My name is John Marriott; I would like to introduce myself as Windrushers Gliding Club flight safety representative.
Our aim at Windrushers is for total safety but how do we achieve that? Well there is no magic wand here - it is up to all of us to work together. That of course includes Oxford University Gliding Club which operates at Bicester under another name but is firmly part of our family.
Flight safety is illusive, maybe the only way to achieve complete safety is not to fly - well you might be pleased to learn that the new Windrushers Gliding Club intends to fly as much as possible!
We at the Club hope to achieve many exciting things over the next few years but, at the top of our list, your safety is our primary concern. Like security, there is no such thing as total safety but it is certainly the intention of all committee members and club officials to strive for the best possible safety record.
Gliding clubs have traditionally "punished" pilots for mistakes; for example having to buy a round of drinks for little mishaps such as landing with the wheel up. Well I hope that we can move away from this by creating a no-blame and open safety culture, where we encourage feedback and a communicative atmosphere. Let's save ringing the bell and buying the drinks for something to celebrate, such as a badge claim or conversion to a new glider.
For us all to learn from accidents and incidents and attempt to prevent them in the future there must be a closed loop safety system in place. That is where necessary things are reported, analysed and then fed back to us for our benefit.
We all have a responsibility somewhere in this loop. Accidents causing death, injury or significant damage or incidents that might have caused death, injury or significant damage must be reported formally to the BGA on a dedicated form. The serious stuff must also be reported to the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).
Maybe more appropriately for club members, there are other ways of informing your flying friends about something you think might benefit them and that is by the club Confidential Occurrence Book or by the trusted Confidential Human Incident Reporting Procedure (CHIRP) report.
I also hope to a have a confidential occurrence book placed somewhere convenient at the club for you to write anything safety related that might benefit others.
Please note that it is mandatory to report a near mid-air collision or "airprox" and it is also now mandatory to report bird-strikes. (Birds after all are our gliding friends!)
These systems are in place as part of the closed-loop system described
Please use them.
Sailplane and Gliding magazine (S & G) often features excellent safety issue articles. The General Aviation Safety Council (GASCo) periodical is also worth a read. The CAA has a very useful and free travelling safety road-show, why not try to see one near you next winter?
I intend to initiate an ongoing series of safety-related initiatives such as club articles, statistical feedback, lectures and so on - please watch this space!
Windrushers Gliding Club are indeed very fortunate to have inherited an excellent safety standard from the RAF GSA. I hope that you have a fantastic time at this exciting new gliding club but in everything you do in the air and on the airfield, please always try to think safety.
I invite you to contact me to discuss any safety relate issues and would be pleased to hear from you. In the first instance email is the best; email@example.com or text 07889 967700 call me at home 01295 713190 or catch me at the club!
John is a Boeing 777 captain, a Full Rated gliding instructor, a BALPA Accident Investigator and holds a Master's Degree in Air Safety Management, as well as being the BGA's Chief Tug Pilot.