New Name, Continued Focus on the Same — Safety
By Tom Hoffmann, FAA Safety Briefing Magazine Managing Editor
Admittedly, GAJSC is not the kind of “roll off the tongue” aviation acronym like PIREP or NOTAM, but that’s just the unfortunate nature of some abbreviations. Attempts to phoneticize GAJSC rendered a few contestants like “Jazz-ic” or “Gah-zic,” neither of which stuck. Maybe that’s a good thing. However, a change last spring made this moniker a bit more memorable. The GAJSC is now the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee. Perhaps that’s what some of you already thought. It was formerly known as the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee. While the name may have changed, what hasn’t changed for the 10-plus years since the GAJSC’s revitalization is this group’s commitment to helping reduce the incidence of fatal GA accidents through forward-thinking, non-regulatory, and proactive safety strategies. It is the Joint Safety Committee because it is the GA community, industry, and the FAA working together to reduce the risks associated with fatal GA accidents.
In addition to the name change, GAJSC now sports a newly designed website, GAJSC.org (with more improvements being added). The intent was to modernize the existing site and ensure relevant safety information produced by GAJSC is made readily available to all stakeholders. The redesign also helped streamline the content and highlight key reports and areas of research.
The GAJSC is now the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee.
For example, the Reports and Documents section highlights key safety reports, like the Midair Collision and the COVID-19 Best Practices reports, while the Safety Enhancements (SE) section highlights the GA safety and mitigation strategies derived from the GAJSC’s main accident analysis working group areas: Loss of Control — Inflight, System Component Failure — Powerplant, and Controlled Flight Into Terrain. Efforts are currently underway to better organize the risk mitigations and implementation details according to subject area and industry segment (pilot, mechanic, manufacturer, etc.). The newest working group is focusing on accidents involving component failures that are non-powerplant related. The final report from this group will help develop additional safety enhancements for this critical accident causal factor.
Since the SEs are really the pointy tip of the safety spear for the GAJSC, the FAA and the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) maintain an ongoing focus of these important safety areas with its #FlySafe topic of the month campaign. Our landing page for FlySafe content is medium.com/faa/flysafe/home or you can go to our archive of printable PDF fact sheets here. These monthly messages are distributed via the FAA’s various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube). Expect to see some revitalized branding with these safety messages that are designed to provide pilots, operators, and mechanics a brief overview of an SE subject area, some useful tips and best practices, and additional resources for greater details. Short on time? Take advantage of the Medium blog page’s listen feature that lets you play an audio version of each article. You’ll find the play button above the title for each blog post. There’s also the 57 Seconds to Safer Flying video series that covers many of the most common causes of GA accidents. There’s more than 25 videos in the archive here bit.ly/57Seconds.
If you crave something a bit more structured, the FAASTeam produces several webinars and in-person seminars for each Fly Safe topic of the month. Just search the Seminars and Webinars section of FAASafety.gov to see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.
These are just some of the ways the GAJSC is working to get out its important safety message to help reduce the GA accident rate. We encourage you to check out this information in whatever form you prefer and make it part of your monthly routine to keep your aviation skills sharp. Despite the tongue-twisting name, you can rest assured that the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee isn’t tongue-tied when it comes to making GA safer for everyone.
Tom Hoffmann is the managing editor of FAA Safety Briefing. He is a commercial pilot and holds an A&P certificate.