loading Loading please wait....

If you are a registered, please log in. If not, please click here to register.

Business Jet Safety Glossary
A new aircraft that is operated in accordance with FAR Part 135 regulations- and flown internationally- will most likely feature the latest- most up-to-date safety equipment on-board. If you are in this category then you may skip this article if you wish- otherwise please read on...

The types of Life Saving Equipment that might be installed on your aircraft depend to a large extent on how old your aircraft is- and to what certification standards it is flown under. My personal view is that aviation ‘Life Saving Equipment’ can be divided into two categories:

Dealing with our first category- this includes devices that improve the crew’s situational awareness- such as:

- Electronic Flight Instrumentation Systems (EFIS) - a dynamic/interchangeable digital depiction greatly enhancing the situational and positional awareness of the crew (specific to the three-dimensional location of the aircraft).

- Multi-function Displays (MFD) - as above- but here multiple information sources can be displayed.

- Graphically displayed- Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (Class ‘A’ TAWS)/Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS) - systems that show the ground even when shrouded by cloud or darkness.

- Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) - Shows you where other aircraft are in-flight- thus removing the threat of mid-air collision.

- Mode ‘S’ Transponders- with Enhancement and Diversity- enabling automatic sharing of collision avoidance data with other aircraft- as well as more detailed positional information from air traffic control. This prevents you from hitting other aircraft in-flight when equipped with TCAS (see above).

- Runway Awareness and Advisory Systems (RAAS) - prevents you from landing or taking off on too short a runway.

- Sophisticated Weather Radar - includes both vertical and horizontal weather depiction and prevents you from flying through hail- tornados- wind-shear and severe turbulence.

- Heads-up Display (HUD) - allows the captain to keep his eyes outside the cockpit while flying in near-zero visibility conditions on take-off and landing in particular.

- Enhanced Vision System (EVS) - an infra-red device providing night and cloud vision for aircraft.

- Angle of Attack System (AOA) - informs the crew of how close the wing is to a stall.

- Airborne Camera System (ACS) - when mounted on a wing- this device will positively confirm if your under-carriage is extended ready for landing.

Our second category of equipment includes devices that will save the lives of the occupants on board the aircraft after things have unfortunately gone wrong:

- Automated External Defibrillator (AED) - a small- portable device which restores a heartbeat after a heart attack.

- 406 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) - a truly global locator tracked by the global satellite system.

- Smoke Hood/Personal Breathing Equipment (PBE) - enables you to see and breathe during a fire with heavy smoke- until you can exit the aircraft.

- Seat Belt Restraint Air-Bags - these inflate when a pre-determined ‘G’ force is sensed- thus providing a soft barrier for the occupant against hard objects.

- Portable Oxygen Bottle (POB) - a back-up- just in case the masks don’t drop in the cabin- during an emergency decompression.

- Fully enclosed survival Life Raft with supplies - an essential- because if you have to ditch and wait for pick-up- in most waters you will not survive with only a life-vest.

- Portable Iridium Satellite Telephone - no matter where you end up- this device enables you to reach out for help.

In addition to the above glossary- you should consider having a subscription to ‘MedAire’ (or similar service) supplemented by an Enhanced First Aid Kit. In an emergency- there might not be enough time to ‘land’ and seek treatment for some ailments that might strike at altitude. Such subscriptions and Enhanced First Aid Kit will provide a direct- open line to professional medical treatment- while in-flight.’

Unfortunately- too many aircraft owners and operators allow the issue of cost (and sometimes weight)- to overrule safety. Hopefully you will never be the victim of an aviation incident or accident- but if you ever were I promise that you would rue the day that you chose to save money- when you had the opportunity to increase the safety of your aircraft- and consequently the safety of all of those people who ride in it - yourself included.

Please talk to your Chief Pilot without delay on this topic. The catchphrase: “Safety is no accident” is ever so true!

Email feedback to

Related Articles