How we keep safety the highest priority of our flight training

Elias Svens

Whether you are an aspiring pilot, one of our students, an instructor, or an airline representative looking for student pilots to hire, you probably found this blog post via our home page.

On the home page, we state that after being enrolled in one of our programs the focus of the student pilots should be:

“Full dedication and focus towards making the most out of your education and becoming a skilled and safety minded pilot”. 

A statement that implies that during the training of our student pilots we ensure that the safety and safe operation of airplanes is one of the highest priorities. That safety is integrated into the training in a way that the whole concept of flying and the mindset of the future pilot will be infused with safety.

The Safety Statement

But wait a minute. Here we go again, another company in the aviation industry that in some way says that safety is the biggest or one of the biggest focuses of their organization. After a quick google search, you will be able to find numerous amounts of companies that in some way make this claim.

If you want to mock, you could say that this is a cliche that everyone uses. In a way, I can agree with you. In fact, organizations within the aviation industry are in one way or another forced to make this statement. For flight training organizations following EASA regulations, the applicable means of compliance no 1 to paragraph ORA.GEN.200(a)(2) states that we must have a safety policy that:

Reflect organisational commitments regarding safety and its proactive and systematic management (i.e. are forced by regulation to be committed towards safety).

But please bear with me and I will explain this phenomenon further.

I am not saying that it is false either that most organizations within the aviation industry put safety as one of their highest priorities, on the contrary. In the early days of aviation flying was a risky business and still today some people regard flying to be a high-risk activity.

This has bread a culture of sharing your mistakes so that others don’t do the same ones and where investigations of aviation accidents are meticulous and extensive. All the way to the extent that today flying an aircraft is one of the safest things you could do. This would never have been possible if not all companies in the industry were contributing.

 Safety Check by Albin

Safety Management System (SMS)

One of the latest advancements in improving safety in flying organizations was the implementation of ICAO Annex 19 in 2013. Since then Safety Management Systems (SMS) has been implemented in all corners of the world. Partly since it has become a regulatory requirement but more importantly organizations save money by avoiding accidents and most important no one wants to be involved in an organization where you might get hurt. 

The SMS should among other things include:

  • Policy
  • Objectives
  • Plans
  • Procedures
  • Organization
  • Responsibilities
  • Retention of hazards
  • Risk analysis
  • Reporting
  • Training
  • Performance indicators

The list can be made longer but to shorten things up for you, we can summarize the SMS as a facilitating system that enables effective sharing of hazards and safety-related information.

We can summaries the SMS as a facilitating system that enables effective sharing of hazards and safety related information

Well, let us take a look at OSM Aviation Academy, what are the key elements that we do to help you in becoming a safety minded pilot:

1. Training

Well yes, flight training is what we do, but we will also include training in our safety management system and safety principles for all our integrated students very similar to the one we give to all our instructors.

Why? Because the purpose of our SMS is two-part:

1. Is that we want to have such a system due to all benefits already discussed.

2. It will teach our students how a fully functioning SMS is built and integrated into the operations.

Therefore, our aim is to have as extensive SMS as any airline would to prepare our students for their future workplace.

2. Minimum Equipment List (MEL)

We always strive to keep the highest standard of our aircraft fleet but non-the-less mechanical equipment will break. A Minimum Equipment List will get our students used in how to handle mechanical deficiencies in a safe way.

Pre-flight planning - Albin and Isabelle

3. Briefings

The briefing is a big part of pilot education and they come in many forms. Classroom briefings where we in large groups will discuss upcoming maneuvers and how to perform them as well as discussing our Safety Of the month and case studies or occurrences reported in the past that we together can learn from.

Pre- and post-flight briefings where student and instructor will focus more on the practical conduct of a specific flight, how to perform it and what problems they might encounter, and more importantly how to mitigate them as a part of our Threat and Error Management concept.

4. Reporting

This is the most important part of our SMS. All persons involved in OSM Aviation Academy are encouraged to file a report for any occurrence, hazard, or potential improvement that is found. In this way, lessons can be drawn from the collective experience. All reports are handled by the Safety Departments and actions are requested from relevant departments when deemed necessary. If requested the reporter will also be given feedback on actions taken which even further the sense of teamwork and contribution. 

Safety Minded Pilot

With this in mind, we can conclude that no matter who describes the SMS; ICAO through Annex 19, EASA via the EASA regulations, the Swedish Civil Aviation Authorities implementing those regulations or the organizations running the SMS, all these actions boil down to one thing – people sharing experience to avoid unsafe conditions.

With these experiences in their flight bag after graduation, we do dare to say that our students will be safety minded pilots and confident that they have the tools they need to contribute to a safer aviation industry


What is a Safety Manager?

To learn more about the safety procedures in aviation and safety culture at a flight school, I will recommend you to read the interview with our Safety Manager, Niclas Eriksson, where he talks about the importance of having a high-quality safety culture and his role as a Safety Manager in aviation.

Read it now: Safety Manager - Niclas Eriksson [VIDEO]

Safety Manager, Niclas Eriksson

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