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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, 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.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

May I See Your Driver’s License?


Data proving you don’t need an FAA medical certificate to be safe comes as no surprise to many



May I See Your Driver’s License?Others believe the resources the FAA devotes to medical certification could be put to better use elsewhere.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Air Race Accidents


Safety in air racing depends on the airplane as well as the pilot



Air Race AccidentsThe death toll quickly rose to 11, including the pilot with about 70 injured.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fire In Front


In a fire scenario, aircraft control can be lost at any moment



Fire In FrontAccording to a search of NTSB data, in 2010, there were only four general aviation fixed-wing accidents investigated that involved in-flight engine compartment fires.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fuel Imbalance


Wing heaviness may be a minor annoyance or a genuine threat to safety



Fuel ImbalanceMost pilots know what it feels like when an airplane is wing heavy because there's more fuel on one side than the other.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Ted Stevens Accident


It looks as if we’ll never know exactly what happened



The Ted Stevens AccidentThe NTSB says cockpit recorders might have helped shed better light on exactly what happened in the accident in which former U.S.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Broken Brakes


There are times when the risk of not stopping should stop you from going



Broken BrakesNot too long ago, I was looking forward to an hour or so of poking holes in the sky in a Piper Cherokee 180.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Accepting A Bad Situation


It’s better to accept a poor outcome than to create a disastrous one



Accepting A Bad SituationWhile a pilot needs to evaluate the consequences of making any decision, he or she needs to know that revising a decision is likely to make a bad situation even worse.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting A Few Winks


There was an outcry after a controller fell asleep, but concerns about tired controllers aren’t new



Getting A Few WinksSecretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt led the outcry of indignation when news broke that the lone controller on the overnight shift at Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington had fallen asleep
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Tight Is Tight?


Even if you’re really thorough, you can’t always tell during preflight whether something is coming apart



How Tight Is Tight?Prominent on its list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements for 2011 is an assessment by the NTSB that the FAA needs to speed up improvements to procedures and equipment in order to help eliminate runway incursions.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adding Air Bags And Harnesses In The Air


We take air bags and shoulder harnesses for granted on the ground



Adding Air Bags And Harnesses In The AirProminent on its list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements for 2011 is an assessment by the NTSB that the FAA needs to speed up improvements to procedures and equipment in order to help eliminate runway incursions.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Close Calls On The Runways


Having a clearance doesn’t always guarantee that you’re clear



Close Calls On The RunwaysProminent on its list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements for 2011 is an assessment by the NTSB that the FAA needs to speed up improvements to procedures and equipment in order to help eliminate runway incursions.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Midair Over The Hudson


One digit in a radio frequency might have made all the difference



Midair Over The HudsonAs a result of its investigation of the August 8, 2009, midair collision over the Hudson River, the NTSB says it’s time for the FAA to improve the information it offers to pilots about avoiding collisions.