Reserve Colonel Itai Alon, head of the safety and security at the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategy in Herzliya says that training sorties are quite common over foreign terrain in order to give Israeli Air Force personnel more experienc
 
סוג מדיה:  רדיו
מקור:  רק"ע
תאריך:  27/07/2010
שעה:  20:35:27
תכנית:  Kol Israel English 20:30
אורך:  05:28
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Newscaster: Reserve Colonel Itai Alon, head of the safety and security at the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategy in Herzliya says that training sorties are quite common over foreign terrain in order to give Israeli Air Force personnel more experience.
Itai Alon: It is common, there are mutual exercises of course within NATO forces and coalition forces, so it''s very common to train in other places. Especially Israel is such a small country, and the training area is so limited, and the ranges for live munitions and so forth are so limited, so Israeli Air Force pilots they know it by heart, actually almost no surprises when you fly within the borders of Israel. So it''s very very important for them to train in other areas to be familiar with different type of weather, different type of terrain, and different type of communication, because the communication is done in English usually, different accents, and a very important experience that they have to require.
Newscaster: So what was this Air Force personnel specifically training for in Romania, and this unit, what''s its main job?
Itai Alon: The job of this helicopter is usually for the transfer of forces and equipment, it has many many different assignments and jobs to carry on, and training abroad is part of it.
Newscaster: It seams like almost a very simple exercise to transport troops from one place to another.
Itai Alon: It can be very simple, and it can become very complicated, let''s say if you''re involved in heavy weights, high altitudes, bad weather, a simple task can become very complicated. So it depends on the circumstances.
Newscaster: On a more personal note, do you, in your professional standing, do you happen to know any of the pilots and technical people that have been lost on this accident?
Itai Alon: Yes, one of them was living, we shared a house when I lived in Tel Nof, the Air Force base, it was a house with a separating wall, and we shared the same building.
Newscaster: As Ha''aretz this morning says, these accidents do happen, I suppose in your profession, you''re fatalistic that sometimes this happens, you''ve come to terms with it?
Itai Alon: What can we do, when you go on the road, there is a chance you will get into a car accident or whatever. Of course the idea is to bring it down to minimum and to zero, but it doesn''t always work. But we don''t accept it as part of the game, we try to do everything that accidents will not happen again, and of course not to repeat mistakes that were made before. If there''s something we can fix we do it.
Newscaster: And do you think as your position as safety in research, do you think things are getting better, safer, the air is getting safer?
Itai Alon: That''s for sure, the statistics show that we are improving all the time, the question is always how to make the next step, we made tremendous progress during the 80''s, then the 90''s, and during the last decade, we had very good statistics. Of course zero is something very hard to achieve, but we had also in the Air Force 2 years of zero sever accidents, which is great. But when you''re talking specifically about Israel and Air Force, or the Civil Aviation, we''re talking small numbers, and staying on zero, statistically, it''s almost impossible, although this is the goal.
Newscaster: And where''s the next step going, where''s the next frontier that you have to conquer in terms of safety?
Itai Alon: Technologically, I think we are doing very very good with the reliability and level of the systems, so what we have to work is the human factor issue, and the safety management system and the culture, which is quite good, I''m not saying there is, you can''t look for something, a miracle, it''s hard work, and it continues, and because we are looking at such low numbers, there is no major steps that we can take. So just improving the gathering of information, the debriefing, the analyzing, let''s say the management of safety we can improve there. But I don''t see any bright lights. And we are in good shape, don''t forget it.
Newscaster: Reserve Colonel Itai Alon from the Fisher Institute.