Breaking down a helicopter mishap

Jen Boyer HAI at Work

Above: Stan Rose

Feb. 1, 2021

HAI@Work webinar speaker shares hard-earned lifesaving lessons.

It’s easy for pilots to tell stories about how well they performed a mission, but how many are willing to share their worst flights—even near disasters—in front of an audience?

Stan Rose has plenty of near misses to reveal from his five decades as a military and civilian helicopter pilot, and he wasn’t afraid to air them at the Jan. 28 HAI@Work webinar, “Anatomy of a Mishap.” The CEO of the Helicopter Safety Alliance was eager to offer lessons he’s learned the hard way, especially the details of errors he’s made so that others might avoid repeating them.

An engaging and entertaining speaker, Rose shared several anecdotes of his and others’ incidents and accidents to bring home the point that pilots must do three things to increase their chances of living to tell the tale:

  • Learn to recognize an emergency when it occurs, in terms of both an acute issue such as an engine failure as well as the beginning of a chain of events that can lead to an accident.
  • Be disciplined to learn, think about, and practice what to do in an emergency before one happens.
  • Use the many aspects of aeronautical decision-making (ADM) not just to plan and execute flights, but to respond to emergencies and impending emergencies as they occur.

“The secret is to plan and practice for a mishap and be ready to put that plan into action if needed,” Rose told participants of the event.

Rose provided valuable tips and advice on each of the points above, applying them to several scenarios, such as autorotations into less-than-ideal locations, inadvertent entry into IMC, unexpected icing, handling passengers during an emergency, and others.

Rose tied up his talk with another personal anecdote that led to a key piece of advice:

“Learn to tell good stories,” he said. “Every time you make a mistake or something funky happens, we should be talking about it. This makes all the difference in the world to our SMS [safety management systems]. Telling the story of when you did something stupid just might save another life.”

For a more in-depth look at how to best prepare for an accident, including specific emergencies, watch the video of the webinar in its entirety.

Please join us on Feb. 4 at 4 pm eastern for our next HAI@Work webinar, “Reforming Aviation Technical Education.”

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