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Lessons Learned Aviation Disaster Experiences Christa Hinckley, J.D. Counsel Dentons US LLP, Dallas T +1 214 259 0922 dentons.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Lessons Learned Aviation Disaster Experiences Christa Hinckley, J.D. Counsel Dentons US LLP, Dallas T +1 214 259 0922 dentons.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lessons Learned Aviation Disaster Experiences Christa Hinckley, J.D. Counsel Dentons US LLP, Dallas T dentons.com © 2013 Dentons. Dentons is an international legal practice providing client services worldwide through its member firms and affiliates. This publication is not designed to provide legal or other advice and you should not take, or refrain from taking, action based on its content. Please see dentons.com for Legal Notices.

2 Lessons Learned Aviation Disaster Experiences Curt Lewis, P.E., CSP, FRAeS, FISAI Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC PH: Cell: Fax: Twitter: curtllewis01 Skype: curt.lewis2

3 “Crisis” Latin from Greek “Krisis” decision “Krino” to decide

4 “ Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than the ability to decide” Napoleon Bonaparte

5 “Almost Every Crisis Contains Within Itself the Seeds of Success as well as the Roots of Failure” Norman Augustine, “Managing the Crisis You Tried to Prevent” Harvard Business Review, Nov.-Dec at p.148

6 Six Stages of Crisis Management 1 Stage 1: Avoiding the Crisis Stage 2: Preparing to Manage the Crisis Stage 3: Recognizing the Crisis Stage 4: Containing the Crisis Stage 5: Resolving the Crisis Stage 6: Profiting from the Crisis 1. From Augustine, Norman "Managing the Crisis You Tried to Prevent" Harvard Business Review, Nov-Dec Pages (hereafter "Augustine")

7 Re-establish confidence in your company, or cause it severe harm—up to and including destroying the company completely.

8 Stage 1 Avoiding the Crisis

9 Each business should constantly ◦Analyze what could go wrong which would threaten the viability of the company ◦Then assess the probability of the event ◦Then assess its potential severity

10 Potential disasters for airlines: ◦Severe weather (sandstorm, earthquake, flood, tornado, hail) ◦Fatal Accident ◦Massive Computer/Systems failure ◦Disastrous Fire ◦Food Poisoning: E-Coli ◦Contagious Disease (SARS) ◦Employee Violence ◦Labor Unrest ◦Terrorist Attack ◦Allegations of Impropriety  Pencil Whipping  Accounting  Safety Related  Discrimination  Sexual Misconduct

11 Once the list is complete, the company should rank the events  Those of high severity and high probability -- at the top of the list Then the company should develop a plan for:  Preventing these events  Minimizing the likelihood of their occurrence and  Responding to them

12 Stage 2 Preparing to Manage the Crisis

13 The plan should establish:  A centralized Crisis Command Center  Alternative command centers should also be identified if the primary one is not available  A clear Chain of Command  A Crisis Response Team  The specific tasks and functions to be performed by the team members  A clear communication protocol

14 The plan should also  Designate in advance a company spokesperson  Outline procedures for creating an on site command center  Identify an automated means of collecting, managing and distributing information  Determine how easily used and redundant communication equipment will be provided to a significant number of people within a short time

15 In preparing your plan  Throw out, or aggressively test, all preconceived assumptions because they won’t apply or won’t work  Try to imagine your worst possible disaster – and how you can prepare for it  Try to understand the limitations of the environment you may be operating in  Understand that your best laid plans may be worthless which is why you need back up/contingency plans  Finally, the senior people selected to respond must be able to connect the dots and make decisions

16 Once your plan is prepared, you must then  Investigate  Train  Test  Drill A plan only on paper is worthless

17 Stage 3 Recognizing the Crisis

18 Stage 4 Containing the Crisis

19 Source: Colombian Accident Report

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21 Source: Aeronautica Civil of the Republic of Colombia, Aircraft Accident Report, Controlled Flight Into Terrain, American Airlines Flight 965 Boeing N6JIAA, Near Cali, Colombia, December 20, 1995 (hereafter the "Colombian Accident Report")

22 Source: Colombian Accident Report

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24 The following photographs reproduced courtesy of Curt Lewis, P.E., CSP, FRAeS, FISAI

25 © 1995 Curt Lewis

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40 Communication is vitally important at this stage Candid communication to  The public,  Your business partners,  Your colleagues  Employees will go far in restoring the public’s confidence in your company

41 Triage—stop the hemorrhaging Tough decisions have to be made fast  Next of kin communication  Hepatitis vaccine  Ground transportation  Hotel accommodations  Hospital supplies Time and speed is of essence

42 Media Communication “First state clearly that you do not know all the facts. Then promptly state the facts you do know. One’s objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out and get it over. You see, your problem won’t improve with age” Warren Buffett Reproduced in Augustine at page 155.

43 Stage 5 Resolving the Crisis

44 You must develop a plan to resolve the crisis and implement it  Again, time and speed is of essence  Luck is an element

45 Stage 6 Profiting from the Crisis

46 Debriefs are critical  Review success and failures  Fix Problems ◦ Don’t ignore employees that also might be traumatized

47 “If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation” Humorist Jean Kerr Reproduced in Augustine at page 152.

48 Dentons US LLP 2000 McKinney Avenue Suite 1900 Dallas, TX United States of America © 2013 Dentons. Dentons is an international legal practice providing client services worldwide through its member firms and affiliates. This publication is not designed to provide legal or other advice and you should not take, or refrain from taking, action based on its content. Please see dentons.com for Legal Notices.


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