May 8, 2012
By Jim Moore
While data has shown a slight improvement in recent years, general aviation continues to be dogged by accidents with the same causes—and results—year after year. The National Transportation Safety Board will convene a two-day GA safety forum in June, and pilots are encouraged to participate.
The forum, "General Aviation Safety: Climbing to the Next Level," will take place at NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C., and be led by NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman. All five board members will take part, along with representatives from industry, government, academic, and professional associations. Discussion will focus on improving pilot training and performance, access to and use of weather information, and aircraft design and certification.
"Each year, hundreds of people are killed in general aviation crashes, and thousands more are injured," Hersman said in a news release. "Tragically, the circumstances leading to these accidents are often repeated over and over, year after year. If we are going to prevent future fatalities and injuries, these common causes must be addressed."
In 2011, according to the most recent available NTSB data, there were 263 fatal GA accidents, with 444 lives lost—a very small decline from the 2010 totals of 268 fatal accidents and 454 fatalities.
The NTSB added GA safety to its Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements in 2011.
Admission to the two-day forum is free and open to all, and the event will also be webcast. The forum will take place at 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W. Washington, D.C.
Safety and Education
With a closing speed of about 900 knots, Air Force pilots on a training mission have seconds to aim and shoot heat-seeking and radar guided missiles at a drone target. Their success came from repeated rehearsals. But as author Larry Brown writes, “there is nothing like the real thing to gain experience.”
AOPA staff members updated attendees of the Montana Aviation Conference Feb. 27 through March 1 on the association's involvement in issues that affect pilots.
Pilots from Maine and New England turned out in numbers for the annual Maine Aviation Forum hosted by EAA Chapter 1434.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.