Invulnerable to Danger Part II - Aviation Podcast


Sure I I think the the biggest issue is getting pilots to realize their their own weaknesses or overconfidence. And the the only way to really do that is to put them in a position where they become overconfident or overlook some other weaknesses and actually make a fake Louis eaters and welcome back to the finer points on this episode of the finer points. We're going to continue our discussion about how to influence the safety mindset of pilots. That feel invulnerable. We're GONNA discuss the Kobe Bryant crash and check in with three people that actually reached out to me after the last podcast. We're GONNA see if we can wrap this one up. I'm Jason Miller in. You're listening to the finer points. The finer points is brought to you in part by four flight the essential APP for aviation online at four flight dot com and by those acres of the Eight Twenty headset the twentieth. The choice of military pilots and professional pilots all over the world and by the generous support of listeners. Like you through patriotic. If you WANNA support the finer points and receive bonus content please visit patriots dot com slash. Learn T.F AVIATOR'S WELCOME BACK. It's been a bit You know the last podcast published on February third. And you know I was doing so good there with my weekly publications in January but the reason. Is You know if you heard the last one you know I was talking about affecting the safety mindset of pilots that appear to feel invulnerable and we were using the Kobe. Bryant crashed the pilot from that crash is a kind of example now. We don't have the final report on that accident yet. But we do have a lot of data and I've had a lot of great conversations and I think I'm finally getting my head around some strategies that we can use to avoid making the same mistakes I mean first of all. Let's just review. There's been a lot of data coming back about the Kobe. Bryant crashed but we're using that pilot as an example because at the end of the day he was flying at about one hundred and sixty knots three hundred feet off the ground in very very marginal conditions and died doing something that kills more pilots than other weather events combined rights lightning icing thunderstorms microbursts wind. Share I mean you name it right all of that in one bucket via far into IMC kills more pilots right. So how did this eight thousand two hundred pilot? Eight thousand two hundred hour pilot not know that right. He must have known that. There's there's no way he didn't know that yet he's still going at that. Speed three hundred feet off the ground in conditions that were extremely marginal and at some point. He realized I can't do this anymore. I'm not I don't have visibility. I'm getting too close to the ground. And he executed an abrupt pull up into the clouds. We don't know why it was so abrupt. We don't know if he was thinking. I'm just GONNA pop up through this layer or or what but you can go to the pilot's. Handbook of Air Nautical Knowledge. Look up the section on spatial disorientation. This is textbook. There's something called elevator allusion when you introduce that upward force. Your tendency is to pitch down and just before the top of the clouds just before the helicopter broke out. That's exactly what happened. It started diving left. Turn and hit a mountain going. Four thousand feet permanent down right so the pilot unless he became incapacitated or had instrument failures. Let's just you know. Let's go with the obvious. Right comes razor. The most obvious answer tends to be the correct one he. He was spatially disoriented which would make a ton of sense because he's doing something that kills more pilots than all other weather events combined and he exposed himself to this elevator illusion. The real question is how did he feel as though this was not a problem for him how did he. Why was he going that fast? And some people say well hey look. There were pressures to fly Kobe Bryant. And Yeah Okay. But it doesn't mean you have to be on one hundred sixty three hundred feet off the ground. I think the behavior of if you watch the flight path and think about the mindset of this pilot. This is somebody who wasn't feeling vulnerable. Maybe right up until the very end. So how do we affect that? A lot of you know my work and I I in my book setting the standard a large part of. What's really become my thesis and Flight? Training is that we need to emulate the commercial operators standardize our behavior around accidents. That have occurred so that. We're modifying behaviors based on accidents. That have occurred whenever possible. We make those procedures redundant and then we force our own compliance But still even even knowing that there's still the right amount of pressure under the rate circumstances at the right time or the right combination of events that will get even the most experienced pilots. You know that to say well just this once. I'm going to. Maybe they even get away with it and it becomes normal right and they normalized this deviant behavior that they didn't even know was deviant because they keep getting away with it. I got some really interesting feedback about how in some other industries like law enforcement for example or construction others unknown concept that with a certain amount of hours or a certain amount of experience you become complacent that experience equals that and then flying we kind of do the opposite. We think more hours is more experienced. The is the safer pilot. And maybe that's true in the in the professional world where you're going back in for recurrent training every six months But maybe not so much in generally vacation one of the people I talked to a gentleman named David Dow. Who's a safety expert for confined spaces particularly in construction? I believe in any case. Consider what he had to say about safety. Classes that were required in the workplace couple hundred fatalities each year and trenches and excavations and confined spaces and was my specialty so to speak a lot of safety classes I met a lot of times with skepticism from participants and they basically had the attitude. If I've been doing this work for years and I've never had a problem So safety really isn't a concern. Just have not had a problem in the past. So why am I here for the safety class? I sometimes joke and think of it like you know. There's an expression that if a company is not growing it's dying. I always say if a pilot's not trying to get better. They're getting worse. And the concept of normalization of deviance is. Maybe you're getting away with things. Maybe the Kobe Brian Pilot had done this fifteen twenty times when the