Our aim at Bicester Gliding Centre is to achieve our gliding goals as safely as possible but how do we achieve that? Well, we can be totally safe and leave the kit in the hangar. Obviously that would defeat the object. So, in pursuing our activity we need to do something that will keep our exposure to any risk(s) as low as reasonably practicable. Reasonably Practicable being the key phrase. It is up to all of us to work together to keep our operation as incident free as possible.
It is important to remember there is no such thing as total safety but it is certainly the intention of all committee members, club officials and members to strive for the best possible safety record. One way we can achieve this is for everyone to be aware that the club has a reporting system. Only by reporting safety issues can the club Management take steps to make things safer. At the moment there are reporting forms on the airfield bus and in the crew room. There is a post box, clearly marked, next to the crew room door to deposit your report. It is vitally important for you to know that if having to append your name to a report means that you would rather not report, then please do it anonymously. I would rather know we have a problem than know your name.
For us all to learn from accidents and incidents and attempt to prevent them in the future there must be a safety system in place. This system enables an individual to report something, the information then gets analysed and then the fix is fed back to all concerned.
In the past we have "punished" pilots for mistakes; for example having to buy a round of drinks for mishaps such as landing with the wheel up. Well I hope that we can move away from a ‘Punitive culture’ by creating a ‘just 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.
We now also have Safety Report Forms on our web site (bicestergliding.com/report-incidents.htm). By hitting the submit button, the report will go to myself, the CFI and the management team. I encourage everyone to use this, whether it is something you have done, or see someone else do, so that we can work together to improve safety across the site and in the air. This report can be anonymous, if you so wish - the report is sent by our server, not your email client.
I intend to supply the editor of the club newsletter with articles to keep you all informed of safety issues. These will be, in part, a result of your reporting but also things of relevance from the BGA.
Bicester Gliding Centre already has an excellent safety standard, I hope with your help we can ensure it stays that way. Remember - always try to think safety.
I invite all of you to contact me should you wish to discuss any safety related issues. In the first instance email is the best: Safety@bicestergliding.com or catch me at the club!