August 22, 2013 - The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) second Loss of Control Working Group met for the final time last week in Brisbane, California. The group is composed of subject matter experts from the aviation industry, academia, and the FAA, and is charged with taking a data-driven approach to mitigating the cause of fatal accidents.
Loss of control (LOC) is by far the most common factor in fatal accidents, and this group specifically focused on those fatal LOC accidents occurring during departure and en route flight. A previous iteration of the group studied approach and landing accidents.
As a result of its analysis of a random sample of accidents over the past decade, the group has recommended several safety enhancements be adopted by the GAJSC for implementation. All are non-regulatory in nature and require the FAA and industry to jointly buy in. EAA has proposed a safety enhancement that promotes the optional use of test pilots in flight testing amateur-built aircraft, in response to examination of two accidents that occurred during the early stages of Phase I testing.
"Our work over the past year has been a very worthwhile process," said Tom Charpentier, EAA government advocacy specialist and EAA's representative on the group. "The action items we developed are achievable and will have a measurable impact on flight safety while avoiding any additional regulatory burden on pilots. This process is a great example of how government and industry can work in partnership to increase safety."