Is Safety a Value to the Organization?

story by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Army Aviation Safety Stand Down

1st Sgt. Paul Rezac, C Co. 1st Bat. 376th is presented with a flying hour safety award by Col. Mike Ferguson, 63rd TAB Brigade Commander. Aircrew members from the Kentucky Guard army aviation community gathered together for their annual safety stand down at the Dept. of Transportation Building in Frankfort, Ky. Sept. 6, 2013. (photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Aircrews from the Kentucky Guard army aviation community gathered together for their annual safety stand-down at the Dept. of Transportation building in Frankfort, Ky. Sept. 6.

“We get together each year to remind each other that this is a dangerous business we’re in,” remarked Col. Michael Ferguson, 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade Commander.

To see more photos from this event, please click HERE.

Aviation and ground safety were some of the topics covered during the day as well as retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Delynn Gibson’s personal experience of spatial disorientation in a helicopter.

“Spacial D” as it’s known in the aviation world, is the inability to correctly interpret the aircraft’s attitude, altitude or airspeed, in relation to the Earth or point of reference, especially after that reference point, like the horizon, has been lost. If left unchecked or unrecognized, it can be fatal.

In addition to instruction on safety, several aircrew members were honored for the number of flying hours they had accumulated without an accident. The Kentucky National Guard’s army aviation program is considered one of the best in the country. The organization hasn’t had a major accident or incident in the last 30-plus years.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tony Villier has worked as a pilot at the army aviation support facility in Frankfort, Ky. for many years and sees safety as paramount to everything they do.

“Just because you have 2,000 hours doesn’t mean you know all of the dangers out there. The presentations today were on point and need to be incorporated into everything we do.”

Mr. Villier summed up the day appropriately, “never climb into a cockpit with someone braver than you.”

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