conditions were slightly better and it worked. You know you can kind of falsely. Prove to yourself that what you're doing is safe. So that's when I started thinking about the scared straight program and you know that's the one where they take the problem youth and they put him in jail for the night and they get scared straight in quotes and that led to a very interesting conversation with Greg Patch. All My name is Greg Paddle. I'm the Chief Flight Instructor Gateway Technical College and Kenosha Wisconsin. I think the biggest issue is getting pilots to realize their their own weaknesses or overconfidence. And the the only way to really do that is to put them in a position where they become overconfident or overlook some of their weaknesses and actually make a mistake. And it's trying to find a safe way to do that and there in lies one of the issues. You know the reason. We don't do spins in training anymore because two thirds the accidents. The fatal accidents were happening in training. So how can you safely do this? How can you safely make pilots aware of their vulnerability? Greg uses simulators and actual NTSB accident reports to recreate events that have proven fatal in the real world One of the scenarios we use as a a maintenance flight for an aircraft where it had some work done. Everything's supposed to be good and you know you're flying this airplane back to your home base. what we usually do is We we give the students the scenario. We don't tell them you know what the accident is. What happened we say? Plan the flight you know you might have. Passengers might not how much fuel you bring in. So the first thing they do is they ready. One page Risk Assessment papers and Kinda lay out what they see as possible risk for the flight and what their negation strategies or reduction strategies are for those perceived risks and they may or may not hit the nail on the head with the flight. Sometimes it's something that's completely outside the realm of something they could check on a simulator flight like a maintenance issue Then they will Submit a flight plan and plan for him so we know what their route is. We know what fuel they WANNA take and they may or may not get that out just like an eye for flight plan you might get throughout you file or not. The scenario happens in the simulator. The instructor kind of drive that Whether it'd be an engine failure or Seafood type of scenario where there's controlled flight into terrain and the actual excellent report And depending on how. The students either plan the flight or respond to that. That stressor in this scenario is Is the learning experience so sometimes the flight was off without a hitch minutes because they saw that risk upfront and they were able to apply you know appropriate negation strategies and move through that. And say I'll come and they they get to the end of the scenario and they're like well you know nothing really happened. Well Great. That means you. You had good skills going into that flight. For that scenario that doesn't happen with every scenario One of the scenarios I use is a A flight within Inner Fire and I actually bought a small smoke generator from party city and use that in the simulator to to add that realism. And it's about an hour and a half into the flight so I mean you're in the simulator in an enclosed simulator for an hour and a half after a while. It feels like you're fine an airplane and all of a sudden starts pouring. I had students panic a little bit in the simulator. You know and it. Kinda sounds funny but you know after you're in there for a while you really think that's happening so as realistic as you can. So that it applies to something they'd see in real life to trying to teach them to be more diligent about looking at the day to day flying and and what south or that could be a danger. There is so much good stuff in there and Greg is definitely a man after my own heart. You know I am the guy in the simulator with all the lights off and forcing my student to hold a Red Light. You know and Turning the volume the hominy engine up as loud as I can. And putting on headsets and making fake air traffic control calls mean anything we can do to make it more like the real world and Greg's right after a while that the illusion really does start to get some depth and you start to feel like you're in an airplane even though it's not moving and there's no you know perception emotion. Another amazing thing that they are doing there is having a risk assessment For the flight that they're about to taken. I'm not sure if it was greg with. Somebody got me on instagram and said that that was something their school did as well just to build it in from day. One on any given flight even if I'm going out to the practice area with a student there's a certain amount of risk associated with it and I have certain risk mitigation strategies for me assuming. No one makes any obvious mistakes. I consider the three big risks fire failure and collision on and you know for fire and failure. Outside of structural failure. You practice you know you. Practice communication failure you practice engine failure you practice fire procedures emergency to sense all sorts of stuff like that and for collision. I feel a lot better now. In today's world that were inside of what used to be the mode c ring but now requires a DSP out transponders. So I definitely take advantage of that. I've got the century Receiver always up. I've got four flat on my phone buzzing traffic in my pocket. I've got four fight on my IPAD showing traffic and now we really do have good visibility. So you have a risk mitigation strategy. Even if it's just I'm GONNA look out the window and I think the process of walking through it is what's important and what we want to pass on. I still see Delta here. There's still a gap in the fact that the airlines can mandate this that if your professional operator it's built into the equation and as awesome as Greg's examples are and definitely I'm gonNA use some of those still apart. One forty one environment. The training program can be carefully tailored. How do we affect the pilot when they get to eight thousand two hundred hours when they've entered well beyond really the killing zone in quotes? And unfortunately where? I'M GONNA come on this and this is truly what I believe and I think you know what. I'm going to advocate for pending a comment and review process. But I believe this is going to need to be regulated and I'm not talking about extreme regulation. I'm thinking you know. Let's identify like the police. Did some statistically sensitive point where confidence becomes complacency and. Send people back for an endorsement and the