The Krikorian Group

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Assessment Overview

© 2007, Steve Krikorian



Purpose and Goal

The purpose of a Krikorian Group flight safety assessment is to assist a company in achieving the safest flying organization possible; to focus on striving toward zero accidents and injuries. The assessment’s goal is to provide the company a meaningful measure of the likelihood their flying program might suffer a serious aircraft accident or incident, and provide suggestions for improved “safe-aware” operations, specifically tailored to the company to minimize risk.


The assessment attempts to identify any influence, at any level within the company, which may increase the risk of an aircraft accident.  Assessments examine a company’s aviation program from six different aspects called “assessment categories:” 1) the nature of the business, 2) corporate leadership, 3) company management, 4) pilots, 5) aircraft, and, 6) external flight ops support.  Within each category, specific “elements” are assessed for their impact on flying safety, either positive or negative. The company plays an important role in the assessment as people are interviewed, documents reviewed, industry data researched, and operations and maintenance practices are observed.  The assessment is as good as the participation of the company, and of course, the flight operations division. 



This typical bell curve distribution can be useful for many purposes.  Krikorian Group uses this tool for its flight safety assessments by defining the deviations as areas of increasing risk.  The graphic below represents the overall assumption of a Krikorian Group assessment:  companies flying airplanes for similar purposes will share common elements both measurable and distributable.

The bell curve tells us to expect 85% of these assessed elements rated as “average” or better; implying normal or lower risk of contributing to an accident.  Approximately 15% of an average company’s assessed elements would fall into the second and third deviations of higher than normal risk.  These are the elements of a flying program that pose the greatest risk of contributing to an aircraft accident.  The task is to identify those areas in need of attention and make improvements.

Bell curve drawn for discussion purposes and is not mathematically proportional

Bell curve drawn for discussion purposes and is not mathematically proportional

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Statistical Assumption

The Krikorian Group assessment method begins with the statistical assumption the vast majority of aviation programs examined will, by virtue of the common task of flying airplanes, share similar characteristics both measurable and statistically distributable.  Thus, the “average” company should closely model the familiar “bell curve” standard deviation distribution. 


For simplicity, a population norm, or what is considered average, is one standard deviation either side of the “mean” (statistical average) which encompasses approximately 70% of the data population, or for our purposes, 70% of a typical company’s assessed elements. 


Outside the norm are the second and third deviations, totaling nearly the remaining 30% of the data. The second deviation is about 12% while the third deviation will be a small 3%.  Thus, the second and third deviations are the extreme 15% of the curve, on both the low and high sides (thus, 30% of total).  

---------------------------    Experience and judgement make all the difference  ---------------------------