I believe that if you were to ask ten people this question, you would get ten different answers. In aviation, you cannot afford to get the answer to this question wrong. There is no such thing as pulling over to the side of the road and deciding what to do if your engine fails.
What is safety? Is it the absence of danger? Or the absence of all known and unknown risks? The answer to this question is …. Management. Safety in aviation is the mitigation of risk by managing it to acceptable levels. An example of that would be our mechanics inspecting the helicopter.
Every 100 hours that the helicopter flies, it is inspected thoroughly for signs of impending failure. By inspecting a helicopter, you mitigate the chance of a part failing in flight by replacing it BEFORE it ever has a chance to fail. Every day pilots and mechanics are faced with the enormous task of managing risk. Risk management has to do with good decision-making that is supported by a lot of training. For the mechanic, it is decid-ing whether or not to release a helicopter into service. For the pilot, it is deciding whether or not to take that helicopter into service taking into consideration the weather conditions and his own health and constitution.
As pilots, we accept the risks we take. This would also be true for anyone who is living for Christ. A missionary recently said, “We need people who are willing to live risky lives for the cause of Christ”. Does this mean that we live reckless lives, looking for danger? No! The Bible tells us not to put the Lord our God to the test. However, in today’s world, just being a Christian assumes a certain amount of risk. God promises that His children will be hated by the world. Some people say, “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” Is that really true? I would rather say, “The BEST place to be is in the center of God’s will, regardless of whether it is risky or not.”
Please continue to pray for the Helimission pilots and mechanics who work to support the cause of Christ! Pray for their safety and for wisdom.
Steffan P, Pilot