Recently I have been speaking about safety. I have said, time and again, to the point, no doubt, of boredom, that there is only one way to work on aeroplanes.
The right way.
Is 'The Book' always right? How often have you read an entry in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) and wondered if there could be a 'better way'?
Rarely, one hopes. If you analyse 'your way' you may, very often, find that there is a flaw in your analysis or sequence of events for a particular task.
Sometimes events occur that highlight a flaw in the system. A system that we have, hitherto, considered flawless.
The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board in the United States) has written a letter to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) pointing out something that should have been obvious from the very start of commercial aviation and yet...
This is very well worth reading, it will take a few minutes of your valuable time but make the effort.
We are not only concerned with what it is saying about this specific point but also we should consider the ramifications on everything else that we do.
Next time you work on an aeroplane - and by 'work' I am not just referring to maintenance people (wonderful souls though we undeniably are) but to flight crews, cabin crews, baggage handlers, catering delivery people, fuel tanker drivers, etc., and say to yourselves, "Am I missing something obvious? Is what I am doing safe? Is it safe for me, for the aeroplane, for other people?"
"IS IT SAFE?"
Flying is, inherently, safe. Modern aircraft design and materials make it so. Humans working on it reduce that level of security.
Working to 'The Book' should prevent that reduction.