Flight Safety 2014 Blog
Is There Anything Missing ?
March 15, 2014
How do you inventory your tools before or even after you do a job? Probably the same way as everybody else does…you open the toolbox, look to see if all the tools are there, and close the toolbox. But do you look at the tools that have more than one piece? More than likely you don’t. You are probably ready to go to work, or do your tool inventory so you can get home for the night. Well, I previously didn’t think too much of looking at every single piece of every tool in the box. I just looked in the toolbox to make sure all my tools were accounted for. I didn’t look at the condition of my tools. Were they missing any pieces, worn beyond use, or broken? There is more to an inventory than just looking in the toolbox to see if all your tools are accounted for. You need to check your tools before and after you use them. Check them for wear and broken or missing pieces...
My FOD Story
March 10, 2014
“It can’t happen to me,” was what I used to think about being in a foreign object damage (FOD) related emergency. You know the drill; we all go to the FOD walkdowns and pick up tiny pieces of trash and occasionally a misplaced washer or screw. The flight deck and flight line are kept clean and the maintainers are like surgeons in the jet, verifying every tool is returned and every screw, nut and bolt are in place. The precautions we take are extensive and led me to a false sense of security. A recent FOD-related incident really woke me up to the reality of the threat.
It was the fourth month of Western Pacific (WESTPAC) and we were operating off of the USS Nimitz near the ODJ bombing range outside of Japan. The cruise had been uneventful and the airwing was operating like a well-oiled machine. This was my second cruise within a year and I had finally started to feel comfortable operating around the boat. The routine of cat-shot, fly, and trap had become the standard.
Noise and Hearing Protection Fact Sheet
February 28, 2014
One in ten Americans has a hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech. Excessive noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss. Some workers with long-term hearing loss have developed ways of adapting to the gradual onset of the disease. The effect of noise is real and can be devastating. Workers who also develop tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) can find this to be unbearable. The important thing is that no matter what your present level of hearing loss, it is never too late or too hard to prevent further damage. Workers who already have serious hearing loss have even greater reason for saving the hearing they have left. The following information should provide reasons for eliminating noise hazards at work and in everyday life.
Occupational Noise Exposure
February 25, 2014
Every year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that nearly 125,000 workers have suffered significant, permanent hearing loss. In 2009 alone, BLS reported more than 21,000 hearing loss cases.
Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss...
The Tool That Went Flying
February 18, 2014
Not a single issue of Mech Magazine, it seems, is published without mentioning a tool incident. I’ve read plenty of such articles and thought of how easy it would’ve been for those people to prevent tool incidents by taking a few simple steps of tool control.
Well, now I sit in front of the Aviation Maintenance Officer (AMO) thinking about the sequence of events that got me here. I know it’s the same simple tool-control steps I took for granted that allowed a one-half-inch wrench to go flying inside a CH-46’s forward pylon.
What Goes In Must Equal What Comes Out
February 12, 2014
We had just finished an uneventful night and night vision goggle (NVG) back-in-the-saddle (BITS) flight flying around San Diego. After shutting down the SH-60B and completing the requisite engine wash, I hopped out and used the flashlight from my survival vest to conduct a post-flight inspection of the aircraft. I noticed that the light was dim so as I walked to the paraloft, I put the flashlight into my helmet bag intending to give it to maintenance to have the batteries changed. Had I actually turned the light in, my troubles would never have happened and this would have been a very short story. The problem was that I did not turn it in and instead it remained in my bag.“No big deal,” you may say. “It’s just a flashlight and you know where it is, right? It’s not like you lost a tool or something.”..