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Revised Aug 31 2006

The success of the HPAC Accident Reporting system in Canada can be measured by the fact that a large percentage of serious accidents are reported every year. This is largely attributable to:

  1. good attitude amoungst our pilots
  2. the Confidential Accident Reporting System in Canada; and
  3. the confidential manner in which report information de-identifies those involved.

Accident Reporting, while mandatory in aviation law, is based on the "Honour System" in Canada. Throughout aviation, the onus is on pilots to be straightforward and honest about filing their own reports directly. There is no "Air Police."

How do I measure our reporting success? I believe that very close to 100% of accidents are reported by our members. We are also getting a significant proportion of minor "incident" reports, which often provide very useful and educational information. (Albeit it is quite common for a number of you to take well over a year to file your reports!) The one thing I would like you to provide is more information on "contributing factors" and "remedial action taken." That's the information we really need to prevent a recurrence, and that's really the point of filing an accident report.

Transportation Safety Board Act, Regulations and HPAC Policy all require Accident and Incident reports to be treated as confidential. No information will be released that could identify any individual (other than a fatality) without prior written authorization from the pilot. So the top part of the form HPAC Accident & Incident Reporting Form (.doc) contains information which identifies the Pilot, Witness, Reporter, Passenger, Crew and / or Victim. This section is cut off and destroyed or returned to the sender upon request or if warranted. No written record is kept which can identify any person. My "active database file" includes the names of the parties involved, but once the case is considered closed, it is archived in a separate database, deleting all record of any names and addresses.

Transport Canada is implementing new regulations in the near future, expected to have positive results for our safety programs. These include:

  1. "Voluntary and Non-Punitive Reporting Programs"
    1. More manuals coming!: TC outlines the direction it is going on on non-punitive reporting programs here (and here) (and more here).
  2. "Safety Management System Requirements"
    1. (Transport Canada System Safety's Safety Management Systems Manual is pretty much written for us already! (Just cut out sections that do not apply to us.) Civil Service with the emphasis on "Service!"

Our primary method of informing you about recent incidents and trends is the Accident Statistics section on the HPAC website. Club Safety Officers are encouraged to contact me to obtain statistical reports and trends analysis for any flying regions and / or sites in their catchment area.

As for intensive investigation of accidents, we, like the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) only investigate the most serious of accidents. I will be working with my Safety Team this spring to implement standards for investigative processes, based on the BHPA "Board of Inquiry" model. At the conclusion of this, we will begin work on a "Club Safety Audit" based upon SAC's model. (rtf file)

In conclusion
I would like to thank you and congratulate you all on how forthright you are in filing reports. The success of our accident reporting system is the envy of many other national associations, and many (by design, good fortune or... great minds think alike?) are copying our programs and database formats.

Have a safe year ahead of you. This last one was pretty good, with few serious accidents, perhaps partly due to the late start of the season (Insurance delay) and to the fire closure that shut down most of BC this summer.

To my Safety Committee Team:
A word to notify you that the year ahead of us appears to be a busy one. Lots of interesting items will be coming your way for committee review. I think it will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Club Safety Officers and I, if warranted, are available at any time to any member for safety advice and information. Please feel free to ask.

Formerly Marlene Jacob, now Quinn Cornwell log in for email link

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