Air Safety Organization Update


ALPA Launches Aviation Security Incident Reporting System

ALPA’s Air Safety Organization Aviation Security Group has rolled out its new web-based security reporting system, the Aviation Security Incident Reporting System (ASIRS), for use by all ALPA members. The resource was created to notify master executive council (MEC) security chairs/coordinators and ALPA’s security structure of industrywide security incidents affecting airline crewmembers. This initiative will also help the group attain its ultimate goal of a nationwide security reporting system that mirrors current safety reporting systems such as the Aviation Safety Action Program and Flight Operations Quality Assurance.

ASIRS positions ALPA to capture all member reports on security-related incidents across the industry. Types of reports may include laser strikes, drone encounters, passenger disturbances, suspicious activities at airports or aboard aircraft, Known Crewmember® and Transportation Security Administration checkpoint issues, layover incidents, threats made to crewmembers, robbery or thefts from a hotel or aboard an aircraft, and other aviation-security-related incidents. The reports will be reviewed, deidentified, and shared with the reporting pilot’s MEC security chair/coordinators for their use and further dissemination as appropriate to raise awareness of potential threats or risks. The data will also be cataloged and stored to identify trends and to make reports.

Association Conducts Advanced Accident Investigation Course

In late May, ALPA’s Air Safety Organization held its semiannual Advanced Accident Investigation Course in Grand Forks, N.D., with the continuing support of the University of North Dakota (UND) and the Grand Forks Airport Authority, which again made its donated FedEx B-727 available for the course.

Ten ALPA pilots from six pilot groups, four UND students, the UND director of safety, and two Grand Forks Airport Authority representatives participated in the mock accident investigation.

The course replicated various investigative groups assigned to specific areas of an accident:

  1. Aircraft Systems Group: Documented the cockpit and relevant aircraft systems components.
  2. Operations Group: Reviewed flight crew training records, pilot certificates, medical history of the flight crew, dispatch paperwork, and weather information; conducted crew interviews; and looked at human performance issues.
  3. Structures Group: Documented structural damage.
  4. Survival Factors Group: Documented the emergency egress systems.
  5. CVR Group: Transcribed the voice recording.

F/O Steve Demko (United), the course director, noted, “This course setting allows our ALPA investigators to experience the process of NTSB/Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigations, while also learning how to interact in investigative groups during the field phase.”

The next Advanced Accident Investigation Course will be held in September.

ASO Trains Next Generation of Accident Investigators

In mid-April, pilot safety representatives gathered at ALPA’s Conference Center in Herndon, Va., to take part in the Air Safety Organization’s (ASO) Accident Investigation Course. The curriculum prepares pilots to serve as ALPA coordinators or investigative group members in an investigation for a member pilot group anywhere in the world.

Welcoming the students, Capt. Michael Wickboldt (Spirit) remarked, “Since we bring the line-pilot perspective to an accident investigation, ALPA is uniquely qualified to assist and serve as an interested party. Everyone’s mission on the investigation is the same: to accurately document the accident, identify any safety issues, and make recommendations to prevent these events from happening again.”

The four-day course covers topics such as accident notification and dispatch to the site, the resources available from various ALPA departments, investigative agency policies, membership in various investigative groups, blood-borne pathogen precautions, and responding to international investigations.

The next Accident Investigation Course takes place in August.


This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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