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General Aviation Accidents Concern Safety Organization

The National Transportation Safety Board has listed general aviation safety on its Most Wanted List of safety improvements for three consecutive years. Following last month's fatal plane crash in South Bend, Indiana, the NTSB issued five safety alerts intended to make general aviation safer. The NTSB cited the fact that more than 1,500 GA accidents occur per year in the United States and that the majority of those accidents are preventable. The safety alerts offer practical remedies to problems that are commonly associated with general aviation accidents.

NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman emphasized the importance of decision-making in general aviation. She pointed out that GA is made of individuals who are solely responsible for ensuring that flights and maintenance activities are conducted safely and in a timely manner. She referred to GA as "essentially an airline or maintenance operation of one." Two of the safety alerts were specifically geared toward risk mitigation for pilots and mechanics involved in general aviation.

The remaining safety alerts targeted specific topics that common to many GA crashes. The three issues covered are stalls at low altitude, flying with reduced visual references and the importance of paying attention to indications of aircraft mechanical problems. The safety alerts provide videos featuring air safety investigators intended to help the GA community avoid potentially deadly mistakes.

Over the past decade, more than 5,200 people have been killed in general aviation accidents. The safety alerts are part of the NTSB focus on making GA safer and protecting pilots, passengers and the public from harm.

Source: Aviation International News, "NTSB Seeks To Reduce GA Accidents," by Paul Lowe, 2 April 2013

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