December 30, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
The National Transportation Safety Board, in a year-end reminder about safe flying, has spotlighted five basic precautions for pilots to focus on to prevent accidents.
In five newly issued safety alerts, the NTSB called pilots’ attention to the topics of aircraft occupant restraint systems; engine power loss due to carburetor icing; emergency locator transmitters (ELTs); securing items in an aircraft cabin; and proper use of fiber or nylon self-locking nuts, which it said have sometimes been inadequately inspected or installed, resulting in accidents.
The Dec. 27 release follows up the issue of five safety alerts at a March 2013 NTSB meeting that focused on common types of general aviation accidents. A safety alert is a brief discussion of a particular safety hazard and its practical remedies. Thirty safety alerts have been issued since 2004, including five as videos.
"Knowing these accidents, which sometimes include entire families, can be prevented is why 'General Aviation Safety' is on our Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "At a time when many people are putting together their list of resolutions for the coming year, these five Safety Alerts remind pilots, mechanics and passengers of basic safety precautions to add to their checklists to ensure a safe flight for all on board."
Each year, the NTSB investigates about 1,500 U.S. aviation accidents, including approximately 475 fatalities.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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