May 23, 2013
By Jim Moore
Advice from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta echoes many of the same points made by flight instructors across the country: take care, know your limits, train, and prepare.
Huerta issued a letter to the general aviation community May 23, a personal appeal to all pilots to make sure they are ready for each flight as the summer season gets into full swing.
Huerta, referencing a recent meeting of various GA organizations and FAA officials to discuss safety and noting the number of fatal GA accidents has remained “stubbornly flat,” appealed to pilots to “make sure you’re ready—really ready—to fly.”
Huerta urged pilots to take advantage of training opportunities, including flights with an instructor to brush up skills, along with online training. The Air Safety Institute has a large catalog of online courses available, and type clubs are another resource.
“Know the weather for every flight and know whether you can handle it,” Huerta continued. “If not, wait and fly another day.”
Huerta also urged pilots to talk about safety with fellow pilots in the hangar, and “instill a safety culture in everyone around you.” The administrator also urged pilots to intervene if they see something unsafe.
Huerta urged pilots to use special care, understand personal strengths and limitations, and establish and use a personal minimums checklist. “If we each make that commitment, then together we’ll reduce fatal accidents,” Huerta wrote.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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