The Aero Club of SA's Safety First Aviator Campaign
By Chandre' Steenkamp and Kevin Storie
The Safety First Aviator Campaign started in 2012, where a target was initiated to halve the total fatal aviation accidents in South-Africa.
Accidents related to pilots attitude and general airmanship failures, made the campaign come into reality. It was then decided that some sort of intervention was required. Originally the idea came from Robin Spencer Scar and was then taken in action by the then General Manager of the Aero Club of South Africa, Kevin Storie and his team.
Initially the campaign added a video that had some clear scenarios accompanied by the consequence of their actions. The campaign targeted low flight without "pre-checking the terrain" and completing full and comprehensive "pre-flight checks". The core message included "It is not cool to be a Cowboy and make Safety your culture".
General Des Barker also had a part in the video and many senior Icons in the aviation industry gave personal accounts of what errors they have made and be very lucky to have survived. The four pillars of aviation he had laid out were Skills, Knowledge, Attitude and Discipline- which are held together by Airmanship.
In our second year of the campaign, a second DVD was put in place with messages such as "What is your minimum safe altitude?" and "Situational Awareness". Later that year the Campaign also concentrated on the low flight and CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain).
Mark Swarts from SACAA commenced with the seasonal "Hello Summer" campaign targeting the change of weather and the effects on pilots. SACAA then became more involved to make a difference.
Phase three content targeted many aspects mainly ever growing busting of Controlled Airspace and the consequences which is still a problem at present. Comair came onboard with many greats in aviation, an expose' on what went into the Harvard water skiing feat. Col Jeff Earle flew a demonstration of what happens if you try to turn back after EFTO (Engine Failure after Take Off).
We targeted attitude and noted the "Jekyll and Hyde" syndrome with a few introduction into Single Pilot CRM (Crew Resource Management) by Comair teams.
The Safety First Aviator Campaign achieved an audience number of more than 2000 from all over South Africa. Our current campaign "Your Approach", embraced new topics such as Aircraft Maintenance and Cockpit Resource Management.
With generous sponsorships we receive each year and the volunteer presenters, we are able to advertise and promote our Safety First Aviator Campaign using specially designed stickers, DVD's, Key Rings and other exciting giveaways that was used to thank the attendees for their commitment to the Campaign. We are very appreciative of all the Companies involved in sponsoring, which include SACAA, ALPA-SA, EAA SA, CAASA, Comair, Mayday-SA, RAASA and ATNS, Century Avionics.
The Safety First Aviator Campaign statistics for the number of aircraft accident since 2014 showing a trend decline are as follows:
Thus far, the Safety First Aviator Campaign has definitely made a major contribution in the state of aviation and we wish to encounter much more each and every year. We invite all flying enthusiast to join is on this spectacular educating campaign.
Hope to see you all there!
Fly Safe Safety Campaign
Safety First Aviators Credo
As a proud Aviator, I confirm by the placement of my signature that I subscribe to this credo and the ideals of SAFETY FIRST AVIATORS from this day forth, to keep me, my family and my friends safe.
1. I acknowledge that safety starts with myself.
2. I will display good Airmanship.
3. I accept that all pilots, including myself, are fallible and that through good discipline and compliance on our part the risks are reduced.
4. I will assign fellow aviators to watch out for me and assist them in improving their safety.
5. I am prepared to listen and consider the advice that is given by fellow aviators.
6. I will not hesitate to approach fellow aviators if I have a genuine concern for their safety and intern will welcome other pilots whom approach me.
7. I will be considerate, creating a safe environment for all aviators, allowing all to operate within their respective limitations.
8. I will never attempt to show my skills off to anyone until I have earned these skills.
9. I acknowledge that, whenever there is doubt as to whether I should fly, I will not.
10. I will consider the risks and consequences before making decisions and will always treat flying with the respect and prudence it deserves.
11. I will always check the weather en route and at my destination prior to making a flight.
12. I will play my part in the safety of flying in South Africa.