20th century has been one of remarkable technological advancements and of increased need to further improve human existence and the speed through which man runs about its everyday life. These ideas alone have demonstrated an immense capacity of man to research and invent new ideas, mechanisms, and to elaborate on the most important technological evolutions to set these mechanisms in motion. However, these evolutions have not been without flaws and have often cost the lives of individuals and caused immense human and material damages. The present research focuses on the way in which these trends have applied to the aeronautic industry. The approach is twofold and focuses on the one hand on the technological advancements, and, on the other hand, on mitigating the risks associated with these advancements so that the development would have less negative impacts and human kind can benefit from the positive aspects of technology.
The current research is based on five important topics and considerations related to the way in which the technological advancements have been designed and adapted in a way to include increased safety measures, whether it is at the level of design, of maneuver or a post accident analysis. All these points aim to improve the operational conditions for aircrafts that can eventually save lives and make technology work for the higher common good of man.
The research is organized in five subsections that deal with five major issues currently under analysis in the aeronautic community. Question number one analyzes how human factors impact aviation accidents and how changes are made based on the recommendations. This first issue is crucial for the way in which aircrafts can be better improved and to further identify the role human error plays in accidents. As part of this question, an analysis of the role the investigator has in analyzing the post-accident scene is important because it is the investigator tha (Bell Helicopters, 2014)t ultimately puts the findings together and elaborates on the measures needed to be taken in order to avoid accidents in the future. This approach is vital for understanding the causes of an accident and for preventing those.
Question number two describes how the aviation community utilized past aircraft and science to further advance aircraft design. This approach is based on a historical overview of the advancements of technology, starting from the first important flight mechanism, the Wright Flyer of 1903 and reaching the Boeing 707 in modern times. The purpose of this historical analysis is to present and analyze the issues that have been encountered throughout the evolution of aircrafts and, at the same time, to underline the role played by the monitoring and constant research conducted at the level of the aeronautic community.
Question number three addresses the requirements for starting a scenic helicopter tour business. This approach is more functional and result oriented in the sense that it provides an overview of the elements that need to be taken into account when establishing a helicopter tour business. The presentation is useful particularly because it focuses on the conditions that need to be met in order to run the business in perfect safety conditions and at the same time to propose a business-oriented consideration without however leaving aside the safety considerations. Hence, the answer to this research question focuses not only on a business-plan type of approach but also points out the legal necessities related to such an endeavor.
Question number four deals with how the Federal Aviation Administration is going to integrate the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System. The use of UASs is more and more a matter of necessity rather that an option, given the fact that their use entails a limited number of human casualties among combatants during wartime. The term was first introduced in the specialized language after the invasion of Afghanistan in the first years of the 21st century and has been used ever since as a means of conducting war without endangering combatants' lives. The answer to this research question takes into account the definition of the term as well as the legal procedures and considerations related to the use of such systems.
Question number five discusses how an Army helicopter pilot makes the transition to become and Emergency Medical Services helicopter pilot. The approach for this question is a functional one, taking into account the fact that the transition from an Army helicopter pilot to an EMS helicopter pilot entails not only a change in career perspective but also one of advancement and reconsideration of skills and trainings. The research on this issue takes into account the necessary official requirements and at the same times the need for further improvement of skills, preparation, and certifications for the Army helicopter pilot. Finally, a personal consideration of the motivational guidelines that make an Army pilot to become an EMS pilot is necessary.
The use of aircrafts along time has determined the existence of numerous accidents at the level of civilians and aeronautic personnel as well. However, there have been instances when the accident investigator ruled the accident to be caused by human error. From this point-of-view, there is a constant need to improve the conditions and the training capabilities for the pilots regardless of the type of aircraft they maneuver in order to reduce the accidents as a result of human error. At the same time, the role of the accident investigator is that of finding out what happened and providing recommendations for future reference. The idea of "what happened" can also encompass a human error at the level of maintenance of the aircraft or the actual flying mistake. However, in order to better understand the types of incidents the investigator deals, it is important to define certain working terms.
As per the Federal Aviation Administration, an aircraft accident is "an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and until such time as all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage. All aspects of the exceptions to substantial damage (see "Substantial Damage") should be considered before making a final substantial damage determination that would classify the occurrence as an accident." (Federal Aviation Administration, 2010) From this point-of-view, an occurrence is seen as an accident only if an event takes place with people involved. Therefore, for the purpose of this research, only the cases where people have been involved are taken into account.
One of the most important responsibilities of the FAA is related to post-accident analysis. This type of assignment is legislated at the level of federal legislation and is part of the overall coverage of post accident activities. Better said, "The responsibilities of FAA related to aircraft accident investigations in accordance with Sections 40113 and 44702 of Title 49 United States Code are to make sure that all of the facts, conditions, and circumstances leading to the accident are recorded and evaluated, and action is taken to prevent similar accidents." (Federal Aviation Administration, 2010) Therefore, it needs to be pointed out from the onset that the most important authority related to aircraft accident investigation is the FAA and it is the responsibility of this body to conduct accident investigation through the accredited investigators.
Another important working term that needs to be properly defined as per the FAA regulation is that of the Investigator in Charge. The official definition of the role is "the FAA inspector/investigator assigned to supervise and coordinate all FAA participants in an accident or incident investigation. In each aviation investigation, the FAA IIC is responsible for the management of all FAA resources at the scene and for determining if the facts of the accident indicate that FAA responsibilities were involved in the occurrence" (Federal Aviation Administration, 2010). Therefore, it can be said that the investigator is the official voice of the FAA and from this point-of-view has strict guidelines on how to operate the scene of an accident. These guidelines are clearly pointed out in official documents issued by the FAA and include provisions related to the way in which an IIC needs to mentally and physically prepared to analyze the accident scene to the way in which it needs to consider the evidence and even protect itself from possible dangers at the scene as a result of the overall accident. These aspects are crucial for the work of an investigator from several points-of-view. On the one hand, if an investigator fails to take into account the mandatory safety measures that are provided for by the law, the ultimate result of the investigation may be modified or not taken into consideration. On the other hand, the actual safety and well being of the investigator may be put in danger, thus causing more complications related to the accident investigation. Overall, the investigator has the same responsibilities as a crime scene investigator…