Posted by: Jason Shaffer | January 2, 2013

Winter Flying


Never let the aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn’t get to five minutes ago.  This holds especially true when operating in wintery conditions.

As I watched the first snow flurries fall in middle TN the other day, I was reminded of a story an old Army instructor pilot shared with me.  He was assigned to a Blackhawk unit in Korea that was scheduled to fly an early morning mission.  The unit’s aircraft were normally kept in a heated hangar overnight, but for reasons he could not recall, the aircraft were left tied-down outside.  The following morning, the crew went out and performed a preflight inspection before sunrise.  Snow found on the aircraft was cleared away, but ice on the rotor blades went unnoticed.  Nothing seemed unusual about the start sequence, until they noticed the ground personnel diving for cover and heard a loud thud from the rear of the aircraft.  After exchanging a “what the hell was that?” expression with his co-pilot, he performed an emergency shutdown.  Walking back to the tail rotor, he discovered that the undetected ice had shed off the rotor as it spun up, resulting in a softball (or maybe snowball?) size hole in the tail rotor pylon.

Winter weather requires that certain considerations be given to possible consequences before attempting a flight maneuver.  For example, you wouldn’t want to bring the helicopter to a stationary hover over a fresh blanket of snow.  This could potentially result in a whiteout condition, requiring an instrument takeoff (ITO)-type maneuver to climb above your self-inflicted IMC situation.  Were this to happen at a controlled airfield, it could result in some unnecessary tap-dancing by ATC to maintain traffic separation.  The safest approach is to expect the worst when preparing to hover in snowy conditions.  Always assume a whiteout condition will result from your actions, and leave yourself an out. This mindset, coupled with proper preparation, will make for a safer flight.  Pilots should also take the time to consider the surface they are landing on.  Snow can make a sloped surface appear level, and mask obstacles like rocks, logs, holes or small children.  Again though, if you prepare for the worst and treat all landings as possible slopes you’ll be prepared to react accordingly.

It’s too late to talk about training when you’re white-knuckling the cyclic and praying you didn’t just go inverted because you’ve got Spatial-D over a snowy field.  The time to review hazards associated with winter flying is now, while you’ve got a beverage of your choice in hand and Mr. Gravity doesn’t seem like such an angry guy.  Identify the hazards to your flight, and then develop control measures that will effectively mitigate these risks.

If you would like to know more about Jason Shaffer, Winter Flying, aviation insurance, helicopter insurance or aircraft insurance, please don’t hesitate to call him at CS&A Aviation Insurance, 800.999.1109. Don’t forget to check out or web site, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Brent Anderson | December 26, 2012

ICE and Airplanes


We are once again in that time of year when aviation magazines, FAA flyers, safety programs and recurrent training instructors are placing emphasis on “ICE” and “AIRPLANES”.  Why?  Unlike ice in your tea, ice and airplanes do not mix well together.  It is not our intent here to repeat all the information you may have received regarding the dangers of ice, but rather to touch on the highlights, offer some pointers and discuss some areas you may not have considered.

Your awareness of a hazard is the first step in managing it.  Here are some basic facts to help you see the overall picture of accidents relating to “ICE” and “AIRPLANES”.  The following statistics are based on General Aviation including personal and business operations.

First of all, to keep General Aviation flying safety in proper perspective:

  • We can expect one accident for every 17,052 hours of flying. (stats from 2006)
  • We can expect one fatal accident for every 82,958 hours of flying. (stats from 2006)

Considering this, the average pilot could expect to fly many lifetimes without having an accident.  At the same time, more than 1,500 General Aviation accidents are likely to occur this year.  Historically speaking, over two-thirds of General Aviation accidents involve personal flights conducted by non-professional pilots, while only a small fraction involve professional pilots flying corporate business aircraft.  One statistic that is of concern:

Seven out of ten General Aviation weather-related accidents are fatal. 

In accidents where icing is a contributing cause, the leading factors are:

Induction Icing – 52%
Structural Icing – 40%
Ground Accumulation – 8%

For some interesting reading, see National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB) Accident number NYC04LA044 at

To learn more about the basics of the different types of icing, click the article link below to find out how you need to prepare yourself and your aircraft to handle icing, or in some cases, to not handle it.

read more here: AIRM – ICE & Airplanes (Full Article)

 Find out more information about:

  • Assess the possibility of icing conditions on your route of flight
  • Evaluate your aircraft’s ability to handle icing – WHILE IT’S STILL ON THE GROUND

* Online weather sources you might want to try:

If you would like more information about this article, click the link above or feel free to contact Brent Anderson at CS&A Insurance. Call us at 800.999.1109 or follow us on the web at Also check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | December 17, 2012

Succession Planning


At every organization, there are key employees who are integral to the survival of the company. These individuals may be top executives, owners, shareholders or those who have expert knowledge of company processes and services. To preserve the organization in the event that one of these employees leaves, many human resources professionals engage in succession planning. This is the process by which you determine specific critical roles within your company, identify and assess possible successors for these roles, and provide these successors with the necessary skills and training for future opportunities. By creating a careful plan of action, your organization can ensure the least business disruption in the event that a key employee leaves.

