The degree to which the SMS discipline compels aviation safety professionals to take a 360° view of safety risks, to collect data from multiple sources and to take preventive actions is ONE OF THE REASONS for the current record of reduced risk. The below troika of articles shows how SMS integrates information and then develops actions designed to avert major problems.
The 1st data point comes from Singapore Air Cargo. One of its B-747Fs was loaded with 2,186 goats. According to a leading goat animal scientist [this may/may not be an Aggie joke], when stressed, the Capra aegagrus hircus have a propensity to flatulate at a high rate. The capacity of the goat herd to emit gas (1) triggered the smoke detector on the aircraft and caused the pilots to declare an emergency and land the plane and (2) the increase in the gas within the plane deformed the hull.
The 2nd information incorporated into the SMS process was an announcement by DoT Secretary Foxx who proclaimed:
“We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport…Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure.”
Two of his modal administrations, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration issued an interim final rule, prohibited e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-hookahs, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems from checked baggage.
The final policy announcement came from the FAA. Lithium ion batteries, another ignition source, were banned as items in checked baggage. Spare (uninstalled) lithium ion and lithium metal batteries may only be transported in commercial flights as carry-on baggage.
So the SMS analyzer came to the conclusion that when goats are on a plane, neither e-cigarettes nor lithium ion batteries may be in the cargo or passenger cabins.
Flatulence + ignition sources = likely disastrous consequences for airplanes. In technical statistical terms, that’s a “conflatulence” of data meriting attention.