The Blue Hawk Needs Analysis

Your firm or personal travel solutions should be reviewed regularly for efficiency, cost effectiveness and a positive impact on productivity.  The optimal aviation program will help to drive growth, shareholder value or fully meet personal requirements, while the wrong solution can be a costly, inefficient nightmare.

Blue Hawk Aviation provides expert aviation and aircraft advisory services and can match companies, individuals and families with the safest, most efficient private aviation solution.  We are equally adept at periodically evaluating existing corporate aviation solutions relative to current and projected requirements, as well as finding the optimal solution for companies and individuals new to private aviation.

Factors related to safety, cost, scheduling, operations, contracts, and FAA regulatory compliance vary greatly between service providers.  Blue Hawk has the experience to analytically determine you or your firm’s true requirements and objectively find the best private aircraft travel solution(s) to meet these requirements.  Additionally, Blue Hawk can advise on negotiations, partnerships, purchase arrangements, upgrades and delivery issues.

Blue Hawk represents our client’s interests alone. We do not receive or accept referral fees or other consideration from service providers or vendors.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for references and to discuss how our services can benefit your clients.

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Blue Hawk System Safety Training

Blue Hawk recently delivered its half-day system safety training program to 188 senior managers and leaders at East Jefferson General Hospital.
The program includes sessions on:

  • Introduction to aviation safety
  • Mishap/adverse event investigation and human factors analysis
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Operational Risk Management

The training concludes with an interactive break-out session focused on a relevant medical adverse event investigation, including root cause analysis and human factors classification.

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Blue Hawk Aviation Services

Blue Hawk recently completed an aircraft performance analysis for the Ochsner Clinic Foundation.  Our analysis focused on validating vendor proposal claims, to include an analysis of aircraft performance as well as helipad location and limitations.

Blue Hawk Aviation can:

  • Establish/validate aviation program financial and performance requirements
  • Validate vendor proposals and/or assess vendor performance
  • Determine most efficient aviation solution or combination of solutions
  • Manage aircraft or vendor selection, negotiation and acquisition processes
  • Develop personal or corporate aviation program
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Great Article on New Orleans’ “New” Business Climate

New Orleans is booming! The business climate has significantly changed for the better, start-ups are at a nation-leading level, regional unemployment is among the lowest in the nation, and that critical piece, access to start-up and growth capital has also finally started to change for the better.  The following article by Forbes summarizes very well just some of the positive changes and developments since Katrina:

The following quote from the article gives some idea of the fantastic progress that has been made by New Orleans and Louisiana as a business environment:

Besides recently topping the list of America’s fastest growing cities by the U.S. Census Bureau, New Orleans has earned high rankings across several other areas, further confirming the prominent opportunities available in the city. In fact, Forbes named the Greater New Orleans Area No.1 Metro for IT Job Growth and No. 2 Best Big City for Jobs in the United States.  Other accolades have included rankings as the No. 2 Employment Market in the Country, America’s Best City for School Reform, top city for entrepreneurs on two separate lists, and No.1 on the list of America’s Biggest Brain Magnets for drawing people under the age of twenty-five with college degrees.

The state’s progressing business climate has been the biggest factor in luring new industries and people, putting Louisiana on several accredited lists, as well.   The state is currently leading the nation as the No. 1 state for exports and No. 2 for imports, No. 3 in film production, and No. 1 state for economic development growth potential by Business Facilities 2012 State Ranking.

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Aircraft Categories and General Characteristics

Brian Hennessy, Blue Hawk Aviation, LLC

Business aircraft fall into one of several categories, based generally on related capabilities such as size and range.  The preliminary result of any effort to determine if private or corporate aircraft should be used by a company or individual, should be a determination of which category (if any) best fits the majority of true requirements.  Focusing on specific airplane models too early in the process or on a category/type of aircraft that meets 100% of requirements can lead to purchasing an aircraft that doesn’t meet performance or cost requirements.

The basic categories of jet powered business aircraft are as follows:

Turboprop Aircraft are very efficient at flying relatively short distances, although these aircraft fly more slowly and have less range than all but the smallest business jet aircraft.  Acquisition cost of these aircraft vary greatly, but in general are significantly less than jet aircraft while operating costs are roughly 35% less than the smaller classes of business jets.

General turboprop aircraft characteristics are:

  • Jet engines drive one or more propellers
  • Very efficient at shorter ranges
  • 25,000 to 30,000 foot typical operating altitudes
  • Very short takeoff and landing distances
  • Some are certified for short/unimproved runway operations
  • 600 to 1000 mile range
  • 4 to 6 miles per minute cruise airspeed
  • 6 to 8 passenger typical seating

By general convention jet aircraft are categorized by size, and with size comes range.  Jets operate most efficiently at higher altitudes and airspeeds than propeller driven aircraft, yet as with most things, speed comes at price.  However, for some owners that are considering a turboprop purchase for longer range flights (approximately 500+ mile trips), a smaller jet may actually be more efficient due to the fact that they will arrive at their destination faster and therefore accrue lower operating costs for that specific “trip”.  Of course, the higher acquisition cost of the jet must be considered as well.

