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Flight chief at Horizon Air alarmed at pilots’ safety culture

In an urgent internal message on the eve of Thanksgiving, Horizon Air’s head of flight operations warned that a lax safety culture among the airline’s pilots had led to multiple potentially dangerous incidents in recent days. He called for urgent action to prevent a serious air accident. Hornibrook says that the two days before Thanksgiving were “the most difficult 48-hour period I have seen in my tenure with Horizon Air,” as he goes on to list the safety-related incidents that the airline saw. ( More...

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mbrews 37
Kudos to Horizon Air’s head of flight operations, on the effort to focus his pilots and support staff. Lets stop with the nitpicking about how serious were the incidents. Recognize : the primary job of a leader is to preach safety and then to practice what he preaches. IMHO, it's essential to his job to call out lapses.

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alex hidveghy 8
Safety is no joke but it sounds like you ARE the joke......
I hope you're not nearly a pilot.
Paul Tillotson 10
Thumbs up to head of flight ops. Are those examples accepted in sim training? They should not be and I bet they are not. They are not flying combat missions. Tighten it up guys, if you overlook a little most likely will start overlooking a lot. Treat each flight like a check ride. Blue skies!!!
Kris Durbin 18
We also need to realize this memo should never have been made public. Not only is there an obvious culture of safety disregard in this airline's operating ranks, there is also a culture of "Them vs. Us," which could be even more damaging. Somebody leaked this memo to make the airline look bad. For those of us who understand preventative safety, we understand that this is intended to be nothing more than a wake up call, but those who leaked this memo know that 90% of those consuming the media of this will think "Alaskan is not a safe airline."
Highflyer1950 17
Getting too slow is much worse than the occasional overspeed. However, flaps & gear extension at max operating speeds tend to wear our the flap/slat tracks and damage gear doors. Most operators recommend a 10 kt speed less than max when operating Flaps/gear. Too slow and you can get confusion over what the aircraft is programmed to do and what it actually is doing.......hence Asiana in SFO! Kudos to the VP of Flt Ops for recognizing a pattern and taking action.
Marilyn Tully 6
The pilot who declined to be identified and said that he/she thought the safety alert was "melodramatic" is so wrong. Some of the pilots may need a wakeup call. Safety is too important to worry about whether or not a safety alert is being too melodramatic or not. Be glad your management is thinking this way. Everyone benefits.
The pilot who thinks it was melodramatic is the pilot who declares an emergency just a little too late.
Southwest has pulled some crazy stuff too. They have been tagged repeatedly for flying passengers on planes that had issues that deemed them 'unsafe for regular passenger use', and they fly them anyway. Pushing tin. Getthereitis. But Southwest seems to have a religious following among many people. It's like Walmart. They are getting screwed, but they think they are getting a 'Great Deal', and just swallow it. Lining up like cattle...
Larry Toler 5
Great analogy. You're absolutely correct. The bad thing about it is when you have the front office pushing flight crews to the limit, Safety can go by the wayside until something happens.
Markus Wolff 2
In the end its just aviation, we take risk, we get fatigued, we regret that the company tells us be safe but when you make a command decision to stay on the ground you are met with criticism. Reading about safety culture & practicing safety culture is as wide as the sea. 45,000 pounds over gross is a disgrace, gross negligence if an accident would have occurred after the faa & the insurance company lawyers would have finished it....but i'm no saint, i've made some goofball mistakes in 40 years. I hear him, preaching safety, I hear, I hear, I what reinvent the mousetrap?
Roger Curtiss 1
It was a 9000 lbs error (4.5 tons) not 45,000 lbs.
John Manley 2
As a certified aircraft dispatcher who works for a competitor airline to the one mentioned in the article... all I will say is... YIKES....

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n9341c 16
I was waiting to see how long it would take before someone blamed this on management. I guessed 5 posts. You did not disappoint. Incidentally, not sure if you see your own inconsistency in logic but assuming you don't, let me point it out to you, and let me start with a direct quote from you: "... all I can say it's dumb assed management allowing this to happen. No matter the cause its up to them they are the ones who should be right on top of this problem."'s a little secret for ya: that's what this guy is doing with the memo, pal!
David Beattie 2
Yes. It’s always management’s fault! Pilots are all saints. They are perfect. Never make mistakes! Of course, if that same perfect pilot goes into management, then he is venal and evil. Grow up children!
James Simms 2
“their pay”
If you work in the airline industry and have a beef with a supervisor, coworker, or the company you work for... just get in touch with Dominic Gates at the Seattle Times.

Revenge will be yours, anonymously and without risk.
bob Johnson 1
Always remember that some aircraft will bore you to sleep, and then kill yo,
We were having so many flap/slat over speeds on the MD-80, pilots were eventually required to call out the limit speed of the desired configuration change before calling for the change. ie. "Below 280, slats extend" (at a very major airline)

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n9341c 29
It didn't go public first and foremost before being addressed internally. It was sent in an internal email. One of the recipients then went on a social media shaming mission for someone daring to scold them. Seems to me like "leadership" was actually trying to do it's job and fix things, like you say.
Torsten Hoff 26
It becoming public isn’t a sign of mediocre management — management can’t keep the many recipients of the letter from leaking it. Also, the pushback from the pilots for being reminded of safe aircraft operation is a sign that the letter was necessary (and probably just a necessary first step at that).
Chris B -7
Reads like a get the bad news out of the way before the holiday party memo.
When should he have sent it out?
Greg Clanfield -4
I am sure as hell glad I read this. Horizon flies out of my nearest airport KSTS via both Alaska and Horizon I want anyone in the those two front seats to have at LEAST 3000 hours,(preferably more). In fact that either of those two seats has anyone with 3000 hours minimum to me, is scary.
flynryan 2
dkenna 2
If this scares you, then you should lock yourself in your house and never come outside again. Then you’ll be safe. And society will be that much better off.
I prefer eleveny five bagillion hours....Greg has too low of a standard......


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