NTSB chair praises AOPA, ALEA safety efforts

February 5, 2013

A robust response to NTSB recommendations drew praise for AOPA and the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

Following investigation of the August 2010 crash in Alaska that killed former Sen. Ted Stevens, NTSB recommended educating pilots on the importance of briefing passengers about emergency procedures, and the location and use of emergency communications and survival gear on board. In response, the Air Safety Institute created a video and downloadable passenger safety briefing card that remains available, free of charge, to all.

"This is a perfect example of an organization embracing not only the letter, but the spirit of our recommendation," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "This will result in a higher level of safety for general aviation passengers, who often are friends and family."

Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Foundation, said AOPA was happy to oblige.

“We prepared a safety briefing that every pilot can and should use,” Landsberg said. “People are familiar with the airline safety briefings, but we wanted general aviation pilots to know that it’s part of their responsibilities to make sure that their passengers know what to do if something is wrong. And in that light we were more than happy to follow the NTSB’s recommendation, and we appreciate their recognition of our work.”

Hersman also recognized the prompt response from ALEAC, which implemented NTSB recommendations made following the investigation of a 2009 New Mexico State Police helicopter accident. The board urged rest standards to prevent pilot fatigue, instrument training, and encouraged installation of flight tracking equipment and 406 MHz emergency beacons. The Air Safety Institute also created an Accident Case Study on this accident to illustrate that good, even heroic intentions, must be tempered by sound operational judgment.

"The fact that the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission implemented all of the NTSB's recommendations in just six months is to be highly commended," Hersman said.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore | Online Associate Editor, AOPA

AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.