Original Date: 08/07/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Flight Safety Program
The Flight Safety organization at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) is comprised of well trained and dedicated personnel who strive to improve flight safety in the aerospace industry. The team operates under a company-wide philosophy that states “Significant improvements in product safety only result from continuous Team Effort.” Each member of the team is a specialist in fighter aircraft accident investigation techniques as well as having broad-based knowledge of complete aircraft systems. In the organization’s continual effort to improve flight safety, it investigates worldwide incidents involving aircraft designed or manufactured by LMTAS and any part of the aircraft and aircraft manufacturing process that can contribute to a higher level of safe operation regardless of manufacturer.
This team of experts continually performs qualitative safety assessments of field/manufacturing issues. To convey the results of these assessments, it conducts monthly company internal product safety board meetings, and chairs quarterly consolidated flight operations safety council meetings. These meetings include military and company pilots; airfield facilities, air traffic control personnel, ground safety, field operations, quality assurance, fire/rescue, and flight test personnel; and representatives of any other area involved with flight operations. The purpose of these meetings is to update all personnel on current flight safety issues and to provide a venue for surfacing new concerns.
One unique practice is the bi-weekly “crosstell” conference calls that communicate lessons learned in the F-16 aircraft community. In these bi-weekly conference calls, company flight safety investigators, company system safety analysts, Air Combat Command safety and logistics representatives, Headquarters Air Force Safety Center safety personnel, Ogden Air Logistics Center safety personnel, the F-16 System Program Office safety officer, Air Education Training Command safety representatives, and Air National Guard readiness center safety representatives discuss safety issues in the F-16 community. This bi-weekly safety exchange conference call keeps all parties current on issues that affect F-16 flight safety.
As with most aircraft manufacturers, LMTAS participates in a USAF program to provide real-time in-flight emergency assistance to airborne personnel during an in-flight emergency. This program unites the supervisor of flying who has an airborne emergency with safety and systems experts to assist in finding a solution to the problem. In this program, assistance is typically available 24 hours a day through a special “Conference Hotel” phone number, although after-hours and weekend support is provided on an “as available” basis contingent upon the LMTAS security personnel answering the call being able to contact LMTAS flight safety personnel at home.
LMTAS’ broad involvement in safety-related proceses, safety assessments of field and manufacturing issues, development and engineering review of flight manual procedures, customer and internal safety meetings and teleconferences, and mishap investigation all contribute to safer weapon systems through improved design, manufacturing, procedures, and training.
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