The Service's goal in accident prevention is to ensure that aviation management staff and pilots are qualified for their jobs with respect to technical expertise and managerial experience, have the right equipment, have time and funds to perform their mission effectively and safely and have the support of the Directorate. This will not ensure that we will prevent all accidents. It will ensure that we have acted with prudence and professionalism in managing aviation activities.
PERSONNEL and RESPONSIBILITIES
The Directorate--The Director, Deputy Directors, and Regional Directors, as line managers, are responsible for implementation of this accident prevention plan.
The Service Aviation/Aviation Safely Manager--Responsible for advising the Directorate and providing technical assistance to them in relation to all aspects of the Service's aviation activities including safety, training, aircraft management, aircraft and equipment acquisition, policy development and coordination with the Department, and other aviation organizations and interests. The Service Aviation Manager is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of the Aircraft Accident Prevention Plan.
Regional Aviation Manager(RAM)--The RAM responsibilities mirror the Service Aviation Manager's on a Regional basis. Key elements include:
(1) Implement the aviation safety program, as described in this manual and in accord with Departmental guidelines.
(2) Develop and implement a Regional ground and flight training program for aircrew and appropriate managers and field staff.
(3) Pilot aircraft (when qualified) in support of Service programs and provide flight training and check rides as authorized.
(4) Monitor Regional aviation operations and equipment to ensure compliance with relevant policies.
(5) Participate in accident investigations where Service Regional aviation operations are involved.
Pilot-in-Command(PIC)--Directly responsible for the safety of the aircraft and occupants and is the final authority for flight- related operations and decisions.
The Service will comply with all training requirements defined in the DOI Aviation Policy (Parts 350-354 in the Departmental Manual).
The following requirements exceed those of the Department.
Familiarization--When initially appointed, all Service pilots are required to obtain Familiarization training consisting of a minimum of 1 0 hours of flight time including the following maneuvers and factors:
(1) Flight at minimum controllable airspeed.
(2) Complete stall series.
(3) Demonstrate pivotal altitude.
(4) Commercial ground reference maneuvers.
(5) Comprehensive pre-mission briefing.
(6) Weather assessment and weight and balance.
(7) Complete one low-level cross-country flight of 100 nautical miles without using navigational avionics.
Such training will focus on the flight profiles of typical Service missions and be given by an active Service pilot who holds a CFI rating, or in Alaska by an OAS instructor pilot. At least two actual Service missions will be flown by the trainee under cockpit supervision of a current and qualified Service pilot before the new pilot flies Service missions alone. A record of this training will be kept by the RAM.
IFR Currency--All Service pilots in the lower 48 States are required to maintain IFR currency in accord with FAR 61.57 including recent IFR experience. Any pilot regularly flying under actual IMC or IFR will obtain an OAS IFR check ride.
Special Use Missions--Before flying special use missions, Service pilots are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of special training defined in the syllabus (Appendix 2 of 332 FW 1) or have the 200 hours experience and complete an OAS flight check.
Mentor system--Before flying as PIC conducting migratory bird surveys in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Flyway Biologist/ Pilots fly at least one full survey season with an experienced Service pilot. This usually entails 50 to 100 hours of flying.
The Alaska Region has implemented a comprehensive mentor program, involving experienced Service pilots who are also CFI'S, with oversight by a full-time aviation training manager who reports to the RAM.
RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT
A risk assessment will be made of all Service flights, considering such elements as:
* the pilot, in respect to proficiency and experience flying this mission, familiarity and currency in the aircraft to be used; experience in the mission's locale; qualifications and status, in respect to Departmental and Service requirements.
* weather for the flight area - winds; visibility; precipitation; turbulence.
* aircraft - fleet, contract, rental, personal; condition and suitability for the mission; status in respect to Departmental policy; equipment.
* operating environment - hazards and hazard map of mission area; potential conflicts with military or airport traffic areas; special procedures.
* time - adequacy, urgency; pressures.
* options other than aviation to accomplish the mission, considering safety, cost and effectiveness.
Each Region will have a clear, established process in place to identify any mission hazards and manage the risk. This will include appropriate training of pilots, mission managers, observers and project leaders involving experienced aviation professionals, an effective system of communication, field control points, and close oversight.
Aviation Management Evaluations--The Service initiated Regional evaluations of aviation management in 1985. Each Region is evaluated triennially by Service and/or Departmental staff.
Monitoring-The Service Aviation Manager and most RAMS regularly fly special use missions throughout the U.S. and Canada, and provide familiarization and special use flight training to Service pilots. The Service Aviation Manager evaluates the flight characteristics of aircraft proposed for mission support, participates in selected upper-level management and safety meetings, participates in DOI and Service pilot training workshops, serves as a member of the Departmental Aviation Managers Working Group, the Departmental Airspace Managers Group, attends all the Departmental Aviation Council meetings, participates as a team member in DOI aviation management evaluations, and works with field staff in respect to varied Service programs.
Regular communication occurs between the Service Aviation Manager, the RAMS, and Departmental aviation staff. These activities keep key managers abreast of flight operations and safety issues at both the Service and Departmental levels.