CJP 2021: Sessions Keep Safety at Forefront Throughout Convention
While much of the safety focus at the 2021 CJP Convention revolved around combating runway excursions, an impressive roster of presenters addressed other topics important to the safe operation of Citation jets.
Medical Issues & Citation Pilots
Dr. Quay Synder, president, CEO and co-founder of Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS), outlined the many health issues that affect people as they get older, ranging from heart disease and reduced cardiac output, decreased kidney function, progressive hearing problems, sleep disturbances and hormonal changes affecting both men and women.
“The most important part [regarding] flying safety is the impact of age on cognition,” he continued. “What degenerates is what’s really important for flying and for keeping you from being an NTSB report: your executive function, the decisionmaking you’re doing, your working memory, visual spatial skills, four-dimensional-type relationships and processing speed. We measure cognitive function as throughput, which is speed times accuracy. And the throughput really decreases quite a bit.”
That, in turn, reduces a pilot’s skill for handling unexpected situations. “If you’re going into an unfamiliar airport in bad weather at night, or you’re new to an aircraft, you’re engaged in novel problem-solving,” Synder said. “That capability is reduced as you get older; you can talk a good game, you just can’t play a good game.”
To mitigate those effects, Snyder recommends adherence to checklists and engaging in frequent training, while also improving your overall health – which helps maintain healthy blood and oxygen flows to the brain, in addition to numerous other benefits.
Recovery from COVID-19, and particularly “long-COVID,” also carries several known potentially detrimental effects, as well as the possibility for additional complications in the future. “We’re finding out now that recovery from COVID can have some long-term cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary effects for your lungs … that persist for more than six months,” he noted.
Winter Ground Operations
With cold weather and snow already gripping many parts of the nation, Master CFII Neil Singer offered tips for dealing with Winter Ground Operations, including a detailed overview of such relevant topics as deicing fluid types and the characteristics and limitations of each, holdover times following application of such fluids and how to determine their effectiveness.
It’s also important that pilots know how to have the aircraft deiced properly – from the back to the front, avoiding fluid contact with the engines, windscreen and side windows – and how to conduct a proper and safe visual and/or tactile inspection of the aircraft exterior afterward.
“If we have failed our inspection via visual or a tactile inspection, it’s really important at this point to understand that we must go all the way back to the deicing phase,” Singer cautioned. “We never want to apply new anti-icing fluid over other deicing fluids [without first having the original fluid removed.]
Once prepared for takeoff, Singer further noted pilots should be prepared for the aircraft to handle differently.
“We will probably notice heavier control feel as we rotate,” he said. “This is certainly a time to remember one of my favorite sayings when training pilots: ‘rotation is a process, not an event.’ This is certainly one of the times for that adage to be true; gingerly lift the plane up off the ground and accelerate in ground effect. We don’t want to be overly-aggressive.”
New “What Good Looks Like” Videos
Singer also frequently joins CJP Safety Committee Chair Charlie Precourt and David Miller, director of programs and safety education, in presenting CJP’s “What Good Looks Like” series of safety-oriented video presentations, each offering a real-world overview of specific operational concerns. The committee previewed three new videos at CJP 2021, including “Operating After Maintenance” that details a recent pressurization issue encountered by former CJP chair Marc Dulude.
Miller encouraged pilots to similarly share their own experiences to benefit other CJP members, which in addition to the video also led to the creation of a post-maintenance checklist for Citation pilots. “If you have an event – maybe you didn’t do something right, or [discovered] something that you want other people to know about – that might help them fly safer,” he added.
Another new video, “Operating as a Crew,” addresses utilizing proper cockpit resource management (CRM) when flying with a qualified crew member in the right seat. “That’s really something that I see a lot when people aren’t used to flying in a two-pilot situation,” Singer said. “The pilot flying wants to do everything and has a hard time delegating and trusting the other pilot is doing their half of the workload, especially in an abnormal situation.”
A third new video, “When All Else Fails,” focuses on awareness of possible erroneous sensations, such as somatogravic illusion, and how to avoid becoming fixated suspected faulty indication during an emergency or abnormal condition, to the detriment of performing other critical flight responsibilities. A fourth video premiered during the convention addresses how to respond to a dual engine flameout.
The CJP Safety and Education Foundation has published a total of nine new installments as part of its fourth series of “What Good Looks Like” videos, which can be viewed at citationjetpilots.com/safety and on CJP’s YouTube channel.