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FAA Summer Flying Safety Review

FAA Summer Flying Safety ReviewLast year right before Memorial Day weekend, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta sent an open letter to general aviation pilots asking them to “make sure you’re ready — really ready — to fly.”

According to the FAA, loss of control, primarily stalls, are the cause of about 40 percent of fatal GA accidents. The FAA’s goal is to reduce the GA fatal accident rate by 10 percent by 2018. To help achieve this goal, the FAA has been working with aviation groups and manufacturers to develop three steps to improve flying safety.

  1. Better reporting and sharing of key data throughout the aviation community. The intent is that this will help identify risks and prevent them from causing fatal accidents.
  2. Enhance pilot testing and training. The FAA has been working with the flight instructor community to improve GA safety through improved flight instructor training, most notably recurrent training. Additionally, the FAA is partnering with the aviation academic community to leverage their expertise and develop best practices for improving flight training.
  3. Develop design standards to improve a group of airplanes, and streamline the certification process for safety technologies. The focus of the enhanced design standards will be smaller Part 23 airplanes, both new and older aircraft, including piston-powered airplanes and executive jets. The new technology being explored will address stalls, and help prevent pilot error with terrain avoidance equipment.

To help ensure we all have a safe and fun summer flying season, here are some safety tips and reminders from the FAA’s Fact Sheet on General Aviation Safety.

  • Brush up on your skills by flying with a certified flight instructor. No matter how long you’ve been flying, there’s never a down side to improving your skills.
  • Pay special attention to the weather and be willing to fly another day if conditions are beyond your capabilities.
  • Talk with fellow pilots about safety as often as you can to help instill a community-wide safety culture.
  • Don’t be afraid to intervene if you see another pilot doing something unsafe. Saying or doing something to help another pilot will save lives.

Updating of technology

The FAA is also calling on the aviation community to install life-saving equipment, including angle of attack indicators, inflatable restraints and two-axis autopilots in existing GA airplanes. The FAA is also overhauling training and testing standards to bring them up-to-date with current technology while incorporating risk management and decision-making skills.

Also visit the FAASTeam’s website www.faasafety.gov and register online for a good resource for pilots to help improve their skills and knowledge. The site contains online pilot training materials and includes courses to help a pilot avoid the pitfalls of VFR flight into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).

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