Normalization of Deviance

“Normalization of Deviance” is something that has come up in the past with a bunch of different accidents and is often associated with NASA.

The first time Bill read about it was after an accident back east in 2014. The definition is described as people in the organization have become so used to deviant behavior that they no longer consider it diviant anymore. Despite the fact that they have come up with rules under perfectly good conditions and now they’re deviating from them.

The people from outside the organization would look at that and say “that’s a dumb thing to do. Why are you doing it that way?” But the people on the inside of the organization have gotten so used to doing it in the non-standard way, that they no longer see it as deviant.

How does normalization of deviant develop? First of all a group with perfectly good intentions under no stress, sitting in a room, come up with a procedure, and they sit these high performance levels, generally they are safety minded procedures.

Under pressure, whether it’s time or budget or something else, you decide to take a lower level of performance standard to get the job done. So by taking this short cut and nothing happens, you continue to do that and nothing happens. That reinforces your belief that you can do it again.

One of the best examples is the Challenger explosion. We all know it was caused because of an O ring problem. The solid rocket booster, the two big rockets on the side of the shuttle, are built in three sections joined by O rings. Inside the booster is 5,000 degrees and 1,000 PSI.

When O rings were designed they were designated critical 1 pieces which meant if there was a problem you would instantly gound the fleet and solve the problem.

Fire was never supposed to get to the O rings, however the O rings were found damaged from the second shuttle flight. The fleet was never grounded. In fact, O rings were found damaged by fire in 14 of the first 24 shuttle flights. The Challanger was the 25th flight.

There was a memo from a NASA engineer stating that if the O rings failed they would lose the vehicle, the crew and the launch pad. He was off by 73 seconds.

Since there had been no failure to damaged O rings, NASA waived a critical 1 defect.

May 31, 2014, a Gulf Stream 4 crashed at the end of the runway at Bedford, Ma. Killing 2 crew and 4 passengers. The crash was due to the gust lock.

There are 4 pretake off checklists between engine start and the take off on a G4. They sckomplished none of them. In fact in 98% of their ‘ast 175 take offs they didn’t even do a control checklist. However that process got started, they got away with it until they didn’t.

On this flight the gust lock was not removed. On this plane it’s a big red handle on the pedestal that you can’t miss.

Actually, we learned this lesson 80 years ago. An Army pilot and a Boeing test pilot attempted to fly a B17 and couldn’t take off. The gust lock was on. After that it was decided to have a check list.

How do you avoid these types or shortcuts in flying, as well as in our life, like seat belts and texting? Astraunout Mike Moline presents to fire fighters and says it’s their responsibility to self and team to be a couragous self leader.

Use a checklist for every phase of flight.

Use it regardless if you are the only one in the plane or not.

Do a risk assessment of yourself as a pilot. Are you capable of what you are about to do?

Do an assessment of your aircraft for what you are intending to do.

What’s the environment or weather?

What external pressure are you dealing with? Do you have to get some place in a hurry?

Here’s a big one. Over the counter medications. Every one takes them. Have you flown after taking over the counter medications? Many over the counter meds are not approved like sedating medication. Benadryl is a good example. Zyrtec is another common one. Or how about Musinex, that’s another. Cold remedies, anything with a DM in it is sedating. The DM causes drowsiness and slows your response. Prohibitive medications have contributed to 12% of G. A. accidents and the number is going up, not down. 42% of pilots who died in accidents between 2004 and 2008 were found to be positive with drugs. That’s almost half of all the accidents. The most common drug was DM and it’s found in over 50 over the counter medicines. It’s extremely common and you may not even know you are taking it. Read the active ingredients.

Now that we are going to a non-AME kind of medical examination you need to make sure whoever gives you your medical exam understands that your a pilot. There may be things that they are not aware of that we can’t use as a pilot.

After using any medication with impairing side effects don’t fly until after 5 times the maximum dosage. So if the dosage says every 4 – 6 hours, 5 times that is 30 hours. So you need to wait at least 30 hours before you fly after taking the last dose.

But if you take it over and over again, for instance you have allergies and you use it a lot, it becomes a normalized deviance.

The FAA and AOPA website will tell you, or Google the medications and look for the side effects.

Eventually the normalization of deviance will catch up to you.

Mass Arrivals 2017

On a normal day Oshkosh usually lands a plane a minute. Last year during our mass arrival, they landed 75 Cessnas in about seven minutes. General Aviation used the E/W runway and the mass arrivals used the N/S runways, which allowed for normal operations during the mass arrivals of 125 Bonanzas, 75 Cessnas, numerous Moonies and Cherokees.

Bonanzas to Oshkosh is the longest going mass arrival group and paved the way for the rest of us. The Bonanza guys trained the Cessna guys who trained the Cherokee guys for formation arrivals. Moonies originally had a 2 line system going that was just an accident waiting to happen. In 2009 they were required to use the 3 element formation like the other groups use.

