Pre-departure Risk Assessment Check List

This tool has been developed to allow pilots and technicians to evaluate the actual risk of the flight or of the maintenance. The tool is based on the PAVE (Pilot, Aircraft, enVironment, External pressure) check list and adapted for the type of flight (HEMS, leisure, training, passenger etc.).

EHEST – Pre-departure checklist – Rev. 06-12-2016

The final purpose is to make pilots and technicians aware that small simple situations, when combined, can raise the total risk significantly, eventually resulting  in a situation so dangerous that the flight or maintenance itself is not suggested unless some of the risky situations are mitigated.

Certain type of flights do not allow for a “just before flight” risk assessment (e.g. HEMS flights) and it is not feasible for a pilot to complete a checklist when he/she needs to take off in 2/3 minutes. Nevertheless these kind of situations allow for a “pre-day” or “pre-shift” risk assessment, evaluating the worst possible scenario with realistic elements, or evaluating several different possible scenarios.

The tool is released and intended as a basic reference: the questions and the scoring must be reviewed and adapted by the operator, school or pilot to reflect the actual type of operations that will be executed. Dedicated procedures must be issued when scoring is within “CAUTION” or “HIGH RISK” areas (i.e. “Seek for Operation Post Holder approval” or “Cancel the flight”).

Tool usage:

The pilot or the technician must go through all the questions of the related type of operation (tabs on the bottom of the document). To select the proper answer just left-click on the related cell on column D (Initial Score). A “X” will be automatically added and the adjacent cell will reflect the proper value. When the worst answer is selected, the adjacent cell will insert the value “2″ and the cell will turn red. These questions must be reviewed and a valid mitigation solution must be found before the flight. At the end of the checklist the sum of the scores and a “SAFE”, “CAUTION” or “HIGH RISK” advice is reported. After scoring the initial pre-flight situation, valid mitigating actions must be identified and applied for at least those questions scored with a “2″. Proper mitigation action must be written on column “F” and a new scoring must be done on column “G”. The related final score and position on the graph are automatically updated.
When a cell is selected in column “D” (Initial Score) the related “X” is inserted both in column “D” and “G” (Final Score). In this way people can change only mitigated questions in column “G”, without scoring all the other questions.

Important note:

 This tool is not foolproof. The tool has been designed to allow people to change the checklist as much as they like. For this reason there are few protections in the excel sheets; in adding or deleting questions or lines it is possible to irreparably change the checklist configuration. These are some helpful hints:

  • Always keep an untouched copy of this file to restart with if something goes wrong.
  • When designing a customized checklist keep saving copies of the file with different names during your work. When using the macros (buttons) there is no way to  undo the action.
  • Do not insert or delete questions or single lines manually. Some controls could be erased and the automated parts of the sheet maynot work properly.
  • Do not erase or change rows 1 to 3 and column “A”.  They are used for the “Insert” and “Delete” macros.
  • Do not change or delete columns “M” to “Y”. They are used for the graph construction and control.

This tool has been developed by the EHSIT (European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team) – Specialist Team in Ops and SMS. Operators, pilots, technicians are free to use and change the present tool for their needs. This tool, part of it or modifications of it can be distributed provided it is not used for commercial purposes.

Pre-departure Check List Adapted for Law Enforcement Operation

The Airborne Law Enforcement Association has released an adapted version of the Pre-departure Risk Assessment Check List, adapted and modified for typical law enforcement operation. It can be downloaded from here.

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