Need for Succession Planning

Organizations need to develop initiatives to prepare for employees who unexpectedly quit, move to a different position within the company, are terminated or fail to fulfill the role they were hired for in the organization. Recruitment and training of top talent can be difficult, time consuming and expensive, particularly when trying to fill a vital position that was suddenly vacated. It is generally more effective to recruit from within to fill these roles and succession planning can make this process more efficient.

Succession Planning Process

The following activities are typically part of the succession planning process:

  • Determining the roles and skills critical to the company’s growth
  • Identifying key employees who could fill other roles in the event of a vacancy
  • Identifying and understanding what employees filling those positions will need to effectively make the transition
  • Starting to train backup employees on various roles to prepare them for a possible unexpected role shift
  • Ensuring that all high-level employees recognize and understand their career paths and the roles that they are being trained to fill
  • Identifying key employees in all areas of the business and working to ensure they are highly engaged and satisfied with their role and the organization itself
  • Understanding the time needed to back-fill key roles
  • Reviewing, evaluating and improving the succession planning process as role filling takes place

Losing a key employee can be devastating if you are not prepared. Succession planning can help ensure minimal interruption so that your business can continue as usual.

Please see our video on Succession Planning for your personal affairs as well as your businesses.

If you would like more information on Succession Planning please feel free to contact Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | December 12, 2012

Mary Lewis on Burglary, Kidnap and Ransom Coverage

Click the video above to hear Tom Chappell and Mary Lewis of CS&A Insurance discuss coverages for Burglary, Kidnap and Ransom. These are not overly discussed today but are becoming real concerns for home owners and business people. High net worth individuals need to know that they can become targets of these types of crimes and to protect your valuables as well as your self and other loved ones is something that should be talked over and discussed with your insurance agent and other advisers. One example is valuables such as Diamonds, Furs, Bonds Certificates, and precious metals and jewelry in your home safe… Are your valuables protected? Most premium carriers such as Chubb, Firemen’s Fund, ACE and AIG/Chartis offer products to cover these types of incidences.

Link to Video on YouTube:

If you would like to know more about Burglary, Kidnap and Ransom coverage on your insurance policy please don’t hesitate to call Mary Lewis with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109 for more information.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel where you’ll find a lot more information that concerns your personal and business insurance. Check out our web site, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | December 5, 2012

Succession Planning

Gary Thompson from CS&A Insurance discusses Succession Planning for the Business Owner. Are you prepared for the future? Have you set in motion a plan to carry on your business in the event of retirement or company disaster. If you are a business owner and wish to carry on your business into the future then succession planning is a crucial topic that needs to be addressed with you and your directors and officers.

If you have any questions about Succession Planning or Retirement Planning please do not hesitate to call Gary Thompson at 800.999.1109. You can find more information on our web site Also you can follow us on Twitter:

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | December 3, 2012

The Cost of a Bad Hire


A formal hiring process is a critical step in helping a company avoid a bad hire. One bad employment decision can lead to several pitfalls for a business.

So you’ve found the perfect potential employee. They handle themselves professionally, are well groomed, and have all the right answers to the questions. Your gut tells you this person is going to be a perfect fit for the company, and you know they will be a great hire. You don’t bother to call any references or run a background check. Too many employers rely on their own judgment and read of people when making their hiring decisions.

Most employers understand creating a safe work environment is extremely important, however few realize this process needs to start before a hire is even made. Take a business where making deliveries is a daily task for a typical employee. The company fails to perform the necessary motor vehicle checks when hiring a new employee. The employee arrives his first day on the job, is handed the keys to a company vehicle, and off he goes. The employer is unaware this new employee has 3 speeding tickets and has been in 3 “At-Fault” accidents. All of the company’s assets are now riding in the trunk of the vehicle driven by the new employee. It will only take one accident and the entire company will be at risk.

Many businesses do not want to incur the costs associated with proper pre-employment screening and background checks. Employers need to realize the costs associated with a formal hiring process are a fraction of what is at risk if a wrong employment decision is made. A bad hire can not only result in higher insurance premiums but can lead to even larger issues, including the livelihood of the entire company.

If you have questions or comments please leave a reply to this post. If you have more specific questions please don’t hesitate to call Travis Wright at CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109 Today! You can also check out our website, Thank you.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | November 21, 2012

CS&A Insurance Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving!

