flying routes:

    • over areas known to attract birds, such as sanctuaries, landfill sites and fish packing facilities;
    • along rivers and the shorelines of lakes and oceans, particularly at minimum altitude.
    • Birds, as well as pilots, use these geographic features as navigational aids;
    • over inland waterways and shallow estuaries at minimum altitude. Large numbers of gulls, wading birds and waterfowl frequent these areas throughout the year. These species of birds may make regular flights at dawn and dusk;
    • at minimum altitude over geographical features such as offshore islands, headlands, and cliffs. These areas are frequently used as colonial nesting sites.
  4. While most bird species are active primarily during the day, bear in mind that many birds such as owls and migratory waterfowl regularly fly at night.
  5. Birds tend to be more active at dawn and dusk. Many species have predictable daily flight patterns; they travel to feeding sites at dawn and return to roosting sites at dusk.
  6. In Canada, bird-strike risk peaks at three times throughout the year:

    • during spring migration in March and April;
    • in July and August, when many inexperienced young birds are present, and the flying abilities of adults may be impaired due to moulting; and
    • during fall migration in September and October.
  7. Be aware that a significant percentage of the North American Canada Goose population remains in urban areas-and therefore often in the vicinity of many airports-throughout the year.
  8. On hot summer days, many bird species-such as raptors and gulls-harness thermals and soar to considerable heights.
  9. Birds of prey have been reported to attack aircraft.
  10. Bird size can be estimated by observing the wing-beat rate; the slower the beat, the larger the bird-and the greater the potential for damage. Remember: large and flocking birds present considerable risk to aircraft; large, flocking birds are extremely hazardous.
  11. Be aware that birds may not hear quiet aircraft in time to avoid collision.
  12. If you encounter birds, the most effective evasive action may be to climb above them while maintaining a safe speed. Biologists have observed that some birds break downwards when threatened. Other recent studies indicate that some birds may view aircraft as immobile objects, and turn slowly away when at a perceived safe distance.
  13. If a bird strike does occur:

    • Maintain control of the aircraft. Remember that the sound of a bird strike may be disproportionately greater than the resulting damage.
    • Refer to checklists and carry out applicable emergency procedures.
    • Assess damage and its effect on aircraft landing performance.
    • Land at the nearest suitable airport.
    • Enlist the assistance of ATS providers and airport emergency personnel.
    • If structural and control-system damage is suspected, consider an aircraft controllability check prior to attempting a landing.
    • Control-surface damage and flutter are not readily apparent on fly-by-wire aircraft, which lack direct linkage from control surface to pilot. As a result, there is no physical feedback of aerodynamic flutter, while electronic control position indicators lack sufficient fidelity to depict surface flutter.
    • If the windshield is broken or cracked, follow approved procedures contained in the POH or AOM.
    • If the windshield is penetrated, slow the aircraft to reduce wind blast. Consider the use of sunglasses or smoke goggles to protect your eyes from wind, precipitation and flying debris.
  14. Following a bird or mammal strike-and before returning to the air-have the aircraft thoroughly inspected, preferably by an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME). Pay careful attention to the following:

    • Ensure the strike has not damaged or blocked the engine intake, exhaust and cooling and airflow ducts.
    • Check landing gear, brake hydraulic lines, landing-gear downlocks and any landing-gear switches.
    • If damage to the airframe or control surfaces is suspected, thorough inspections should be carried out by maintenance personnel to ensure structural integrity; minor exterior damage may disguise serious underlying structural damage.
    • Turbine engines that have suffered bird strikes deserve careful attention. In several incidents, basic visual inspections failed to reveal damage that affected subsequent flights.

Operational necessities may preclude some of the above-recommended best practices. As a matter of fact, like many of you out there, I happen to enjoy flying along rivers and the shorelines of lakes and oceans! So what’s the answer? Awareness and readiness. For detailed information, including the entire online version of Sharing the Skies, visit the Wildlife Control Web site at: -Ed.

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