By Mary Grady
The NTSB issued five safety alerts on Tuesday that aim to highlight the five most frequent errors that cause general aviation accidents. “We see the same types of accidents over and over again,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “What’s especially tragic is that so many of these accidents are entirely preventable.” The alerts remind pilots to develop effective risk-management strategies, pay close attention to maintenance issues and always conduct a careful diagnostic flight after leaving the shop, be vigilant when flying at night or in reduced visibility, and be sure to understand stalls and how to prevent them. One alert, aimed at mechanics, reminds them to carefully follow procedures when conducting inspections and maintaining aircraft.
The safety board is creating short videos to complement each of the alerts, which will be available online within the next few months. The videos will feature regional air safety investigators sharing what they learned from the many accident investigations they conducted, and offering advice on how pilots and mechanics can avoid tragic mistakes. “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.” The five safety alerts issued today, as well as others that have been issued since 2004, are posted online. The PowerPoint presentations that investigators made to the board on Tuesday also are archived online. Video of the board meeting will be posted online for 90 days.