June 7, 2007
At least the steep spiral has stopped, but things are far from getting better for Lockheed Martin's handling of the flight service station (FSS) system.
A recent survey among pilots shows that there were no significant changes in briefer professionalism, knowledge of local geography, and familiarity with equipment. Nearly half rated briefer meteorological knowledge as "poor" or "very poor." The June 22 survey was a follow-up to one conducted on May 29.
While 24 percent of respondents in the follow-up survey said service had improved over the past 30 days, 36 percent thought it had become worse. Overall, respondents said the rapid decline in performance has at least leveled off.
"Service has gotten marginally better, but it's still bad," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "We'll continue to hold Lockheed's feet to the fire until we see better results."
The follow-up survey also found:
Lockheed Martin has been collecting its own performance metrics, but the rosier numbers don't jibe with real-world pilot experiences. The company is far from reaching the performance goals in the contract. For instance, 85 percent of the calls are supposed to be answered within 20 seconds.
AOPA will be meeting with Lockheed officials next week to continue to press for improvements. To keep up with the FSS situation, see our blog.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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