Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference

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Conference Highlights

By Virginia Lippincott, Flight Attendants Committee Advisory Council Chair

The present NBAA Flight Attendants Committee (FAC) Chair Scott Arnold, AirCare Solutions Group, announced that on this Fifteenth Year anniversary, The "Flight Attendants Conference" is now officially the "Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference." It has also grown into a 3-day event as the conference also included a NBAA PDP L2 course and the Lead/Manager Flight Attendant/Technician Roundtable Meeting held on the Thursday, June 24, 2010.

For the second year in a row 25 industry leaders were in attendance for "The Lead/Manager Flight Attendant/Technician Roundtable" moderated by Mary Ann Fash, The Boeing Company, Jackie Kolesar, Dow Corning, Dodie Thomas, Altria Client Services (all FAC Members). Topics of discussion included; IS-BAO Certification, Manuals & SOP's, SMS, Risk Assessment, Food Safety, On-Line Training, Uniforms, etc. A recurring concern is crew duty on long-range jets and scheduled duty rest. The Leadership Roundtable is an RSVP only event.

Creating and Achieving Goals for your Success, instructed by Shari Frisinger, Cornerstone Strategies, LLC was the PDP L2 course offered this year. Attendees learned the three classic reasons people don't achieve their goals, the five components of setting achievable goals and the eight steps to increase your success rate.

Scott Arnold, FAC Chair and Mary Ann Fash, FAC Vice Chair opened the conference with a wonderful media presentation and welcomed all 138 attendees. Last years conference held in New Orleans, LA hosted 115 attendees.

No Plane, No Gain! Updating the group on key issues affecting business aviation were NBAA Senior Vice President of Operations, Steve Brown and Mike Nichols; Vice NBAA President of Operations, Education and Economics; as well as Dan Burkhart, NBAA Director of Regional Programs. Topics of discussion were security and environmental issues of business aviation in a global market. Updates on DOT, FAA, TSA, and IRS were also covered.

Former US Navy Blue Angels Commander, George Dom, underscored the element of TRUST in his fabulous Keynote presentation. We now all know the definition of the OODA LOOP: Observe, Orient, Decide Act, when it comes to making split second critical decisions. His primary message was Trust. Trust is the key to having a team and to measure your ability as a "team" member through your communication, respect, honesty loyalty, camaraderie, determination and productivity. All of these contribute to a person's integrity, which is a measurement of a person's trustworthiness.

FAA Cabin Safety Inspector for Alaska and former Flight Attendant, Rebecah Huelskoetter and FAA's Western Pacific Runway Safety Program Regional Manager, Dave Kurner, presented, "What's Outside Your Window?" Mr. Kurner explained how runways are designed to handle air and ground traffic and familiarized the group on runway signage. Ms. Huelskoetter discussed the Flight Attendant/Technicians role in surface contamination from a CRM perspective and the importance of the cabin crewmember knowing they also have a voice.

Maintaining Your Composure at any Altitude. Situational awareness both internally and externally was the basis of Shari Frisinger's, CornerStone Strategies, LLC presentation. Assessing your actions, reactions and perceived triggers are critical techniques for keeping composed and in control when faced with challenging situations or individuals.

SMS (Safety Management Systems), Risk Management & ICAO Standards, presented by Kathy Perfetti, IBAC. Ms. Perfetti addressed both the overall flight department requirements but more importantly the risk assessments in the cabin and relating to Cabin Safety. This information and knowledge is essential based on the FAA's future requirements of all 14 CFR Part 135 flight operations to maintain a SMS program. She explained the system of best practices developed by the industry for the "Gold Standard" of operations.

Dr. Beau Altman, HBACorp, 'the Grandfather of Corporate Aviation Crew safety,' presented, "To Brief or Not to Brief: There is NO Question!" Beau reviewed passenger behavior and basic human psychology when individuals are faced with an emergency situation. He underscored the importance of safety briefings, (demonstrated by Virginia Lippincott), in order for "all passengers and crewmembers onboard to be Responseable, informed and knowledgeable" in the event of an emergency. Beau coined the phrase, "CPRM": Crew and Passenger, Resource Management.

