Ukraine flight safety course puts theory into practice with emergency response exercise

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Article / December 6, 2016

By: Joint Task Force-Ukraine Public Affairs

The Ukraine Flight Safety Course (UFSC) put theory into practice as candidates conducted an aircraft crash response exercise at the Lviv Airport military complex on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, during Operation UNIFIER.

The exercise was the culmination of the three-week UFSC course, and involved a simulated MI-8 helicopter crash with course candidates applying the principles of emergency response planning and execution.

“Candidates arrived at the exercise to receive the brief from Major Barry Devereux, Flight Safety Standards Officer, introducing them to the simulated aircraft crash site scenario,” said Jacques Michaud, Ukraine Flight Safety Course Mission Lead and Course Director. “Applying the lessons learned during UFSC, candidates worked together to cordon off the crash site as well as collect the necessary information and imagery required for the investigation.”

The 34 candidates from the Ukrainian Air Force, Army, and Navy conducted the process of securing and recording details of the crash site. After the initial safety sweep, candidates cordoned off the site with white tape to preserve evidence.

Once this first phase was completed, candidates provided a brief to the instructors on what actions they took before moving on to the next phase.

Next, the candidates donned “protective suits” and began the process of documenting the site. Moving methodically, they gathered photos and made detailed diagrams of the crash, ensuring every piece of debris within the cordon was recorded.

“The students of the UFSC course are highly-qualified officers with sound experience in activities related to flight safety,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Igor Sanin, a Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) instructor augmenting the Canadian instructors. “Notwithstanding, the UFSC did improve the skills of our specialists and is just a small part of the great cooperation between Ukraine and Canada.”

The UFSC exercise team, made up of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and UAF personnel along with two aviation safety experts from Poland and the Czech Republic, provided advice to the candidates at each phase.

“The UFSC has been a success so far,” said Mr. Michaud. “The feedback from candidates has been excellent and improvements will be made for the next serial planned for February 2017.”

“The addition of the two instructors from Poland and Czech Republic added a great touch to this collaboration with Ukraine,” he added.

The UFSC covers the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) aviation management safety concepts, aviation safety management system standards and was tailored by both Canadian and Ukraine military personnel to the meet the needs of the UAF.

The course is divided in two distinct segments; Part 1 is the classroom delivery of the Online Safety Management Course on behalf of the ICAO, while Part 2 covers a series of aviation safety-related topics explaining how the CAF is implementing the recommended ICAO standards and practices.

The flight safety initiative is one of seven different Operation UNIFIER lines of effort to build capacity within the UAF. As of December 2016, the Canadian Armed Forces have provided more than 2300 training opportunities to UAF soldiers and officers on Operation UNIFIER.

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