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General Aviation Accident & Pilot Safety

Ask any pilot, safety is top priority when it comes to flying. General aviation accident prevention is the focus of our NTSB Debriefer. Learn keys to being a safe pilot with the articles below.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Weather Picture


The NTSB wants you to be able to see what’s happening in places you’re going to



The Weather PictureThe program that data shows isn't needed, according to the AOPA/EAA exemption petition, is the third-class medical requirement for pilots who fly day/VFR for recreation.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Setting Stabilized Approach Criteria


Just because the FAA doesn’t get specific doesn’t mean you don’t need criteria



Setting Stabilized Approach CriteriaWhen Asiana Airlines flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013, it became apparent very quickly that the Boeing 777 wasn't stabilized during the final portion of its approach to runway 28L.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Historic Replicas


They provide one way to keep the spirit of aviation’s history alive for future generations



Historic ReplicasAviation has a rich and colorful past and, over the years, many people have made noteworthy contributions to help keep history alive.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Engine-Out Landings


Management of remaining power and hitting all the numbers are keys to success



Engine-Out LandingsIf I were to declare that an approach and landing in a twin-engine airplane with one engine inoperative is essentially the same as a two-engine approach and landing.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pilots Popping Pills


Use of prescription and over-the-counter medications can be problematic for pilots



Pilots Popping PillsI recently stumbled across the study, which was sponsored by the FAA's Office of Aerospace Medicine. I don't recall hearing about it when it was completed in May of 2006.
Thursday, June 6, 2013

Safety Alerts


The NTSB has highlighted what it sees as five general aviation trouble areas



Safety AlertsRather than just hand-wringing at the inability of general aviation to bring its accident rates in line with those of the scheduled airlines, the NTSB is trying to cajole and educate pilots and others who might have some influence.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Improving Search And Rescue


Enhanced technology is available, but aviators have been slow to adopt it



Improving Search And RescueAs of mid-2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Satellite Operations Center in Suitland, Md., had about 355,000 of the newer 406 MHz emergency beacons registered in its SARSAT database.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Counting On The Instructor


How long should an instructor wait before correcting a student’s mistake?



Counting On The InstructorA student may show an initial tendency to move the bar in the direction of the desired turn.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Minimal Experience


What’s appropriate in terms of experience may not be found in the FARs



Minimal ExperienceBrowse through the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), and you'll see specifications for experience in many areas of piloting.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When Close Friends Get Too Close


Don’t assume that just because you’re friends, you can anticipate what the other pilot will do



When Close Friends Get Too CloseOne of the great things about aviation is that people are drawn together by this unique avocation as if they were members of a fraternity or sorority.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Reno Accident


Meticulous probing of wreckage led investigators to some tiny screws



The Reno AccidentThe chances are minimal that most pilots will ever find themselves in the same circumstances as did James "Jimmy" Leeward on September 16, 2011.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Adequate Airspeed


Fundamental failures by pilots still figure in some accidents



Adequate AirspeedWe've just about come to the end of another year in which the NTSB continued to fill its files with accident reports that read suspiciously like many of the thousands it already has on file.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amateur-Built Safety


The NTSB wants more done to improve amateur-built aircraft safety



Amateur-Built SafetyAccording to the NTSB, although the approximately 33,000 experimental amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft make up about 10% of the U.S.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Using NEXRAD Can Be Dangerous


The NTSB says don’t rely on NEXRAD without having this information



When Using NEXRAD Can Be DangerousToday, more information than ever before is being made available to pilots, both in printed and electronic formats.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lightning Enlightenment


The NTSB wants the FAA to provide real-time lightning data



Lightning EnlightenmentOn April 13, 2012, United Airlines flight 930, a Boeing 777, took off from San Francisco International Airport en route to London.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sharing The Sky


The birds were using the sky long before we pilots were



Sharing The SkyAlthough birds will take evasive action to avoid us, and lights can make us more conspicuous, there are times when their and our best efforts aren't good enough.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do As We Say, Not As We Do


Government advice sometimes is good for everyone, including government



Do As We Say, Not As We DoOver the years, you've no doubt heard urgings from various government agencies to always pay careful attention to the weather when you're in flying mode.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Helpful Suggestions


When someone makes a suggestion, it might be wise to listen



Helpful SuggestionsAviation seems to promote camaraderie among many of those who relish being part of this unique affinity group.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Setting The Selector


In some aircraft, you have to be a contortionist to see where the fuel-tank selector is pointing



Setting The SelectorIf you've flown a variety of aircraft, you know that some designers decided to make it awfully difficult to see for sure which fuel tank or tanks you've selected.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drinking, Driving And Flying


Just the prospect of facing FAA paperwork should make one think twice about misusing alcohol



Drinking, Driving And FlyingWhen FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned after being arrested by police in Fairfax City, Va., on a drunk-driving charge, some of my pilot acquaintances were quick to express astonishment at the irony of Babbitt himself likely having to face the bureaucratic hurdles set up by the FAA for pilots caught drinking and driving who want to continue flying.