The origin of the Cessnas mass arrival traces back to a group of pilots, searching for a way to fly and spend time together. The ultimate goal was to share mutual passion for Cessna aircraft and have a good time camping together during the whole week of the EAA AirVenture.

The founding pilots determined the only sure way to accomplish these goals was or organize a mass arrival as it had been done by other pioneer groups like the Bonazas to Oshkosh and the Moonie Caravan.

They form a flight of 3-aircraft elements. The lead is always #1, left is #2, and the right is #3. They fly 2,500 feet between each element. The planes take off with the slower planes going first, and gaps before launching the faster planes, in order the have all the planes arrive at OSH at the same time.

After initial take off the 3 planes in the element join up in their formation, first about 6 wing spans apart and then moving in to about 4 wing spans apart.

The final type of formation near OSH is trail formation. Trail formation leaves 500 feet of spacing between aircraft and is used for final approach and landing.  The lead (#1) of each element makes a radio call for the element to transition into trail formation.  This is the only radio call made during the flight; the rest of the element coordination is by sight.

The most important part is safety which can not be overstated. Everyone needs to know the person next to them has had the proper training.

To make sure everyone has the same training there are clinics all over. The Bonanzas will be training at Centennial June 9-11th. Cessnas will be at FNL May 27th. The Moonies will be in St. Louis, Mo., and the Cherokees will be Jefferson City, Mo. There is the possibility to cross training with a different group if you can not make it to your appropriate training, with prior permission from both groups.

The Cherokees stage in Waupaca, northwest of Oshkosh. The Bonanzas stage at Rockford, Ill and will arrive 2 hours later. Cessnas stage in Jeneau, south of Oshkosh and come in at 2:30. The Moonies get in Sunday from Madison all by themselves.

Traditions in Oshkosh have developed over the years. The Bonanzas leave “adult lemonade” for the Cessnas. Cessnas share popcorn, candy, and movies with the Bonanzas in their hospitality tent.  The Moonies fly a formation over Juneau in the morning before the Cessnas leave for OSH.

This year will be the 80th Anniversary of the Cubs. Five years ago they had 70 cubs show up. The whole south forty was yellow.

We look forward to seeing you at AirVenture this year.

BasicMed Program presented by Dr. Fahrenholtz’s

According to the FAA, the United States has the world’s most robust general aviation community and the BasicMed rule will keep pilots safe, simplify regulations and keep general aviation flying affordable.

Until now, the FAA has required an online application and a physical exam by a FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner but as of May 1, 2017, the FAA issued the BasicMed rule which will come as a very welcome relief to affected pilots. This has been highly touted by EAA and AOPA as it now moves the decision to your family physician.

The FAA will provide a form with recommendations that he/she will need to complete and sign. It is important to remember that BasicMed is both a huge milestone after more than 25 years and numerous attempts to reform medical certification and a stepping stone toward further evolution.

Dr. Fahrenholtz maintains a family practice in Greeley and will still provide Class 1, Class 2 AME exams for airline and commercial pilots, and initial Class 3 exams for pilots that still want them.

He is also willing and able to pursue Special issuance licenses if required by a pilots’ situation as well as the new BasicMed exam acting as their “personal physician”.

His expectation is that most pilots won’t save much money with this new program depending on physician charges for the private exam every four years. Under certain circumstances, insurance may cover it.

Every two years, on-line test results must be logged and readable copies kept with your aviation logbook. The pilot applicant must sign the checklist form stating no knowledge of a debilitating condition that would lead to unsafe piloting. However, specific criteria for passing have not been published yet. At this point, it is up to the state licensed physician who is performing the exam to state that he/she has examined the patient per the form and detected no obvious condition that, in his/her opinion, would prohibit the patient from being a safe pilot.

There are three areas mentioned that if significant would be initially disqualifying and/or require special issuance consideration. Those circumstances are cardiovascular, mental health, and neurological.

Some of the websites with information are:’

Annual Meeting

Steve Wolf presided over the annual FNL Pilots meeting, announcing the agenda as:

  • Membership
  • Finances
  • Review of the last year
  • Elect new officers and board
  • Preview for the upcoming year
  • Airport update from Jason Licon
  • Time for Q and A
  • Close meeting
  • Lunch

James Hays gave us an update of last years memberships comparing 2016 and 2017 to date.  Membership is strongly up for 2017.

Howard Abraham gave a financial report.  The Association’s bank balance is slightly higher from 2016 to 2017.

Steve stated that Association members attended Airport Commission and Colorado Aviation Board meetings to advocate support of the airport.  He is also the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer for FNL, and keeps AOPA up to speed on airport issues.

A discussion of hanger fees was had with the decision that Steve would be more proactive on letting members know about issues on the monthly Airport Commission agendas that may interest them.

