Every Team Member is Important!

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A Belgian Air Force mechanic accidentally fired 20mm rounds into and destroying an F-16 while performing maintenance on another F-16. 

Every team member is important! In a High Reliability Organization (HRO), every team member, no matter their position, must learn & practice the operational discipline of checklists & situational awareness.

Mechanics are often unsung heroes in the aviation world. Fighter pilots get the attention & glory, but the maintainers make their exploits possible. In a serious accident like this, their connection to the mission, & ability to have an impact, becomes painfully visible…but we shouldn’t jump to put 100% of the blame on this technician.

Accident review should hopefully find a way to alter the system to prevent firing live rounds during maintenance, or change procedures that prevent damage in the unlikely event they are fired.

The investigation team can review the training & coaching received by maintainers as well. Are they included in the organizational culture of strict adherence to checklist procedures? Are they given training in situational awareness…or just taught how to fix airplanes? In an HRO, every player is important.

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