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AOPA responds to continuation of GA on NTSB’s Most Wanted List
AOPA cites increased safety initiatives
Frederick, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) acknowledges the decision by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to list general aviation (GA) as one of its annual “Most Wanted” advocacy priorities for safety, while noting increased collaboration with the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on focused safety initiatives.
Many of these efforts have decreased GA’s accident rate and helped to reduce fatalities caused by general aviation accidents to 444 in 2011, according to figures provided by the NTSB, down from 596 a decade ago. But, continuous focus on new initiatives and programs to improve safety is required.
“AOPA has been a leader in the study and prevention of accidents and our dedication to improving GA safety through online courses, safety videos, live seminars and publications continues,” said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Foundation and the Air Safety Institute. “These training efforts reached 1.9 million people in 2011, and they are on track to meet a similarly high number of aviators this year.”
Several training tools created by AOPA’s Air Safety Institute (ASI) this year were in direct response to NTSB requests. The first was a program developed as a result of an NTSB safety recommendation for better preflight safety briefings of passengers in the event of pilot incapacitation after an accident. This video helps encourage pilots to spend more time, and be more thorough, in providing basic post-accident survival information to passengers prior to flight.
Additionally, ASI developed this year, at the NTSB’s request, an online course in cooperation with the Air Care Alliance regarding humanitarian flights. The course’s flight profile and interactive decision-making scenarios quickly help viewers understand how volunteer flying demands professionalism and responsibility that goes far beyond that of a leisurely personal flight.
AOPA has also sponsored a number of programs to better educate pilots about thunderstorms and weather avoidance. In June, ASI conducted a series of instructive programs entitled “Storm Week” that attracted 51,000 viewers. In its Most Wanted report, the NTSB identified weather-related accidents as an area of concern.
Separately, the Air Safety Institute has also taken a leadership role on the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC), a government-industry group that manages efforts to reduce fatal general aviation accidents.
”AOPA has been especially involved in the committee’s focused, data-driven approach to improving the safety of GA,” said Robert Hackman, AOPA’s vice president of regulatory affairs. “It is our hope that by using proven procedures we will identify the causes of accidents and apply common sense, mutually agreed upon strategies to prevent such accidents from occurring again.”
Finally, AOPA is very supportive of the FAA’s work with industry and other civil aviation authorities to develop a performance-based approach to airworthiness standards for general aviation airplanes. The new rules will allow for the installation of safety enhancing equipment in a more cost-effective and less cumbersome way. The FAA’s goal is to set an international standard whose adoption will lead to a reduction of fatal accidents and certification costs by 50 percent.
- AOPA -
November 14, 2012