Risks and accidents are significant to understand for the management of an aircraft organization. All organizations need to accept that they are exposed to accidents and risks but what is vital s the recognition of those risks and then how they can be controlled. The NTSB examines the probable cause of every accident and investigates the safety recommendations and issues focused on preventing future accidents. Effective management safety management uses, and the NTSB uses the risk and quality management techniques to achieve the safety objectives and a systematic technique to manage safety like the obligatory organizational structures, policies, responsibilities, and processes. The SMS offers an organizational framework to develop and foster the development of positive corporate safety culture (Stolzer and Goglia, 2016). Therefore, utilization of the safety management systems offers the organization’s management a structured set of tools that can be used to meet safety responsibilities. Therefore, this paper will explain an accident, the findings, and the role of effective SMS and NTSB in preventing similar accidents.
The aircraft accident selected was the crash of Piper Aviation PA-31-350 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The pilot left on a visual flight rules cross-country flight. The accident happened during landing in Dutch Harbor after deteriorating weather conditions. During the flight, the pilot reported that the weather was changing and could not loop to land into the wind; he considered to land on runway 12 in deteriorating wind conditions (Colleen, 2021). During the touchdown, the wind gust moved the node of the plane to the right, which led the airplane to slide momentarily on the icy patch on the landing strip. The left main landing gear collapsed after sliding sideways, which led to contacting the bare pavement. Thus, the plane sustained extensive destruction to the left-wing.
Winds at the airport were at 339 degrees. The pilot decided to land in the wind condition, which led to losing airplane control during the landing roll. The NTSB’s probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s decision to land with the deteriorating weather conditions. This is because the wind conditions were unfavorable for the pilot to land the land. Considerably, the wind conditions exceeded the plane crosswind ability, which led to losing control during the landing roll. The accident would not have occurred if the pilot had adhered to the regulations and the safety management systems.
The role of NTSB and SMS Principles
The NTSB was able to examine the possible accidence cause and issued a safety recommendation to prevent future accidents. Ideally, the main aim of the NTSB was to obtain data from earlier accidents and generate safety sanctions that are given to the aviation community to avoid imminent accidents. Adhering to the principles of safety management systems such as safety policy, safety promotion, safety assurance, and risk management will prevent similar accidents from occurring. The safety policy establishes senior management commitment to continuous safety improvement and defines processes, methods, and organizational structures required to meet safety goals (Stolzer and Goglia, 2016). For instance, establishing accountability of employees, employee reporting, resolution system, and documentation of processes and policies will lead to commitment of safety objectives.
Safety promotion will facilitate communication, training, and other actions that will foster a positive safety culture within all workforce levels, thus promoting safety. Safety assurance will help evaluate the continued effectiveness of implemented risk control approaches and support recognition of new hazards. Safety risk management will help determine the need for risk controls based on the assessment of acceptable risks. The safety management systems will help in managing safety risks and increasing the effectiveness of the safety risk controls.
Colleen, M. (2021). In the 2019 Dutch Harbor crash, the final report minimizes the impact of decision-making. Available at: https://www.adn.com/opinions/2021/12/03/in-the-2019-dutch-harbor-crash-the-final-report-minimizes-the-impact-of-decision-making/
Li, Y., & Guldenmund, F. W. (2018). Safety management systems: A broad overview of the literature. Safety Science, 103, 94-123.
Stolzer, A. J., & Goglia, J. J. (2016). Safety management systems in aviation. Routledge.