Safety Management Systems

For some time now the words safety management system (SMS) have echoed through the aviation industry. Much has been written about SMS in our publication as well as others. While specific regulations to require all aviation operations to implement an SMS program are still few, many U.S. based flight departments who fly to and from overseas destinations have implemented structured SMS programs.

Other operators and maintenance organizations are taking a wait-and-see approach until regulatory requirements and associated guidance is available in this country. Yet others are planning and preparing for what will ultimately be required. Jerry Chandler recently spoke with several organizations on the topic of SMS. In this issue of Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine these individuals talk about their approach to developing an SMS program.

As Sarah MacLeod says in her column this month, managing safety is important and an aviation maintenance technician is the most important link in the safety chain. Does this mean everyone needs to wait until a structured company SMS program is implemented? Not so. Developing good habits, identifying risk, reporting errors, and continually learning from errors is something we should all be doing on a daily basis as part of our regular routine. John Goglia explains aircraft mechanics are in a unique position and a key part of any SMS program.

One aspect of safety of course is the human factors piece that goes with aircraft maintenance and any aircraft maintenance technician. Along the lines of safety, Dr. Bill Johnson takes a look at the last 25 years of human factors in aircraft maintenance in this month’s Then and Now feature.


This month’s cover story – the G650

It’s difficult not to recognize the name Gulfstream in this business. Regardless if you are involved with small general aviation, airlines, military aviation, or just an enthusiast, since the late 1950s we’ve related this name to corporate flight departments, business aviation, and comfortable VIP travel. The recent launch of the latest in a series of jet aircraft, the G650, certainly keeps with the tradition of this long recognized name. Since entering into service in late 2012 more than 50 G650 aircraft have been delivered. This month Charles Chandler describes some of the history of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, the aircraft, the company’s road to success, and the technologies and processes involved with development of this best in class business jet.