endorsement is to be some amount of simulator sessions. Doing the kind of stuff that Greg described and some amount of flying the airplane. I'm not sure if everybody listening has seen the I think it's the most recent fight shops video. Actually maybe two maybe even three ago but Dan Greider and Steve Thorne for flight chops were reviewing what they called an ATP program in Advanced Qualification Program. And Dan was coming up with real world training exercises that more emulated. What we're seeing. You know that are that are accidents. That are likely to occur preparing for things that might kill. You actually declaring emergencies this kind of thing and maybe at eight hundred hours or at some benchmark you have to go in somewhere like flight safety or whatever and you have to get an endorsement and the endorsement has to include this type of training but maybe we can fix the problem for it comes to that. So let's look at some more specific suggestions. On how can we force ourselves to comply with the strategies that we all know? We should comply with One thing is you know we do this. I'm safe acronym. Illness medication stress Alcohol Drugs Fatigue and e external pressures. I think the whole thing in reality for just GonNa look at statistically what's causing people to do. This external pressure is a huge one. I recently had a conversation with Chris. Clearfield who is the author of a book called Meltdown on Christmas? Also and we got into a conversation on this topic. There's a great story and Fighting magazine that we then Kind of dug into and interviewed. Brian SCHIFF ABOUT FLYING. Refusing to fly Steve Jobs and a bunch of equipment An a an another guy from a an airport in the Carmel Valley. Sorta like hot South Florida's The San Francisco. There used to be an airstrip. They're out they He he looked at the and this was in the. I think the late eighties early nineties. So that kind of you know. The sort of first heyday of jobs as a powerhouse and Brian Shift. Who'S BERRY SHIFTS? Sunbury is the guy who who I wrote about this story you know. He looked at this equipment. He said No. I'm not I'm not taking it. And they the other guy was the owner of the charter An Brian came up with a very clever solution. You know he was like twenty one year old eighteen year old. Whatever he was commercial pilot doing doing this I guess probably ninety one and he said look. We'll go to all the Monterey. It's got a long runway cooler. It's got the coastal breeze. It's a twenty minute drive for you guys. I'll do that will be fine. And so he lands I don't remember going somewhere somewhere else in the bay area Year he he lands at Palo Alto or wherever and Gets the linemen comes out as he's tying on the plane and says hey the you know. The boss who was on the flight wants to see you in his office into because like all right. I'M GONNA get canned here here here. It is And so he goes into the guy's office in he goes you know. How much do we pay you a day? It's whatever is is right all right. I'm GONNA double that. We need people that can you know? Put safety ahead of pressure from from our customers. Not many people took GUTS TO STAND UP TO STEVE. Jobs who was fuming. As as he did this. I you know I like the way you talk about personal minimums which is like you make the decision. The cold rationality of you know a a rainy day weekend. You're not flying and then you stick to it and you can't change it and so you know people who if the weather is forecast to be bad day out though they'll go for the go with the airlines or they'll always have kind of a backup ticket that they can cancel I was flying to visit some friends from Seattle to To to boulder to call in Colorado and so I was in a teacher ten so it's a long flight but fuel stop. I stop in Montana. I look at the chart and you know it was one of those situations where I'm looking at the weather on four flay and there are these symbols that I don't even recognize you know what I mean like like there's like an angry cloud symbol or something and I'm like I don't even have to go to Beijing late and so I am but I just again just internally driven. I'm here I am excited to show off to my friends that I'm a pilot flying myself to visit them right and you know it's like these are people. I've known for a long time like I didn't have any real production pressures but you know we all have ego that gets involved so I'm looking at this thing and I did this. I was in the midst of writing meltdown at the time so I was sort of deep into the research of the book and I was like. Okay what am I going to do here and the first thing I did was I was like all right. I need to get an external perspective and I think that can be hugely valuable and so all I did was. I took a screen shot of my IPAD and I texted my flight instructor and I was like. Hey I just need you to tell me I shouldn't go fly into this. You know skull-and-crossbone and she texted back and was like you definitely should not and and maybe she called and we chatted for like two minutes. I like literally knew the right answer. I just needed permission from somebody to to sort of Do the right thing awesome. That's really great and so anybody that's looking to get a copy of meltdown would go to where you can get it on Amazon. Or wherever fine books are sold It's called meltdown. What plane crashes oil spills and dumb business? Decisions can teach us about how to succeed at work and at home all right. Well there you have it. That's Chris clearfield author of meltdown. A huge thanks to Chris and Greg Patch and to David Tao for taking the time to talk with me and be a part of the evolution of this thought process also a huge thanks to the sponsors to pilot protection services. Make sure that when you renew your membership in. Aspca you add pilot protection services. They make it really easy for you. Just go to the website. Aarp DOT org slash membership dash PPC. That's Papa Papa. Charlie also J. P. I the best engine monitor online at GP instruments dot com and to the patrons for bonus content and podcasts without advertisements. Please visit Patriot dot com slash learn. T.f P also please come by learn the finer points dot com. I've got a free GIFT VIDEO. I would love to give you and I hope to see you on one of the airplane Camp Twenty twenty trips. We've got three trips this year and they are filling fast. So if that's on your bucket list definitely come by and place a deposit also a huge thanks to you the best fans on the Internet. For downloading this podcast. I'm Jason Miller and until next time. Be Safe Fire. Best Been The Sky Angel on the airwaves Fawn Arabian afternoon sky

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