September Safety Message

Michigan Wing,

I hope this first MIWG Safety Message of the fall season finds you all well rested and rejuvinated after a safe and productive summer!
Your first thoughts for fall safety hopefully include double checking weather or an extra aircraft/vehicle walk around inspection as you try to get in your final mission training sorties for FY 2013.  They may involve taking extra care to warm up and stretch during fall sports and activities.  Or it may be adopting and maintaining a safety mindset of watching out for each other as the days get shorter and the nights longer.  My sincere hope is that the safety resources you’ve acquired and lessons you’ve learned all year will follow you back to school, into the woods while hunting, and high into the night sky during CAP air operations.
Now a look a the Safety report card as well as some training / housekeeping…
Overall we had a very slow summer as far as Safety Mishaps!  MIWG experienced a significant decline in reportable incidents, even though we have many more members trained on how to enter mishap data into SMS (Safety Management System).  Congratulations are especially in order to those that lead or participated at the 2013 MIWG Encampment, 2013 MIWG SAR Academy and/or during the multitude of parades, air shows, fundraisers, and SAR/DR Training sorties over the summer.  While all of these events may not have been entirely incident free, the number and severity of mishaps and injuries is way down.
Be aware!  Minor incidents including PT injuries at the squadron seem to be on the rise, so Cadets please be extra vigilant, use ORM and plan and monitor your activities carefully.  Your efforts will make our cadets and seniors safer overall!
If you witness or experience a safety mishap at any time during CAP activities, immediately notify the Unit Commander, Safety Officer or Senior Member in charge.  They are properly trained in how to respond, will determine the necessary course of action, and will arrange for the documentation and entry of data into SMS by the Safety Officer or Commander.
Safety Officers and Commanders:  If you have not already done so, you should make yourselves VERY familiar with Step 1 and 2 of the SMS Mishap Reporting Tutorials found in eServices.  These brief tutorials and the quizzes that accompany them can be used for Monthly Safety Currency.
A couple of Mishap Reporting Pointers:
  • Safety Officers are the qualified and preferred resource to enter any safety mishaps into SMS.
  • Safety Officers unsure of procedures should study the SMS Mishap Reporting Tutorials and ask for assistance entering data whenever necessary.
  • Other members can document initial mishap information such as time, location, and relevant facts on a Mishap Worksheet.
  • Mishap Worksheets should be kept in the sign-in or attendance book at every unit for quick access.
  • Step 1 inputs are only a sentence or two long at the most.  Example:  “Cadet fell down during squadron drill practice injuring his/her right ankle on the gravel driveway.”
  • Step 2 inputs include the who, what, where, when and why, and all the facts of the incident (collected on your Mishap Worksheet).
  • When you complete Step 1 or 2 the MIWG CC and higher command will receive automatic notification of the mishap.  We will then assign a Mishap Review Officer.
  • Remember – Any serious incident requires an IMMEDIATE call to the MIWG CC or MIWG Director of Safety.
Although the input of data into SMS is not difficult, accuracy is VERY important.  Please be certain that you have received proper training and are communicating with your unit commander or MIWG Safety when entering a mishap.
Colonel Burke and I wish you all a safe autumn and we want to remind you to carefully consider all that you’ve learned about safety and risk management and use those lessons in your decision-making every day.


July Safety Message

Michigan Wing,

Hot weather and longer duty days are SOP for CAP Operations in MIWG… and no I’m not going to remind you all to hydrate, hydrate , hydrate (Although you all should be doing it!).

However, I would like to recommend some tactics and/or best practices to help reduce the potential for an aircraft/hanger rash incident. These aircraft ground handling incidents are far too common these days, and we have most certainly observed a trend that suggests that we are much more prone to this type of mishap when heat and fatigue play a part in our operations.


Schedule a mini Safety Down Day to train or update your members the following:

Aircraft Ground Handling Video
Hands on aircraft ground handling and “hangaring” procedures
Towbar Use and Safety

Consider requiring all Aircrew Members and Flight Line Marshallers complete this training before they are permitted to move or utilize the aircraft. Pilots and Aircrew that are not members of a squadron with an aircraft can make arrangements to visit the hanger of the aircraft they access most often.

Implement one or more of the following at your local CAP Aircraft Hanger:

· Paint stripes on the hangar floor out onto the ramp. At a minimum a nose wheel line 20-30 feet long and main tire lines 5-8 feet onto the ramp. Masking tape and some yellow safety spray paint are about $20 or so at Home Depot. Show your CAP ID for a military discount. This is a small expense for a squadron that is the custodian of an aircraft, and that wants to ensure its continued (damage free) operational readiness.

· Paint a mark on the wall opposite the hanger door opener, so you can see how high to open the door to completely clear the tail. Some members paint a mark high on the back wall, where the tail should be aligned, when pushing back.

· Avoid locating shelving/cabinets or the storage of any equipment in the hanger behind the aircraft. The rear control surfaces of the tail and wings are particularly susceptible to damage from even the most minor contact with an object. Another option is the implementation of a wheel stop board that bolts onto the concrete where the main wheels need to stop in order to ensure obstacle clearance behind the aircraft.

· MOST IMPORTANTLY, always get help from a spotter, not only to check clearances as you push the aircraft back into the hanger, but so that you do not have to risk injury by over exerting yourself after a long and hot day of flying. Airport and FBO personnel are usually available if you happen to have completed your final leg of flying solo.

With the recent conclusion of SAR Academy, the ramp up to Encampment next week, and the daily prosecution of CD and other missions statewide, we are currently experiencing our highest operational tempo of the year. Please take an extra moment to use ORM in the planning your objectives, to consider the safety implications of your actions, and to be vigilant in protecting your fellow members from harm.

Please remember to make safety a priority in everything you do!


Chris Felton, Maj, CAP
Director of Safety, MIWG