Tag Archives: flight department

Wow – Four Years!

July 1 marks the fourth anniversary of McFarren Aviation Consulting! Time sure flies when you’re having fun. I left a perfectly (reasonably?) good full-time job in 2009 in the middle of one of the biggest economic downturns our country has ever experienced to start my own aviation consulting business. I know more than a few eyebrows were raised but it’s all worked out well and I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had over the past four years.

I have been fortunate to work with some fantastic companies in our industry. I’ve consulted for Part 135 charter operators of all shapes and sizes; FBO’s big and small; Part 91 flight departments; and aviation trade associations. Although my specific tasks vary by client, the goal is almost always the same: leave my client a safer, more efficient and effective company.

My projects have spanned from minor manual revisions to full Part 135 certification. Among other initiatives, I have developed and implemented Safety Management Systems and Internal Evaluation Programs and have trained charter company employees to manage their own SMS and act as internal auditors. I have represented the industry in an Aviation Rulemaking Committee and on an FAA/industry safety working group. I have written numerous articles for print in aviation trade publications. This means I’ve stayed in so many hotels (including over 15 hotels while on crutches with a hard cast – I’m a pro at carrying breakfast – with coffee – to the table in a Ziploc) that I often try to use the previous week’s key in the current week’s hotel. And through it all, I’ve met many of you!

With each of these projects, I learn something that enhances my job performance. In some cases I learn a new and creative way of accomplishing a task. On other projects I learn how to better work with different personality types. I believe if I leave a project with the knowledge flow only going one direction, I’ve missed an opportunity to learn from some really talented people.

We work in such a cool industry with bright and interesting people. I am forever appreciative of that. And I am grateful to my clients, colleagues, friends, and family who have encouraged and supported me over the past four years. Thank you for four amazing years! I am so excited about the new faces, places, and challenges Year 5 might bring!

(See you next week with a more “normal” post about the legality of safety pilots!)

Greetings from McFarren Aviation Consulting!

Welcome to my new blog, McFarren Aviation Safety News. I am excited to get this blog rolling and share some experiences with you. McFarren Aviation Consulting (MAC) provides safety, security, and compliance consulting services to the GA industry. I work with Part 135 charter operators, Part 91 flight departments, FBOs, and flight schools to find practical, real life solutions to operational and safety concerns. I see companies of all different shapes and sizes in the course of my consulting work. I know one-size-fits-all, canned solutions don’t work in every company. I also know customized solutions don’t have to be cumbersome or exceedingly expensive. You can learn more about my company at www.mcfarrenaviation.com.

I believe the GA industry can be safer and more successful if we share our experiences. That’s the purpose of this blog – to share what I see in the field in the hopes you are able to take something helpful away from my experience. Some posts will be deadly serious – I’ll often be talking about safety, after all – but I am not the most formal or serious person you’ve (maybe never) met, so hopefully you find this blog entertaining as well as educational.

I know there are tons of aviation safety blogs and newsletters out there but this blog will not be focused on the academic. Instead, I’ll talk about issues you actually deal with on a day to day basis: preparing for a third-party audit or FAA inspection; increasing employee participation to make your SMS more relevant; dealing with the ever-changing world of Part 135 training requirements; and so on. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, mention it in the comments or send me an email (Lindsey@mcfarrenaviation.com) and if I’m qualified to discuss it, I will; if I’m not, I’ll send you to someone who is.

Now for some fine print before I really get started:

I am not an attorney. I don’t even play one on TV or in the movies. Any advice or suggestions are provided for educational purposes only. I can’t guarantee a method that was successful for another company will work for yours. Nothing I say on this blog (or ever- in any forum) should be construed as legal advice.

Confidentiality is absolutely critical in my position. Clients have to be comfortable sharing with me the good, the bad, and the ugly if I am to help them be the best they can be. I will occasionally use actual examples in this blog but no identifying information will EVER be used. Some stories will be purely hypothetical. (In other words, don’t give yourself away in a comment if you happen to see yourself in one of these posts. Be cool.)

I look forward to sharing more with you. Visit again next week to learn about some common operational and safety audit pitfalls. Or better yet, click “Follow” on the top or bottom of your screen so updates conveniently arrive in your inbox. (If you’ve never used WordPress before, you might need to enter and confirm your email address.) I promise not to flood you. I will typically post twice a month and you can “Unfollow” at any time.

Click here to return to or visit McFarren Aviation Consulting’s website.