Record numbers attend 3rd annual Smackdown safety seminar

Hands-on training was a significant part of the Smack­­down experience. (Main photo) Attendees practice boarding a raft after a ditching exercise. (Inset L) FACTS provided its mobile trailer equipped to simulate cabin evacuation and inflight emergency scenarios. (Inset R) A technician monitors a student as oxygen levels are reduced to simulate hypoxia.

Partnership for Corporate Aviation Training (PCAT), based in San Antonio TX, held its 3rd annual Safety Smackdown on Feb 1–4, attracting more than 375 attendees from as far away as Washington state and even the UK.

Smackdown is a 3-day series of courses and workshops geared to supporting the training requirements of IS-BAO registered flight departments as well as those seeking to qualify for IS-BAO certification or just generally wanting to maintain a high level of safety and best practices. It is followed on the 4th day with an inspection authority (IA) renewal program for mechanics.

Luncheon speakers during Smackdown included former Shuttle Astronaut Tom Henricks and NBAA Senior VP Ops Steve Brown.

This year's event featured 14 classes geared to IS-BAO standards, including crew resource management, high-altitude physiology, marshalling, MEL training, safety management systems (SMS), water evacuation, Mexico flight ops, high-altitude aerodynamics, cold weather ops and fatigue countermeasures.

Some IS-BAO programs were provided by outside vendors, including MedAire, which offered CPR training, and FACTS, which had a trailer on site to perform cabin evacuation exercises as well as equipment and technicians for hypoxia exercises.

Other training categories at this year's Smackdown included an OSHA voluntary protection program on fire safety, fuel storage and management, aviation insurance and managing contract risk, aviation security, best practices programs on regulations affecting Part 91 passenger ops, human factors in maintenance operations, leadership for corporate aviation professionals, an update on RPN, LPV, GBAS and FANS, and the consequences of mission-driven decision-making.

There were also presentations on Part 139 fire training and international considerations for domestic operators.

In its 3 years of operation, PCAT has developed a close relationship with the US Air Force through San Antonio's proximity to Randolph AFB, and some Smackdown courses were taught by USAF personnel.

PCAT's Smackdown program is serving as a pattern for other regional groups of flight departments seeking to develop their own low-cost training programs. A number of flight department managers attended this year's Smackdown with a view to launching similar regional programs of their own.

"Many Smackdown participants tell us this is a great way to accomplish a lot of the IS-BAO training requirements in a convenient and cost effective format," said John White, dir of corporate aviation at Valero. "Some of this training isn't readily available through normal training channels, so when you can bring it all together in one place and time for a low cost, it's very popular.

I expect we'll see these kinds of programs being put together on a regional basis in the future with some regularity."

PCAT is a non-profit organization founded by 3 of San Antonio's more prominent corporate flight departments—Valero Energy, H-E-B Grocery and Zachry Construction—with the goal of improving training while reducing its cost and the time required to accomplish it. PCAT also serves as an advocate for traditional corporate and business aviation. —Mike Potts


Bridgeford Flying Services of Napa CA has named Frank Milian as president of its flight services division. He was most recently president of ACM Aviation in San Jose CA. Bridgeford Flying Services operates an FBO and flight school, and offers aircraft charter, management, sales and maintenance. Milian will be responsible for aircraft management, charter and maintenance operations.

Tampa Intl Jet Center (TIJC) has hired Clayton Lackey as line service manager, responsible for all day-to-day operations as well as hiring, scheduling, planning, training and equipment. Lackey began his aviation career at Flightstar in Savoy IL and joined TIJC in 2007.

Sheltair has appointed Michael Lerma as general mgr of its PFN (Panama City FL) FBO. He moves from Sheltair SAV (Savannah GA), where he was also general mgr. Gary Gutkowski will take over that position at SAV. Bill Garghill is the new dir of customer service for the FBO network.

Chris Orphanou is the new managing director of OXF (Oxford, England). From 1988–99 he worked as assistant airport director for LCY (London City, England). Orphanou also worked for Paris-based Vinci Airports. Until Jan 2009 he was CEO of CVT (Coventry, England) and most recently ran his own aviation and consultancy business, ADAM.

Rick Randall, Duncan Aviation's former regional mgr for the Great Lakes, is now regional mgr for South Central US—a territory that includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Jeff Miller has joined Landmark Avi­ation as general manager of the ADS (Ad­dison, Dallas TX), DAL (Love, Dallas TX) and SPS (Wichita Falls TX) locations. Miller started his career in the USAF, then spent time with Miller Aviation and Trajen Flight Support before making a 2007 move to Atlantic Aviation, where he served as general mgr of its ELP (El Paso TX) location.

Last Flight

John Wiley, a retired airline pilot/ instructor and an aviation writer, died on Feb 25, 2011. He was 65. Wiley flew O2s and KC­135s with the US Air Force and later worked as a charter pilot/instructor flying Learjets and Citations. An ATP, he flew left-seat for Piedmont and US Airways until retiring in Dec 2004. He logged in excess of 19,000 flight hours, some of them in his own 1946 Swift. Wiley enjoyed aero­space journalism as a 2nd career. A freelance writer for Pro Pilot and contributing editor for B&CA, he earned Aerospace Journalist of the Year awards in 2001 and 2008. He is survived by his wife Joyce and 2 daughters.



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