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Bulletin 6-16-10

       

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We Need Your Help Regarding the NTSB Recommendations
to the Air Care Alliance
 and All Volunteer Pilot Patient Transport
Groups
for Enhancing the Safety of Volunteer Pilot Operations.

Dear Volunteer Pilot Group Leaders, Staff Members,
Volunteers, and Friends of Public Benefit Flying,

On June 9, 2010 The Air Care Alliance (ACA) received a Safety Recommendation Letter from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). See the link below for the letter

The NTSB made three recommendations in response to its investigation of four accidents involving volunteer pilots transporting patients between September 26, 2007 and August 12, 2008.


The NTSB recommends that ACA and all volunteer pilot organizations take action in three areas: (1) verification of pilot currency; (2) disclosure to patients that flights are not conducted under the same standards as commercial operations; and (3) development of written safety guidance, best practices, and training material for volunteer pilots.

ACA shares the NTSBís concerns and will take a leadership role in addressing them in collaboration with all volunteer pilot organizations (including non-Members of ACA).  In fact ACA has already discussed the accidents along with improved safety guidelines in a special meeting in Kansas City and in general sessions at its last two national Air Care conferences. ACA has solicited input from all known volunteer pilot groups
about the best ways to enhance safety.

And ACA, in conjunction with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, is already in the process of developing a web-based interactive course that will address the safety guidance issues listed by the NTSB.  In the near future ACA will be hosting a meeting to solicit and coordinate inputs to the content of this course.  We are also hopeful that volunteer pilot organizations will help by co-sponsoring it.

A number of volunteer pilot organizations have already taken measures in response to the accidentsACA urges all the groups to re-examine their policies and procedures in light of the NTSB recommendations. 

The Air Care Alliance appreciates the NTSBís efforts and thoughtful recommendations and will cooperate fully in order to enhance the safety of volunteer pilot operations.
  We understand that some of the recommendations may be quite acceptable while others might seem problematic for some groups.  We want to hear your thoughts about this, and especially your solutions that we should consider in responding to the NTSB.

We also ask you and your group to participate with ACA in the development of practicable recommendations and guidelines enhancing safety for all the groups and those they serve. 


>>  If you are an individual, please provide your ideas and concerns to your own volunteer pilot organization for discussion and consolidation by its leadership.

>>  If you are a group leader, please work with your group to designate a qualified individual to represent your group with the Air Care Alliance, and to carry your group's recommendations to us.  Please have that person contact us soon. 

 
>>  We have provided a set of sample questions below that should help you compose your group's response.


We know that all volunteer pilots wish to use their skills and aircraft to help others.  Let's all work together to minimize risk and maximize safety for all those involved in these noble endeavors.

 
--- ### ---
 
LINK to NTSB Recommendation Letter
        
http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/letters/2010/A-10-102-104.pdf 

Contacts: Send replies to ACA at wmurrow@earthlink.net
They will be received by:
Lindy Kirkland, ACA President     540-903-7580     

Rol Murrow,  ACA Chairman         575-774-0029     
Jeff Kahn,   ACA Chair, Legal Committee 610-277-6633   

EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE ANSWERED:

Currency:


What, if anything, does your organization currently do to require, assure, or verify currency of volunteer pilots?

Would it be feasible for your organization to internally assure the currency of its pilots?

Do you or would it be feasible for your organization to require the pilot to self-certify his/her currency prior to each flight (for instance, as an addition to a liability waiver)?

Do you have any other suggestions for meeting the NTSB's concerns regarding pilot currency?

Passenger Briefings:

Does your organization currently advise passengers that flights are not conducted under the same standards as commercial flights?

Is there any reason why your organization would object to advising passengers as recommended by NTSB?

Training, guidelines, and pilot education:

What, if anything, does your organization currently do to promote recurrent training and pilot education such as recommended by NTSB?

Will your organization assist ACA and the Air Safety Foundation in developing materials to meet NTSB's concerns?

Please also provide any other comments or concerns you may have.

Thank you for providing your group's answers and other information that would be useful.  If possible please also attach or provide links to any of your group's documents pertaining to the NTSB recommendations.

Send replies to ACA at wmurrow@earthlink.net

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