Bombardier Safety Standdown Celebrates 20 Years

Convergent Performance’s Tony Kern is one of the speakers returning to Bombardier’s Safety Standdown this year. Bombardier

Bombardier’s popular Safety Standdown will celebrate its 20th year when the doors open Tuesday in Wichita, Kansas. The three-day conference will, as in past years, continue tackling the risks posed to aviation safety by everyday distractions. Safety Standdown often presents new perspectives on topics such as professionalism, crew resource management, aviation security, preventing collisions with drones, the impact of people and perceptions on work, and many other heady topics, but in a style that’s become unique to this event.

The 350 or so men and women who attend the Standdown each year arrive expecting the event speakers will cut to the chase about some unique safety issue early on and soon realize any of the speakers could well be just another pilot from the audience — and they often are, except for the unique perspective they bring to their specialized topic. The Standdown offers attendees an opportunity to meet with any of the speakers one-on-one before and after the sessions.

Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. and pilot Al Gorthy, a speaker at previous Standdowns and slated again this year, explained the intent of Standdown best when he said, “The world is filled with knowledge, but very little understanding.” That means the speakers will dig deep for insights from the audience on seemingly simple topics. Operating accident-free, year after year, for instance, doesn’t mean a pilot or a flight department is operating safely, only perhaps that it's been lucky.

Other speakers this year include the NTSB’s Robert Sumwalt; Pat Daily and Tony Kern from Convergent Performance; Tony Cortes from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Dr. Quay Snyder from Aviation Medicine Advisory Service; Shawn Scott from Scott International Procedures; and BJ Ransbury from Aviation Performance Solutions.

Again this year, one deserving professional will be honored with the annual Bombardier Safety Standdown Award. His or her peers nominate the award winner, a man or woman known to set the highest standards for safety in aviation.

The Safety Standdown's general sessions and many of the shorter workshops will be webcast for pilots and safety aficionados unable to attend. General sessions begin daily at 8 a.m. An archive of all sessions is expected to be posted on the standdown website within 24 hours of the closing session on September 29. Webcast login details will be available on the Safety Standdown website later this week.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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