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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, 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.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stop Squeezing Them In


The NTSB wants the FAA to change the regs governing required seats and seat belts



Stop Squeezing Them InRemember the circus act in which a dozen clowns get out of the smallest car you’ve ever seen drive into the center ring?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Crosswind Component


The principle is the same whether you’re flying a 737 or an LSA



The Crosswind ComponentEnsuring that there’s a safety margin in everything we do is fundamental to aviation accident avoidance.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hazards Of Extreme Flying


You have to know when you’re too close to crossing the line



Hazards Of Extreme FlyingEnsuring that there’s a safety margin in everything we do is fundamental to aviation accident avoidance.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Buyer Beware


Whether it’s a new or used airplane, don’t rush when doing your prebuy inspection



Buyer BewareYou might think that FAA airworthiness, inspection and record-keeping requirements virtually guarantee that any airplane you buy is going to be in superb condition.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Great Places Not To Have An Accident


Don’t spend so much time looking at scenery that you neglect to look at flight necessities



Great Places Not To Have An AccidentOne of the truly wondrous things about general aviation is the ease with which you can reach vacation sites that would be a hassle via road, ferry or airline transportation.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Light-Sport Safety Record


Tracking 2009 incidents



The Light-Sport Safety RecordWhile the NTSB’s preliminary statistics show that the number of general aviation accidents dropped again last year, as did the number of people killed, the estimated number of hours flown also dropped, resulting in a slight increase in both the overall and fatal accident rates.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monitoring What’s Going On


Managing pilot workload



Monitoring What’s Going OnIndividuals who have passed their FAA written exams and practical tests don’t necessarily have the knowledge and skills to become trustworthy pilots.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Analyzing Pilot Performance


The NTSB’s findings on the Colgan Air crash



Analyzing Pilot PerformanceNTSB investigators were able to assemble plenty of data to reconstruct what happened on board the Colgan Air Bombardier DHC-8-400 that crashed at Clarence Center, N.Y., on February 12, 2009.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recognizing You’re In Trouble


Fatigue can cause pilots to fall behind



Recognizing You’re In TroubleOne of the most important skills for pilots to possess is the ability to recognize when they’re falling behind in an unfolding scenario. Frequently, pilots who fall too far behind experience accidents and are immortalized in NTSB accident reports.