Hi-Viz jackets work. Ever since I have worn one I have never been attacked by a snake, bitten by a crocodile, caught fire, run over by my own aircraft nor been poisoned. But I have been rained on many times and what's really poor, loads of people (I have truly lost count) have tried to run me over because "They didn't see me". I've also lost count of the times I've been caught without wearing a jacket - so how did the goons see me?
However, here's the rub. No jacket, reduced compo so you could say I wear the jacket for my kids!
You all seem to have forgotten the Crossair Captain struck and killed by a vehicle at Manchester while doing his walkround check in the dark. I think that was the trigger for Hi Viz on the apron.
However, I was having my car fixed on the hard shoulder by the RAC a few years back. The guy put on his Hi Viz. He told me that if he is wearing the Hi Viz and gets killed while doing his job his family gets an additional insurance payment. The jacket will not save his life. It might reduce the risk. But he wears it because it is his family's interest for him to wear it.
Now look at aviation. I was doing jump seat flights a few years back. I boarded with the pax and did a few sectors. When we finished I was on board with the crew, pax all gone. How do I now get back to the terminal with no Hi Viz. We could radio for someone to bring a jacket out or the crew could form a cordon around me and we could pray that we don't get seen. Small regional airport. Only room for 4 aircraft. We went for Plan A. No aircraft movements, no ramp activity, 3pm on a sunny day but the Captain wasn't prepared to risk it. This is the wrong approach to developing a 'safety culture' - The RAC used the carrot method, we use the stick.
Last edited by turbocharged; 6th Mar 2010 at 19:35.
You all seem to have forgotten the Croassair Captain struck and killed by a vehicle at Manchester while doing his walkround check in the dark.
With respect, this poor guy was run over by three guys messing about in a baggage tractor. One was steering, one doing brakes and the other on the go-pedal. He was sandwiched between the tractor and the aircraft's hold and died from blood clotting complications after his legs were operated on. Manchester, showing they had "a proactive approach to safety," started to get heavy with those not wearing Hi-Viz jackets. Nothing quite like a smokescreen to hide the real problems at an airport - too many morons!
Remember, if you make rules for fools, all you end up with are fools.
I could except the "hi vis" if the regulations said it should be used at night or in low vis............... but No! the blanket enforcement of "hi vis" use tells me that they are for the protection of the insurance company's and inforced by those who cant get a real job.
I worked with a police helicopter unit once. The Chief Pilot had specifies that all crew wear flying overall with hi viz strips on the arms and legs. He told me that whenever another unit came in to act as cover he could tell something about the 'culture' by their manner of dress. As soon as the blades stopped turning out came the leather flying jackets and baseball caps. People reckoned that they looked like 'firemen'. But he reckoned that it was better that his crews were visible than that they were fashionable.
The manner of enforcement on hi viz may leave a lot to be desired but an individual's response to having to wear hi viz jackets is an indicator of their attitude to the concept of safety.
This may sound sad but even when I'm travelling as pax I always carry a hi-viz & wear it when I'm walking from the apron to the terminal (as is invariably the case with the lo-co carriers) - odd looks maybe, but that better than the crowd you'd get round you on the floor in a pool of your own blood!
I've spent far too much of my life airside dodging juvaniles in baggage trucks & tugs who drive around with their heads up their rear ends - figure if I can be seen slightly better they at least have time to realise they're going to hit me!!
Although, there is an "in" joke in the company which goes something along the lines of "if you're wearing hi-viz you're fair game...." !!
I can see an argument for High-Viz jackets on a regional airport; but not in GA.
For me, airside safety is about staying alert and giving way to the aeroplane, because you have more ability to manoevre on your two feet then lets say a taildragger crabbing down the taxiway. On that basis, I wouldn't consider it a worthwhile investment to buy a jacket.
However, the CFI at my local club obviously disagrees with me, and mandates the wearing of high-viz jackets airside. But at least he does loan them for use without charge, so I can't really complain.
I don't rate hi vis jackets at all, at least not in an airport environment. The brain processes mainly shape rather than colour, and the torso / shoulders is one of the primary cues we use for spotting one another.
Now, if you are lost at sea or standing by a road at night then obviously it'll help, as the viewer sees a bright object against a dark background. But your typical airport pan is bathed in bright orange light, and covered in things that are either white or already painted dayglo.
All a dayglow jacket does is break up the distinctive "human" shape and just provides the viewer with one more bright object to be lost among all the others in their field of view.
So, whether a hi vis jacket *actually* helps you be more visible is highly situational.