#36 | Aviation Accident / Disaster Planning & Preparedness w/ Aviem’s Russell Goutierez


Reality check: bad things can happen to good business aviation flight departments. From single-owner planes to management company aircraft to Fortune-sized corporate jet fleets, accidents and disasters do happen. IF an accident or disaster occurs, how do we deliver care and compassion for the people affected and preserve the company image (read, maintain market value)?

The answer today comes from Russell Goutierez who's extensive background in disaster planning experience, front-line accident-management execution, and real-world emergency-response perspectives provide an eye-opening view into planning and preparedness for the darkest day one may encounter in business aviation.

Today he's the Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Aviem International, a company that provides disaster support services for high-consequence business sectors including rail, energy, airline, and corporate aviation.  Our conversation on the somber topic was revealing, packed with takeaways, and a must-listen for those who own or operate a business aircraft.

Avoid Reinventing The Disaster Response Wheel

Like so many topics in business aviation, disaster planning, preparedness, and response has been “figured out.” Today, precise programs, products, and services can assist with proper, and legal, actions should an accident occur on your watch.

Science. Research by Dr. Carolyn Coarsey has shown us that across industries, countries, and demographics… how your organization reacts to a disaster/accident influences the aftermath the most. People require care and compassion first… and a “human” company statement second.

So, Where Do We Begin?

Questions. Within your organization, ask: “What can we handle?” and “What would we need help with?” This self-appraisal will reveal the “thin ice” that requires assistance… from call center set up to media plans to family assistance and more. Ask, “IF our aircraft runs off a runway and injures/kills associates, what are our first, second, third steps… what relationships do we need in place now to best tackle such a situation?”

What Do We Need To Provide?

Russell reveals that no matter the mechanism (rail, industry, aviation), science shows us that peoples' needs are the same. Those touched by the event want to know you're sorry (i.e. human response vs. company statement) from the very top of the organization. They want to know what what's next logistically…what's the plan now while respecting unique rituals. And, they want to understand what happened.

From an operations lens, securing documents, setting up support services, and recovery/remediation sequences should start. I couldn't help but think,

“This stuff matters… emotional and tactical responses to an accident need to be planned and practiced… there's more to this than meets the eye.”

Consider a Third-Party Partnership

Companies like Aviem are extensions of your brand and specialize in assisting business aviation owners and operators with immediate action plans in response to an aviation disaster/accident. From preparation scores to full-scale functional response tests (drills), Russell and Aviem make complying with both ethical and legal “do the right thing” obligations simpler.

What's Your Prep Score?

Russell and Aviem are offering a no-charge/obligation “Preparation Score” review of your current accident/disaster response plan.

By identifying certain reliable indicators, Aviem applies a litmus test to locate ethical and legal plan gaps that could erase peoples' confidence in your operation and a market's confidence in your financial outlook.

No matter your accident/disaster plan's status today, consider contacting Russell this week to learn what your operations preparedness level is today.

(NOTE: The Private Jet Podcast receives ZERO compensation should you decide to utilize additional services from Aviem.)

Mentioned In The Show

Aviem:  When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies

Russell Goutierez  on LinkedIn

Russell's Email:  Russell.Goutierez@Aviem.com

LinkedIn Transportation Special Assistance Group


From 1 (not prepared) to 10 (totally prepared), how response-ready is your business aviation venture should bad things happen to your good operation?

What “one thing” can you do today to improve your preparedness?

Share your experience and perspective below. Or, email me directly at: tom@privatejetpodcast.com.

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    #36 | Aviation Accident / Disaster Planning & Preparedness w/ Aviem’s Russell Goutierez