The head of the National Transportation Safety Board told AOPA President Mark Baker that he supports AOPA’s development of a new course to educate pilots on medical health and well-being. NTSB Chairman Chris Hart made the comments during a meeting June 11 in Washington, D.C.
AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Institute are developing the course to help pilots increase their knowledge of aeronautical medical factors and circumstances that may affect their fitness to fly. Hart agreed that “an informed pilot community” with a solid understanding of how to perform medical self-assessments and greater knowledge of the effects of over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs is in everyone’s best interest.
“We appreciate Chairman Hart’s interest in general aviation’s concerns and his support of our efforts to educate pilots about aeromedical issues,” Baker said. “And we look forward to continuing to partner with the NTSB and other GA organizations to continue the long-term improvements we’ve seen in general aviation safety.”
AOPA and the Air Safety Institute are in the process of finalizing and testing the new course, which should be available by the end of the year.
The meeting followed an appearance by Hart at AOPA’s Homecoming Fly-In on June 6. During his fly-in remarks, Hart told the audience that the NTSB wants to avoid “perspective views” on accidents and focus on the information that comes from accident investigations.
The NTSB is responsible for investigating aviation and other transportation accidents. Earlier this year, the agency named GA loss-of-control accidents among its top concerns. The Air Safety Institute provides a number of free online courses aimed at reducing loss-of-control accidents and is participating in the “Fly Safe” campaign, a joint FAA-industry effort to reduce loss-of-control accidents by educating pilots about their causes and how to prevent them.