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AVIATOR'S MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT


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AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT

Recommended practices for general
general aviation pilots to advance flight safety,
airmanship and the general aviation community

Provided to the aviation community by:
[Insert Sponsoring Organization]

© 2003-2004 Michael S. Baum. All Rights Reserved.


INTRODUCTION The AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT (Code of Conduct) presents broad guidance for general aviation (GA) pilots to help them promote airmanship, flight safety, the culture of GA and the vibrancy of GA in general. The Code of Conduct addresses issues of importance to aviators and advances a vision of excellence in aviation. Its principles both complement and supplement minimum regulatory standards - since what is merely legal in aviation is not necessarily safe or wise.

The Principles: The Code of Conduct consists of the following seven sections (each containing principles), with associated explanations:

  1. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF AVIATORS
  2. PASSENGERS AND PARTIES ON THE SURFACE
  3. TRAINING AND PROFICIENCY
  4. SECURITY
  5. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
  6. USE OF AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY
  7. ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION OF GENERAL AVIATION

The Sample Recommended Practices: To further the effective use of its principles by GA pilots, the Code of Conduct provides Sample Recommended Practices following each section. These offer examples of ways pilots might integrate the principles into their own practices. The Sample Recommended Practices combine recommended practices with personal minimums. They can serve as templates to help pilots and GA organizations develop practices uniquely suited to their own activities and situations. Unlike the Code of Conduct principles themselves, which are immutable, the Sample Recommended Practices may be modified to satisfy the unique capabilities and requirements of each pilot, mission, aircraft, and GA organization. Some Sample Recommended Practices do in fact exceed the stringency of their associated Code of conduct principles. They are not presented in any particular order, except that instrument flight rule (IFR)-specific Sample Recommended Practices appear last.

Benefits of the Code of Conduct: The Code of Conduct benefits pilots and the GA community by:

AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT - PRINCIPLES

I. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF AVIATORS

In undertaking aviation activities, pilots should:

  1. make safety their number one priority,
  2. seek excellence in airmanship,
  3. develop and exercise good judgment,
  4. recognize and manage risks effectively,
  5. adhere to prudent operating practices and personal operating parameters (e.g., minimums),
  6. aspire to professionalism,
  7. act with responsibility and courtesy, and
  8. adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

Explanation: Code of Conduct Section I serves as a preamble to and umbrella for the Code of Conduct's other principles. It emphasizes safety, excellence, risk management, responsibility, and lays the foundation for accountability and heightened diligence.

Sample Recommended Practices:

II. PASSENGERS AND PARTIES ON THE SURFACE

In undertaking aviation activities, pilots should:

  1. Maintain passenger safety first and then reasonable passenger comfort,
  2. manage and avoid unnecessary risks to passengers and to parties and property on the surface and in other aircraft,
  3. brief passengers on standard and any planned nonstandard flight procedures and inform them of any significant or unusual risks associated with the intended flight,
  4. seek to prevent unsafe conduct by passengers, and
  5. avoid operations that may alarm or annoy passengers or parties on the surface.

Explanation: Pilots are responsible for the safety and comfort of their passengers. Passengers place their lives in pilots' hands, and pilots should exercise sufficient care on their behalf. Such care includes, but is not limited to, disclosing unusual risks and exercising prudent risk management. Pilot responsibility also extends to parties on the ground and in other aircraft.

Sample Recommended Practices:

III. TRAINING AND PROFICIENCY

Pilots should:

  1. participate in training to maintain or (preferably) improve their proficiency in addition to satisfying minimum legal requirements,
  2. participate in flight safety education programs,
  3. act with vigilance and avoid complacency,
  4. train to recognize and deal effectively with emergencies, and
  5. accurately log hours flown and maneuvers practiced to satisfy training and currency requirements.

Explanation: Pilot training and proficiency go to the heart of aviation safety. Recurrent training is a major factor in promoting flight safety. Such training includes two complementary components -- air and ground training. Each of these components contributes uniquely to flight safety and cannot substitute for the other or satisfy its requirements. Training sufficient to promote flight safety may well exceed what is required by law.

