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Seminar examines trying new things to reduce accidentsSeminar examines trying new things to reduce accidents

Lessons learned from investigating loss-of-control accidents involving general aviation aircraft, and new ideas to reduce the often-fatal mishaps, were in focus at a National Transportation Safety Board seminar held in partnership with AOPA and the FAA in Ashburn, Virginia, May 14.

Analyzing the causes of accidents resulting from loss of control remains a high priority for the independent safety agency because those mishaps account for about 40 percent of fatalities in general aviation, the NTSB pointed out in presentations including remarks by featured speaker and NTSB Board Member Earl Weener, and in discussions of accident investigations and the resultant safety recommendations.

George Perry, senior vice president of the AOPA Air Safety Institute, provided an update on two safety initiatives, both in early stages of development.

One, a joint effort with the Experimental Aircraft Association, the National Association of Flight Instructors, the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the FAA Safety Team, is working to create “a high-quality, industry-supported flight review,” he said.

The other initiative, a joint effort between AOPA and the University of North Dakota, is studying the benefits of adopting a circular airport traffic pattern as an alternative to the traditional box-shaped pattern.

Perry said that GA accident rates “are getting better but there’s much more that can be done. Finding improvements in safety will only come if we try new things. The fundamental idea behind the flight review effort is to provide pilots with a curriculum that focuses on accident prevention and avoidance. The circular pattern is designed to leverage known best practices and employ a technique used widely throughout other sectors of aviation and provide pilots an opportunity to fly safer in the landing phase of flight.”

The loss-of-control seminar was the eighth in a series focused on GA accidents.

“Unfortunately, the circumstances for these accidents are often repeated over time, thus precipitating a need for change in this area. Reducing general aviation accidents remains a high priority for the NTSB and this seminar is one effort in that mission,” the NTSB said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, Pilot Training and Certification, Safety and Education

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