Story by COURTNEY MUNS, for The Muleskinner—
Monday, February 25th, UCM’s Aviation Department held their semi -annual Safety Stand-Down Day. This event is held every 6 months, lasting all afternoon, and it’s a day that every pilot in the program takes a break from flying and a closer look at safety precautions of aviation.
Tony Monetti, assistant Dean of Aviation, finds great importance in this stand-down day.
“We value safety enough to stop flying for the day and to talk about safety. We focus as a team on safety and how to help avoid accidents. Student’s safety is always first,” said Monetti.
Approximately 7 speakers were in attendance, talking to students about topics such as airport security, midair collision avoidance, and how to respond to a dangerous situation.
One of the speakers, Frank Cavuoti, retired Airforce pilot and good friend of Monetti’s, shared with the audience a personal story about a situation that required proper knowledge of aviation safety.
He told about his life-threatening experience when his A-10, a single-seat, twin-engine aircraft, began to have a fuel system complication, and he was injected from the plane. He also brought with him the original seat that he was injected from the plane with.
He explained basic procedures to safely land in the event of being injected from an aircraft, such as landing feet and knees together to avoid any broken bones, and to release your parachute when you land to avoid being drug from the wind catching the parachute.
“Always pay attention to what you do; safety is key. Always have a back-up plan,” said Cavuoti.
Other safety tips that were given were geared more towards airport security, given from speaker Gilbert Powers. He shared helpful tips about properly storing aircrafts in hangers, the importance of utilizing aircraft lock systems, and to always remember to secure aircraft keys away from the aircraft.
The next Safety Stand-Down day will be held in the fall semester, and will continue to educate pilots, as a team, about safety precautions and tips.