Sample Recommended Practices:

IV. SECURITY

Pilots should:

  1. seek to maintain the security of all persons and property associated with their aviation activities,
  2. remain vigilant and immediately report suspicious, reckless or illegal activities,
  3. secure their aircraft to prevent unauthorized use, and
  4. avoid special-use airspace except when approved or necessary in an emergency.

Explanation: This Section addresses preventing criminal acts and promoting national security. The tragic events of 9/11 have had a profound impact on aviation and have created demands for responsive action. Enhanced security awareness by aviators is a stark new reality for the GA community. Accordingly, this section responds proactively to various new threats and vulnerabilities.

Sample Recommended Practices:

V. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Pilots should:

  1. recognize and seek to mitigate the environmental impact of aircraft operations,
  2. minimize the discharge of fuel, oil and other chemicals into the environment, particularly during refueling, preflight preparations and servicing,
  3. avoid environmentally sensitive areas, and
  4. mitigate aircraft noise in populated or other noise-sensitive areas and comply with applicable noise-abatement procedures.

Explanation: Mitigation of pollution caused by aviation activities is important both to the general public, to minimize harm to the environment, and to the GA community, to avoid unfavorable public perceptions. Indeed, environmental issues such as noise pollution can close airports and otherwise jeopardize GA. Other environmental impacts of GA have garnered less attention but nevertheless deserve emphasis.

Sample Recommended Practices:


VI. USE OF AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY

To enhance flight safety, pilots should:

  1. become familiar with and properly use appropriate available cost-effective technologies,
  2. monitor applicable airport advisory frequencies and report your position when approaching non-towered or unattended airports and other higher-risk areas,
  3. whenever practicable, use transponders or next generation position-indicating technologies during in-flight operations, and use ATC "flight following" for VFR enroute operations, and
  4. carry redundant transceivers and navigational equipment and use them in appropriate circumstances.

Explanation: Innovative, compact, inexpensive technologies have greatly expanded the capabilities of GA aircraft. This Section encourages the use of such safety-enhancing technologies.

Sample Recommended Practices:

VII. ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION OF GENERAL AVIATION

Pilots should:

  1. advance and promote general aviation, safety and adherence to the Code of Conduct,
  2. volunteer in and contribute to organizations that promote general aviation, and use their aviation skills to contribute to society at large,
  3. demonstrate appreciation for aviation service providers,
  4. advance a general aviation culture that values openness, humility, positive attitudes, and the pursuit of personal improvement, and
  5. promote ethical behavior within the GA community.

Explanation: General aviation has a well-recognized (and undeserved) public relations problem that is, in many respects, worsening. Vigilance and responsive action by the GA community are essential to ensure GA vitality and to enhance the GA experience for both pilots and others.

Sample Recommended Practices:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


ABBREVIATIONS
AD Airworthiness Directive
AGL Above Ground Level
ATC Air Traffic Control
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FBO Fixed Base Operator
GA General Aviation
IFR Instrument Flight Rules
IMC Instrument Meteorological Conditions
IPC Instrument Proficiency Check
MDA/DH Min. Descent Altitude/Decision Height
PTS Practical Test Standards
TFR Temporary Flight Restrictions
VFR Visual Flight Rules
VMC Visual Meteorological Conditions

NOTICE:

The [sponsoring organization's Code of Conduct implementation] is a customized version of the AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT created by Michael S. Baum. 2003-2004 Michael S. Baum. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use are available at <http://www.secureav.com/>. Pilots and the aviation community may use the AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT as a resource for code of conduct development, although it is recommended that this be supported by independent research on the suitability of its principles for specific or local applications and situations. It is not intended to provide legal advice and must not be relied upon as such.

EDITS, ERRATA, COMMENTS:

The AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT is a living document, intended to be updated periodically to reflect changes in aviation practices and the aviation environment. Please send your suggestions, edits, errata, questions and comments to <michael@secureav.com>.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

The AVIATORS' MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT has had the benefit of extensive editorial comment and suggestions by a diverse body of the GA community, and beyond. See "ACKNOWLEDGMENTS" at <http://www.secureav.com/>.

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Hoftec
Posted with permssion of the author
September, 2004