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Hosted by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the 147th meeting of the Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe) (AFFSC(E)) took place in Ottawa from June 23 to 28, 2019.
The conference offered RCAF director of Flight Safety, Col John Alexander, an opportunity to highlight the historically low number of flight safety incidents in which Canadian military aircraft have been involved. Over the course of the last 50 years, the accident occurrence rate per 10,000 hours of flying has decreased from 0.510 to 0.081.
Fewer flight safety incidents are the result of the RCAF’s open reporting culture to reporting and non-attribution of blame when investigating incidents, as well as an Airworthiness Program that guides a better risk assessment for operational planning.
RCAF membership on the AFFSC(E) allows for the rapid exchange of information pertinent to on-going investigations abroad, changes in national aviation regulations, and new initiatives in flight safety.
“Canada has benefited greatly from its participation on the Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe), applying the lessons learned by other militaries to improve our own flight safety program. Our historical low number of incidents gives me confidence in our robust airworthiness, maintenance, and safety programs, ensuring the safety of our personnel,” said RCAF commander LGen Al Meinzinger.
“The most cost effective lessons that you can learn are those from someone else’s incidents or accidents and flight safety is an area that you never stop learning. The Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe) conference is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and exchange ideas. This year’s theme of risk management from theory to practice demonstrates our commitment to maximizing effectiveness without compromising safety,” said group captain Tom Lyons, Royal Air Force and chair of the AFFSC(E).