Mission Accomplishment vs Safety

Mission Accomplishment versus Safety!

We are scheduled to take a flight mission early in one morning to pick-up personnel about 200 miles from Puerto Princesa City. The personnel to be transported neeeded to be in Puerto to attend an important activity, and that was one of our mission, to bring them here on that day. As early as 6:30 am, everything was ready and set for takeoff except for one vital element, WEATHER condition. As I opened few weather websites, i could easily infer from the pictures that the weather along our route of flight is not favorable. True enough, as i opened the PAGASA website, there was LOW Pressure Area at 90km West Northwest of Coron, Palawan. That’s just few kilometers from our destination, El NIdo. Also, a weatherman from friendly units informed us thru text message that El NIdo is currently experiencing heavy rains with thick cloud build-up at West of El NIdo Airport. Although the weather in Puerto Princesa was improving, we waited for a while before we postponed the mission, just in case the weather changes. And so, we get weather updates every 30 minutes. After an hour, the sun started to show-up at Puerto Princesa, but still El Nido continued to experience rains. After three hours of waiting and confirming an unimproving weather condition at our point of destination, we finally called it a day. Flight is posponed the next day.

We fly a BNI Islander aircraft. A 10 seater capacity plane. It is an airfoil not big enough to endure adverse weather conditions. Although strictly, we, the pilots and crew, can undertake said mission, SAFETY was always our main business. Thus, we we aborted said task.

It has long been indoctrinated on us that “safety is paramount at all times.” We should always bear in mind that the first mission to be fulfilled should at all times be, “to bring the plane and the lives within to SAFETY.”

Posted under Aviation by brix on Monday 21 July 2008 at 5:18 am

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