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Monday, 22 June 2009

Quality, Environment and Health & Safety in Gliding

I recently joined a gliding club and with any luck, I should be solo by the end of the summer.

I couldn't help but notice a great deal of the standards (ISO9001, ISO14001 & ISO18001) apply in this discipline as well as in the workplace.

Quality (ISO9001) if you apply best practice and continual improvement then the gliding experience is good, but if the processes are badly applied it results in additional costs (more lessons) and poor customer satisfaction (particularly from other members of the gliding club). I have heard things like "that was a crap landing".

Environmental (ISO14001) A Clean glider performs much better than one covered in squashed insects and good cleaning means that the canopy is clear and not smeared. Environmentally friendly chemicals protect the fabric of the glider and its occupants.

Health and Safety (ISO18001) When I joined the club, a seasoned member mentioned that there were bold glider pilots and old glider pilots but there were no old bold glider pilots. Health and safety practices are essential to allow full enjoyment of this sport without additional risks. The same instructor mentioned that it was probably more dangerous driving to the club than it was flying as all good pilots (and trainees) follow a strict set of rules.

I thought a hobby like this would get me away from work but the principles I use and teach are very evident in this area.

My wife said that I shouldn't take any risks and in that I agree. Common sense and safe flying will be my by-words.

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