Wyvern creates UAS operations risk assessment evaluation program

By UAS Magazine Staff | October 24, 2016

John Meehan wants to bring the experience he gained working in the manned aviation industry with Fortune 100 companies to the unmanned aircraft systems industry. His team at Wyvern Ltd., a Pennsylvania-based aviation safety and risk management company, has created a system for major UAS commercial end-users to vet out potential UAS service providers. The system also helps UAS service providers enhance their safety profile and credibility for Fortune 100 firms that could be seeking their services.

“A lot of operators are trying to win business with a lot of big companies,” Meehan says. “They want to see operators that have a very robust and documented program for procedures.”

Through the newly created EXACT (excellence through assessment and continuous monitoring and training) program—a system designed to improve safety culture and the understanding of acceptable operations along with flight and risk mitigation—Wyvern can now benchmark the relative risk of one UAV operator against another, Meehan says.

The goal is to create a directory of certified UAV companies. According to Meehan, participants that go through the Wyvern EXACT program can negotiate better insurance premiums with their providers.

“We aren’t trying to make people look bad, we are working to make people do better. This should allow you to go back to your insurance provider and request a better premium because you are showing a much higher commitment to safety than the rest of the pack,” he said.

Operators can choose to participate in various assessment exercises that could include examinations of everything from sensor weights to operations manuals. Depending on the level of assessment, UAS operators could conduct the exercise through phone and email correspondence or through multi-week programs included on-site visits from the Wyvern team.


Typical Cause of Aviation Accidents

-70 to 90 percent of accidents are due to nonadherence of procedures, lack of training, bad decision-making and incorrect actions of personnel involved in maintenance, operations or design of aircraft.

-U.S. Military UAS accident causes: pilot error (53 percent); mechanical failure (22 percent); weather (12 percent); other (13 percent)