Flight Safety Day
Flight safety is everybody’s business, was the message at Royal Air Force Wittering as the Station held a Flight Safety Day.
The role of the Station Flight Safety Officer Warrant Officer Raph Winstanley, is to make sure the Station’s flying operations (which include thousands of take-offs and landings) are conducted with maximum possible safety. His job is also to ensure that flight
safety is in the forefront of everyone’s minds.
That process depends on education; ensuring that everyone at RAF Wittering understands they have a role to play in keeping the flying operations safe. From keeping the airfield surfaces free of foreign object debris, to ensuring that pilots are properly fed, flight safety is a whole-Station business.
Across the Station there were a series of educational events; Major Stephen Turner form the Defence Air Accident Investigation Branch delivered a series of thorough briefings on how an aircraft crash is investigated, and the Civil Aviation Authority gave a demonstration on airspace education and drone operation. The Royal Air Force has its own safety branch, which contributes to the theory, investigation and prevention of factors that could lead to an incident or accident.
One of the most popular demonstrations was of RAF Wittering’s bird management policy, delivered by NBC Environment. Titch the Harris Hawk, TJ the Peregrine Falcon and their handlers keep common bird numbers around the airfield to a minimum, and thereby reduce the risk of aircraft bird-strike.
Wing Commander Joanne Walker is Officer Commanding Operations Wing at RAF Wittering. She said: “It is not a cliché to say flight safety is everyone’s business. Warrant Officer Winstanley’s approach is quite right; educating the whole Station means that everyone understands their responsibility to flight safety, no matter what job they have.”