Would you believe that there are recorded cases of airline captains and first officers disliking one another so much, that they flew their aircraft into an accident rather than talk to one another! Strange but true. One of the most important aspects in the operation of any multi-crew aircraft is clear communication. And of course communication between an aircraft and ATC is sometimes so critical that a unique emergency transponder Sqauwk Code has been designated in case of radio failure – 7600.
Likewise within a group of diverse people such as the Nanaimo Flying Club, communication is critical. Unhappily, sometimes this communication breaks down and while safety may not be immediately compromised like in an aircraft, a lack of communication can lead to all sorts of unpleasant situations and even mishaps.
Take a look at this photo of our NFC rental 172:
If you arrived at the airport to fly VBA, and couldn’t find it parked in the usual spot, and after much searching found it cached away in the back hangar, with the nose-wheel propped up on a brick like this — and if you could find nothing to explain what was going on — would you fly the plane?
This is what happened to one of our renting members last Saturday. He could not find a note anywhere, nor a single person around the clubhouse who had any knowledge of why the plane was parked in such a strange location and balanced on a brick like this. He wisely decided not to fly the plane until he could get some clear information about what was going on. Was there a mechanical issue that someone knew about but wasn’t telling anyone else?
As far as I can find out so far, some well-meaning (I hope) member took action to protect VBA from the rains last week, after some other member apparently parked it outside without installing proper covers, and such.
I don’t fully know or understand what the “issues” were, but it’s clear that we must have better communication within the club. Some rental group members will be looking to set up a status board, or some other procedure (email list?) to improve comunication in the future.
Comunication! Without it airplanes crash, and clubs dissolve into dissary. Squawking 7600!