Home' Journeys : Oct Nov 2015 Contents The snowfall was great on Monday. Business
was booming because people couldn’t go to
work so they all came in to my business and had
haircuts. My plans for the summer – I hope we
have a lovely warm summer so that I can spend
much more time outside in the pool and lazing around.
The snow did affect me – I was visiting
schools on the North West Coast with the
Young Tassie Scientists, talking to primary and
secondary students about science. We had a
couple of cancellations because roads were closed
by the snow but we are going to go back and visit
again. I must be one of the few people in Tasmania
who did not see any snow! I was here in 1986 when it
snowed in Taroona where I grew up – but I didn’t see
a speck of it this time. My plans for the summer – I
have recently completed my PhD and plan to spend
my summer relaxing like never before. I might even
take a holiday!
The snow didn’t really impact on me a great
deal. I do university in Launceston, so the
only effect it had was that I decided to drive
up the day before. I was looking at the weather
forecast and I thought if it is going to happen I’d
better get up a bit earlier. For the summer – I am
graduating from University so I suppose it is going
to be a time to relax a bit, put the books aside for
a little while and do some travelling – maybe to
the Gold Coast to see family or perhaps a little trip
The snow didn’t affect me too much. It did
mean I couldn’t travel on the first day of
heav y snowfalls, but the other days were fine.
For the summer, I plan to just stay at home and
maybe go to the beach and have a good time.
We live near Franklin and we were snowed
in on Monday. We had so much snow
that we lost power and everything – we had no
water or anything like that. We couldn’t get to
work and were snowed in for two days. Come the
summer we will have a new-born baby, so pretty
much all plans will be baby-related!
We asked – did the heavy snowfalls affect you during
winter this year? What are your plans for the summer?
I’m not the world ’s best driver. I make the odd mistake without
creating much road rage. After two million kilometres, I haven’t
hit anyone or badly damaged a vehicle (touch wood, right now!)
After all that time and a thousand hours in command of aircraft, I
may have a little advice to share about ‘staying alive’.
Aviation has invested heavily in accident research and the human
factors involved. An accident never has one single cause. With
cars, speed gets the high-profile blame and that’s understandable.
It’s easy to enforce and the message is simple to communicate. The
reality is that it’s simplistic. I’ll be daring and suggest the simplicity
undermines the reality of accident causation.
I’ll keep typing, as I anticipate computers warming up to send
messages of disagreement. I’ll stick my neck out further. There
are no such things as accidents regarding cars. Instead, there are
crashes resulting from a loss of situational awareness. Situational
awareness can’t be measured, but alcohol, drugs and speed can, so
they get full attention. They are significant parts of maintaining
the situational awareness crucial to staying alive on the road – but
they are not the complete story.
Aviation research shows that a crash is the result of a combination
of errors, mistakes and misjudgments. Normally we get away with
the odd mistake with no great drama. However, when a series of
these combine in the right circumstances, injury and death are
delivered without mercy.
The Reason Model of accident causation uses the analogy of slices
of Swiss cheese revolving around a common axis. Eventually
random chance allows the holes to line up. The holes represent
errors, mistakes, faults, distraction and weather conditions
that affect drivers and cars. When the holes line up, the result
is a crash. Pilots are trained to appreciate the significance of the
Reason Model. Instructors teach the importance of maintaining
situational awareness and the management of distraction.
Peter d’Plesse on staying alive by
maintaining situational awareness
Interviews and photos: Julianne Laker
8 Journeys OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015
IN OUR COMMUNITY
Links Archive Aug Sep 2015 Dec2015 Jan2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page