General jet categories and characteristics are:

  • Very light jets
    • 5.5 to 7 miles per minute cruise speed
    • 4 to 6 passenger typical seating
    • 30,000 to 43,000 foot typical operating altitudes
    • 1000 to 1200 mile range (overlaps with some turboprop aircraft)
    • Shorter takeoff and landing distances allow for more usable airports
    • Operating costs approximately 35% greater than turboprop aircraft
  • Light jets
    • 5.5 to 8.5 miles per minute cruise speed
    • 6 to 9 passenger typical seating
    • 30,000 to 45,000 foot typical operating altitudes
    • 1000 to 2000 mile range (overlap with some turboprop aircraft)
    • Shorter takeoff and landing distances allow for more usable airports
    • Operating costs approximately 15% greater than very light jets
  • Midsize jets
    • 5.5 to 8.5 miles per minute cruise speed
    • 6 to 10 passenger typical seating
    • 30,000 to 45,000 foot typical operating altitudes
    • 2000 to 3000 mile range
    • Operating costs approximately 25% greater than light jets
  • Super midsize jets
    • 5.5 to 8.5 miles per minute cruise speed
    • 6 to 15 passenger typical seating
    • 30,000 to 50,000 foot operating altitudes
    • 3000 to 5,000 mile range
    • Operating costs approximately 35% greater than midsized jets
  • Heavy and large jets (includes derivatives of commercial airliners)
    • 5.5 to 8.5 miles per minute cruise speed
    • 10 up to 50 or greater passenger  configurations
    • 30,000 to 45,000 foot typical operating altitudes
    • 4000 to 7000 mile range
    • Operating costs approximately 35% greater than super midsized jets

A Blue Hawk Needs Analysis can objectively determine true requirements and help determine if private or corporate aviation (including ownership, jet cards, fractional, charter and partnerships) is right for you or your company.

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Top Ten Medical Mistakes

Interesting piece by CNN.  It’s  no secret that human error accounts for over 80% of adverse outcomes, across virtually all industries.  A system safety approach coupled with a successful safety culture has been proven to drive dramatic reductions in adverse outcomes.

Blue Hawk offers Safety Cultural Surveys for hospitals and other medical organizations.

Our survey will help define an organization’s shared values and behaviors with respect to safety. Research indicates that, compared to employees who work for hospitals with a weak safety culture, employees who work for hospitals with a strong safety culture are more motivated to follow safety procedures, and are consequently less likely to commit patient safety violations.

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Automation and Aviation Safety

Brian Hennessy

May 4, 2012

(This letter is a slightly edited version of a letter to the editor of the New Orleans Times Picayune Newspaper submitted by Blue Hawk Aviation)

The current safety record in commercial and military aviation is the envy of all other industries, and represents years of relentless cultural, technological and training progress.   At the center of this success is a complex and incredibly effective system which recognizes the fact that human error drives over 80% of all mishaps, (this is true across virtually all industries).  The system has evolved through the development of a “culture of safety” and includes tools and concepts like management commitment to safety, automation and pilot training programs; and standardization of pilot, maintenance and dispatch practices.  Together, these serve to identify and “trap” the errors that humans will inevitably make, before they can lead to a mishap (James Reasons’ “Swiss Cheese model of system safety makes for a great introduction to this subject).

Despite the current levels of safety in commercial and military aviation, there are few experienced pilots that wouldn’t agree with the FAA’s recent assertion that “hand flying” aviation skills are suffering due to automation in modern aircraft (  While automation has saved untold numbers of lives over the past 70 years in aviation, the bar is correctly set at zero fatalities in aviation.  The interface between the airplane’s automation and the pilot is simply another area where errors can develop, and for which the system must compensate for.

Thankfully, we have the tools to identify and trap these errors before they lead to mishaps.  Airline training programs that have been reduced from seven weeks to four due to relentless financial pressure must be expanded again, and should place more emphasis on hand flying skills and recognizing the errors that can develop when automation fails or is misunderstood.  Further, both pilots flying in the cockpits of commercial aircraft should also be required to earn an FAA Airline Transport Pilot license, with its requirement of 1500 hours of flight time.  Current FAA regulations allow First Officers (Second in Command) to control a commercial airliner with only a Commercial Pilot Certificate.  This “ticket” can be awarded to a pilot with only 250 flight hours.  At the controls of a commercial airliner with 90 or more passengers is not the time for “on the job training”.  Simulator training companies may claim differently, but there is simply no substitute for flight time in an actual airplane as a young pilot.

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