The AOPA Air Safety Foundation introduced its latest safety seminar, "Collision Avoidance," at AOPA Expo 2000 today.
While safety in general aviation has shown a continued overall improvement, there has been a slight increase in the number of midair collisions. ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg said, "There were 15 midairs annually in 1997 and 1998, but 18 in 1999 and some very high-profile collisions this year. It's too early to call that a trend, but it's not too early to be proactive on prevention."
In response, ASF developed a new, free seminar addressing collision avoidance.
"The seminar dramatizes typical collision scenarios and involves the audience in discussing ways to avoid them," said John Steuernagle, ASF vice president of operations.
Using an interactive video presentation and audience discussion, seminar participants will learn the most common collision scenarios and where they are likely to occur.
While most midair collisions occur within five miles of an airport, many pilots may be surprised to learn that 20 percent of midairs happen in cruise flight. Those accidents are usually attributed to inattention by both pilots. In most cases, the midair would not have happened if just one pilot had been scanning for traffic.
The seminar teaches effective procedures to locate and track traffic and how to get the most help from air traffic control. Pilots will learn about "empty field myopia" and why just glancing out the windshield isn't enough to spot a collision threat.
Pilots will also learn how to cope with distractions. The session also includes cockpit resource management principles for effective collision avoidance.
"Runway safety and avoiding ground collisions is also a vital part of this seminar," noted Landsberg.
In addition to teaching collision avoidance techniques, the seminar will also discuss new traffic separation technology such as TCAS, TCAD, and ADS-B.
ASF's "Collision Avoidance" seminar will be conducted at more than 150 locations across the United States. All pilots in seminar areas will be advised of seminar time and place by mail. A schedule of all ASF safety seminars is available online or by calling 800/638-3101.
Attendance is free of charge and open to all. Pilots are encouraged to bring their frequent passengers with them to learn how to help scan for traffic.
Funding for this important Air Safety Foundation project was provided by the Department of Defense, the Air Transport Association, Ryan International, and pilot donors to ASF.
Now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is the largest private, nonprofit organization in the United States providing research, safety education, and training to the nation's general aviation pilots.
October 20, 2000