SMS Success Story – Risk Assessment and Hazard Management

SMS Success Story – Risk Assessment and Hazard Management

7-Sep-2011 Source: CHC

Tasked with delivering an EC225 from Aberdeen in the UK to Cabo Frio in Brazil, CHC knew the delivery of the aircraft would include a ferry flight of 9,500 nautical miles.

Passing through twelve countries and using a total of 42,300 litres of fuel was a task definitely worthy of a Risk Assessment.

“Some would consider that the crew planning the trip was enough of a Risk Assessment but when the team was brought together, it gave much more strength to the planning process and helped to pre-empt any of the problems the crew might encounter,” said Duncan Trapp, Vice-President, Safety & Quality, CHC Helicopter Services.

The team included the flight crew, Flight Ops Management, Safety & Quality, Flight Safety, Engineering, Training and Flight Standards.  Some were invited to be part of the team due to their own ferry flight experiences, including a veteran of a previous Aberdeen to Brazil ferry flight.

The benefit of a large team became apparent with the wealth and depth of knowledge available to the group.  A number of hazards were identified, including their control measures thanks to the team.

Throughout the discussion, hazards were identified, including the potential of a possible Flight Time Limitations (FLT) breach.  A possibility of a FTL led to detailed flight planning to ensure that sectors were never going to infringe upon rules, and sent back to management on a daily basis so that records were kept as per normal and any potential breaches could be identified.  Accommodation en route was carefully selected and booked by the Mobilisation Manager in order that all of the crew received the appropriate rest.

The team also identified engineering support as a potential risk – with only one engineer (B1 with no limitations), scheduled maintenance operations en route were kept to an absolute minimum.  The aircraft was ‘cleared’ of scheduled maintenance prior to departure from Aberdeen for the duration of 0the ferry flight with the only requirements being a 75 hour inspection conducted in Halifax and routine flight servicing.  In addition, the engineer was supplied with a laptop, electronic manuals and a small selection of spare parts.  Using the laptop, he was able to download and transfer the FDM and HUMS data to the appropriate servers at the end of each flying day.

Weather conditions were also discussed – these were monitored carefully by the crew at the start of each day to ensure correct and safe route planning.  A further consideration was the overall route that the flight was to take – from one weather extreme to another (Greenland in the Arctic Circle to the subtropical environment of Brazil) and that it was during the ‘Hurricane Season’.

These were just a few examples of the hazards identified.  The RA process proved its effectiveness and allowed the crew to enjoy a picturesque and less demanding ferry flight – in the words of the crew:

“We were somewhat disappointed to be turning onto the finals at Cabo Frio.”

“Risk Assessment to manage the potential hazards – it’s not ‘rocket science’ and is definitely worth the investment in time and experience to ensure what we do is done to the highest standards,” said Trapp.

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