I never thought I would have to go through a Christmas section in a store to pick out a Halloween costume for my kids.  It seems “Christmas Season” keeps getting longer and longer each year as the marketing and merchandising starts earlier and earlier.  The stores know if they can get you to buy sooner you will buy more because the effect of the early purchases will go away and you start to wonder if you “have enough” and just one more thing is “ok”.  It saddens me to hear people wish Christmas would just hurry up and get here and they can’t wait for Christmas to be over.  I feel much of society is drug through the Christmas season without ever taking the time to stop and appreciate it for what it is supposed to be.  It is a hectic time of year and unless we dictate as individuals and families what we will and will not allow ourselves to do, the time and experience will get away from us.

With this thought in mind I can’t help but think about Black Friday. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us and it’s really easy to forget that there are others with the same goals and obstacles on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is notorious for accidents, rude and here in the recent years violent people not only on the road but also in the stores. Please remember to be courteous, selfless, hospitable and caring. It’s not worth being hurt or hurting someone to get the last low priced laptop or iPad. Next year there will be all new widgets and cogs for you to wonder about and haggle over. Please remember those in need as well.

This is a time of year to give Thanks and Love to everyone. We are all humans and need each other to make this world be better.
CS&A Insurance wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | November 21, 2012

Worried about picking up germs in public?

Have you ever been on an airplane and the guy in front of you is coughing and sneezing? What’s going through your mind? I know what is “great now I’m going to be sick”! There are germs everywhere we go but there are a handful of locations that scare us more than others for example clinics, hospitals, daycares, restaurants etc…

AmFlow Incorporated has a product that eliminates 99.99% of all bacteria that cause odor and illnesses such as Staph, H1N1, E-Coli, Salmonella, Strep, MRSA, and Mold. Employers can now very affordably control the germ/flu season by utilizing AmFLow’s antimicrobial chemical spray and help eliminate sick days in turn keeping production at full capacity.  The spray itself can be used anywhere and only takes 18 minutes to dry before the germs/viruses are killed. Protect the important people in your life by having this product utilize at your place of business or even your personal home.

For more information please see this document from Amflow, Inc. : Doc..pdf
or Call them at 615.866.9274 or

Posted by: Brent Anderson | November 16, 2012

Litigation and Scared Passengers

Well, litigation is still alive and well.  In the insurance industry we are always concerned about making sure aircraft owners have adequate insurance coverage for their passengers “bodily injury”.  “Bodily Injury” means physical injury sustained and includes sickness, disease, mental anguish and death.  Recently we have been reminded it doesn’t take physical injury to generate a lawyer’s interest.  All you really need to do is scare the crap out of your passengers and watch the lawsuits fly.

In Chicago early this month passengers on Polish Lot Airlines filed a lawsuit against Boeing, where they are headquartered, claiming both physical and psychological damage. They contend there are design flaws in the 15 year old 767-300ER which led to the hydraulic system leak resulting in a gear up landing at the Warsaw Chopin Airport.  The pilot made a well executed gear up landing and no one was injured.  The passengers praised the crew as heroes at the time.  During the aircraft recovery a ground power unit was connected and a circuit breaker was reset and the alternate landing gear extension system lowered the gear.  Oop’s, did we forget to check something?     Since the aircraft flew from Newark (EWR) to Warsaw the passengers had plenty of time to worry and be scared so this should help build their “mental anguish” case.

Plane Crash Plane Crash

This week we see another wild ride in a Cessna Citation 525B crash. Apparently no serious passenger injuries but based on the security camera video it would certainly scare the passengers enough to excite some lawyers again.

Here is a quote from the Mission Statement for American Tort Reform Association:

“Today, America’s $246 billion civil justice system is the most expensive in the industrialized world. Aggressive personal injury lawyers target certain professions, industries, and individual companies as profit centers. They systematically recruit clients who may never have suffered a real illness or injury and use scare tactics, combined with the promise of awards, to bring these people into massive class action suits. They effectively tap the media to rally sentiment for multi-million-dollar punitive damage awards. This leads many companies to settle questionable lawsuits just to stay out of court. These lawsuits are bad for business; they are also bad for society. They compromise access to affordable health care, punish consumers by raising the cost of goods and services, chill innovation, and undermine the notion of personal responsibility.”

If there is one thing I see repeatedly its claim settlement to avoid court costs.  It angers the insured even though it is his own insurance company working on his behalf.

The next time you go flying, be sure you don’t scare the passengers; it might cost you more.

If you would like more information on Brent Anderson visit his bio page or if you would like more info on CS&A Aviation Insurance don’t hesitate to call Brent at 800.999.1109 or visit our web site.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | November 13, 2012

Health Care Moment Video Blog

Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance posts his first Vblog on Health Care Reform. What will employers have to do next to stay compliant and avoid penalties by the government for Obama Care/Health Care Reform. Check out the first in the series of Video Blogs from Gary a Trusted Adviser with CS&A Insurance at the link below:

If you would like more info on Gary or CS&A Insurance please call 1.800.999.1109 or visit our web site:

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