Steve stated that the website has been rebuilt in a more user friendly Word Press form. Members will probably not notice any difference but from an administrator’s end it is much easier. It has also been moved from a member’s private server to a commercial web server.

Steve announced that all officers and board members are willing to serve again. He asked for nominations from the floor, of which there were none. He called for a show of hands for voting and the current officers and board were unanimously re-elected.

James listed the upcoming events for our pilot refresher courses (fourth Thursday every month at 7pm).  These are announced to members using the MailChimp email service.

James asked if anyone from the floor had ideas for meetings and the suggestions were as follows:

  • More information on the National Airspace undergoes the largest change since WWII
  • Additional info on ADS-B
  • Could we hear from other pilot associations from around Colorado, such as Colorado Pilots Association, Angel Flight, and Civil Air Patrol.
  • Desire to arrange Summer hanger day BBQ/fly in

Upcoming issues followed by the Association officers and board include:

  • Cross wind runway
  • Remote tower (officially renamed from “blended airspace” and “virtual tower”)
  • Metroplex airspace changes
  • Roll-out of airport name change to Northern Colorado Regional Airport
  • Continued upgrade of the Association website

Jason Licon gave an update on the airport stating that:

  • They have only 6 employees to take care of 1,00 acres in regard to mowing, snow removal and crack seal.
  • On the air side, things are fantastic.
  • They have $600,000 for crack seal of the airport so he encouraged the hangar owners to coordinate with the airport if they wanted the 15 feet in front of their hanger sealed. The airport attempts to crack seal every 5 years.
  • He continues to work to make the airport more financially independent.
  • The Remote Tower project is moving forward, albeit at a slow pace.
  • He talked about the importance to the airport and state of Runway 6/24
  • FNL receives Federal funds so is required to comply with the new FAA hangar policy, requiring that an airworthy aircraft or progressing aircraft project to be in each hangar. This will be enforced by airport staff beginning in July.
  • Badges are audited every year from August to October, and must be replaced every other year. New badges will be issued this year, so if you want to update your photo let Jason know.
  • Also as a reminder, please as you go through a gate remember to wait until it closes.  Don’t let other vehicles tailgate you to get in without a badge.
  • There will be an equipment upgrade to the AWOS system early this year. The FAA is replacing and upgrading some of the electronics so there may be some outages as that happens.

Steve then opened the meeting up to questions and answers of which there were none.

Meeting was dismissed.  Everybody enjoyed the lunch catered by Nordy’s.

Paul Stoecker

Paul Stoeckler 2Paul Stoecker has always had kind of a backdoor interest in planes and flying. It was his high school math instructor that seemed to stir the coals. By using aviation in his math problems, along with the fact that Paul really enjoyed this teacher, they would chat here and there. One day out of the blue he invited Paul to go for a ride. Armed with a permission slip, Paul raced home and his mom signed it. That was all it took.

He took a few lessons and joined the same flying club as his math teacher. The runway was based on a grass strip on one of the members’ field on a farm in Illinois. There were some unique instructions when you flew on this grass strip, like when the corn grows high, you have to land towards the beans.

Growing up in east central Illinois, he started his education at St. Olaf. There he became good friends with a fellow aviation enthusiast. After two years he transferred to the University of Illinois where during summer breaks he would take flying lessons. His math instructor had a friend in the aviation department at Purdue University. He had an idea for calculating winds aloft and he wanted some calculations done, so Paul wrote a computer program and came up with a table that pilots could use to calculate their ground speed and their wind speed. The payment for this was a lesson.

As soon as he graduated he came to Loveland to work for HP. A couple of years after he got here, his division moved to Fort Collins and so did he. Due to the pressure of time and money he didn’t fly here at all until he retired.

One of the reasons he got back into flying after he retired was due to his friend from St. Olaf. By now Bruce was a retired airline captain but he kept Paul interested in flying. He would take Paul to Oshkosh with him once in a while. Since Bruce had spent a lot of time in Iowa flying corporate jobs, he was familiar with the group that raised enthusiasm for aviation.

One year the group held a contest to see who could land at the most airports in Iowa. There were 126 of them. Paul hadn’t flown for a while so Bruce flew. They took off in a Cessna 172 and spent 3 ½ days and landed at all 126 airports. Once they landed, Bruce would keep the engine running, Paul would run inside and sign the book, then he would run back to the plane and they would take off for the next airport.

Of course they won. The prize….a hand held radio.

Once Paul retired he had extra time so he started flying lessons here at the airport. He bought a Bonanza and has been flying now for about 5 years. He has been training for an instrument rating and is always open for someone to fly with so that he can continue with his instrument lessons. As he says, it takes quite a bit to stay legally current.

He enjoys woodworking, riding bicycles, and reading. He is currently turning wood to create pens and pencils.