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NTSB Adopts Five New Safety Alerts for GA Community
March 13, 2013 - The National Transportation Safety Board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt five new safety alerts aimed at reducing the number of GA accidents, which have been on a decade-long plateau. Safety alerts, or brief information sheets pinpointing safety issues and practical remedies to address them, would focus on the main accident causes determined by the NTSB's investigative data, which are:
- Reduced-visual-reference accidents, including controlled flight into terrain and uncontrolled descent to the ground due to spatial disorientation
- Aerodynamic stalls at low altitude in daylight visual weather conditions
- Pilot inattention to indications of mechanical problems
- Risk management for aviation maintenance technicians
- Risk management for pilots
Chairman Deborah Hersman said that over the past decade, "the GA accident rate has plateaued, with repeated crashes and needless loss of life. Today we meet to discuss what we, the NTSB, can do to bring the accident rate down."
It was stressed that the new alerts are neither a package of safety recommendations nor regulatory changes/rulemaking. Rather, they're a new technique to try to get the word on safety directly to GA pilots and mechanics and provide them with information to incorporate into their flight preparations so they might be more able to hand crisis situations should they arise.
The NTSB is also creating five short (three- to five-minute) videos - one for each alert - it plans to roll out in the spring. They'll feature regional air safety investigators sharing their experiences and observations of the many accident investigations they've conducted, as well as advice on how pilots and mechanics can avoid mistakes that can result in tragic consequences.
"GA is essentially an airline or maintenance operation of one, which puts the responsibility for sound decision making on one person's shoulders," Hersman said. "We are promoting and distributing the alerts to reach pilots and mechanics who can benefit from these lifesaving messages."
Outreach efforts will include type clubs, GA organizations, major events like AirVenture and Sun 'n Fun, and other methods.