The History of the Flight Attendants Conference, presented by Virginia Lippincott, current FAC Advisory Chair, who has been with the committee since its inception, briefed the attendees on goals, accomplishments and challenges over the past fifteen years. Virginia highlighted several speakers who have lived through accidents and whose emotional presentations, "underscore why we are here, why we train." Virginia, who served as Chair and Vice Chair for five years, applauded the valued contributors, vendors and committee members who have volunteered their time and expertise to help create the many successful conferences.

Friday's presentations concluded by celebrating the Fifteenth Annual Conference by honoring one of the FAC original members, Dr. Beau Altman. He was presented with the prestigious NBAA Silk Scarf Award. Beau's longstanding dedication and contributions towards Business Aviation and the Flight Attendant Committee was a well-deserved and moving recognition.

Saturday began with the presentation of the Flight Attendant/Flight Technician Scholarship Awards. This year, 40 scholarships were awarded (valued over $45,000) and formerly presented to all of the attending recipients.

Deep Water Survival presented by Richard Martin, Survival Systems USA, Ken Burton, STARK Survival Training and Robert Benton, Winslow LifeRaft Company. Did you know the average water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean is 55 degrees? Seven hours of open exposure can cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns. The Q & A portion consisted of a lot of questions regarding the Westwind aircraft that ditched three nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk Island with seven passengers and crew.

Social Media presented by Scott Arnold, AirCare Solutions Group, Elaine Lapotosky, Jet Professionals, LLC, and Mike Nichols, NBAA, demonstrated along with marvelous visual arts, how Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and NBAA Airmail used as technology tools, can optimize your career and the impact they have on positional employers in both positive and negative ways.

The Catering Working Group once again coordinated this year's Minute Clinics, by educating the attendees on topics relevant to both catering and stocking corporate aircraft.

  1. Understanding Food Allergies, presented by Paula Kraft, Tastefully Yours. The Big 8 food allergens: egg, dairy, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nuts, fish & shellfish. Paula educated the group on the difference between food Intolerance & food allergy. Massachusetts is the first state to pass a law requiring "food preparers" to provide a Food Allergy reference book.
  2. Miriam Dawson and Greg Hoffman, Air Gourmet, presentation on "Making Sure Your Special Requests Turn Out Special," educated the group on what's involved with ordering, receiving and packaging those 'special' meals for both human and our four legged passengers.
  3. Mark or Sear? Cooking Terminology was the focus of MonaLisa Shaheen, Rudy's Inflight. Kosher or Jewish Style, (no pork or shellfish) vs. Glut Kosher, (never mix meat and dairy, and food must be served with the seal intact), were explained in detail.
  4. Understanding the Date Coding System, presented by Linh Nguyen, B.E. Princess discussed the shelf life and recommended use timetable for a variety of products and onboard service supplies.
  5. Personal Travel Kits, presented by Lucinda Trozze and Cyndee Irvine, FAC Members, helped explain how missing tools and supplies can be a determent to a flight. An excellent collection of products, which were donated by various conference sponsors, were distributed to the attendees in a handy carry kit.

    The last panel presentation was the CL605 Flexjet Crew who shared their anatomy of an onboard smoke and fire event/unplanned evacuation. Captain Tom Blanton, First Officer Jeremy Stoker, and Flight Attendant Debra Turner underscored the element of trust and dependency on each other's roles in their emergency. It was CRM in action.

    A number of conference giveaways (valued at over $7,200) were awarded to attendees by randomly drawing their names throughout the conference. Some of the gifts included aircraft models, gift certificates, cashmere blankets, shirts, jackets and caps, luggage, smoke hoods, an iTouch and an iPad!

    The conference concluded with the Flight Attendants Committee Chair, Scott Arnold and Vice Chair, Mary Ann Fash thanking everyone and announced the 16th Annual NBAA Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference will once again be held in San Diego, CA June 23–25, 2011.

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