News Briefs and Press Releases

GAJSC Kicks Off 2017

This week, the GAJSC met in Washington, DC. At the meeting, the NTSB provided a detailed overview of the new eADMS for the storage, retrieval, and management of information associated with its aviation accident/incident investigations. This new eADMS is an important educational resource that will be beneficial to the work of the GAJSC and other safety improvement efforts.

The GAJSC also discussed recommendations for the FAA regarding the post-2018 safety metric. (The FAA’s current goal for GA safety is to have no more than 1.00 fatal accidents per 100,000 hours of flight by the end of FY18.) The GAJSC will revisit this topic in early 2018 to provide additional information to the FAA. Additionally, the GAJSC discussed expanding work on SE-41 (survivability) to help inform ongoing efforts related to aircraft technologies and structures. Finally, the FAA briefed the GAJSC on the safety benefits enabled through the new Part 23 regulations, including small airplanes certified for icing, reducing the risk of loss of control, and improving survivability by leveraging lessons learned from other modes of transportation.

Yesterday, NTSB Member Earl F. Weener met with the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team to present on NTSB’s Most Wanted List, general aviation accident statistics, and the GAJSC’s work. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team, an organization aimed at reducing the U.S. civil fatal helicopter accident rate, is adopting a process based on the work of the GAJSC and CAST to analyze U.S. civil fatal helicopter accidents and develop data-driven safety interventions. More information about the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team is available at http://www.ushst.org/.

NTSB Most Wanted List for Transportation Safety Improvements

This week, NTSB announced its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List for Transportation Safety Improvements. NTSB has been issuing the Most Wanted List (MWL) of advocacy priorities since 1990. This list marks a new two-year cycle.

mwlLoss of Control in Flight in General Aviation appeared on the list for the fourth consecutive year. In remarking on the topic at the MWL press briefing, Member Weener highlighted the work of the GAJSC in impacting this issue. Loss of Control was the focus of the GAJSC’s first two working groups, resulting in the publication of two reports. More information about the GAJSC’s loss of control-related safety recommendations is available here.

Of the other nine priorities, NTSB identified seven as applicable to aviation, including:

GAJSC Presentation at NBAA-BACE

Last week, GAJSC Safety Analysis Team co-chair Corey Stephens (FAA) presented on the GAJSC at “FAA’s Meet the Regulators” session at NBAA-BACE in Orlando, Florida. The session featured a panel of FAA’s senior leadership discussing topics including FAA’s new compliance philosophy, the ADS-B equipage mandate, and safety data sharing.

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GAJSC Fall Meeting

The GAJSC met this week (Oct. 12) in Washington, DC to review GA safety data, discuss the status of ongoing safety efforts, and deliberate on FAA/industry safety priorities. Among the updates the GAJSC received, FAA reported on the expansion of FAA Aviation Weather Cameras from Alaska to the lower 48 (see Safety Enhancement 12 – “Deploy cost-effective technologies that can provide real-time weather information (including actual conditions as viewed through a remote camera) at remote airports”).

At the meeting, NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart gave remarks on general aviation safety data. NTSB recently published 2015 aviation safety data, which indicates that the general aviation (Part 91) accident rate in 2015 was 1.09 fatal accidents per 100,000 hours, the lowest fatal accident rate on record. In 2015, the NTSB identified 229 fatal general aviation (Part 91) accidents and 7 fatal on-demand commercial (Part 135) accidents. Recently released FAA data suggests that general aviation flying was up approximately 3.7% in 2015 compared to the prior year. The NTSB’s press release, including a link to the 2015 statistical tables showing accidents, fatalities, and accident rates for major segments of U.S. civil aviation, is available here.

GAJSC Summer Meeting

The GAJSC held its summer meeting on June 23 at NBAA headquarters in Washington, DC. The meeting focused on the FAA Small Airplane Directorate’s road map for future safety technology and the GAJSC’s soon-to-be-released System Component Failure – Powerplant (SCF-PP) Report. The FAA is interested in taking steps to facilitate technology for new engines, including the introduction of electronic ignition systems for piston engines. The agency is planning specific outreach to the community on technology opportunities, and is also looking to stand up work to review a set of incidents tied to V-band clamp failures.

A recently released Fly Safe on the prevention of loss of control accidents discusses engine failures resulting from inadequate maintenance, and includes several important safety recommendations. Read more about preventing loss of control and proper maintenance at here. Also check out the May/June 2015 FAA Safety Briefing “Check Engine!” to learn more about engine data management systems.

FAA Safety Briefing May/June 2016: New Technologies for Pilots, Planes, and ’Ports

FAA Safety Briefing May June 2016The May/June 2016 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, New Technologies for Pilots, Planes, and ’Ports, is now available online. This issue features articles on the role technology plays in general aviation safety and what the FAA is doing to prepare for the future and make technology more useful. It also discusses some of the pitfalls of technology — including the ability to distract and disrupt decision-making skills.

In addition to technology-related Safety Enhancements in the GAJSC’s Loss of Control Work Group reports, look for new technology-related recommendations in the soon-to-be released System Component Failure — Powerplant report.

Previous issues of FAA Safety Briefing and GA Safety Enhancement (SE) Topic Fact Sheets are available online here.

GAJSC Meeting and GA Safety Summit

The GAJSC met on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 in Washington DC. The committee discussed ongoing work and received updates including briefings on NTSB’s work on PIREPs, FAA’s work regarding airport cameras, research into angle of attack indicators (AOAs), NATA’s misfueling program, and FAA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). The GAJSC also approved a revised Charter for the organization, available here. The GAJSC will meet again in Washington, DC in June.

On March 31, 2016, government and industry leaders participating in a GA Safety Summit at FAA headquarters. After the summit, FAA Deputy Administrator Whitaker released the following statement, “FAA and GA Community Are Making the Skies Safer”:

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The GA Survey Is Underway!

The 38th annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey for reporting on CY 2015 is underway! The GA Survey is an important source of information on the general aviation fleet, the number of hours flown, and the ways people use general aviation aircraft. This information is used to prepare safety statistics and calculate the rate of accidents. It also helps to determine funding for infrastructure and service needs, assess the impact of regulatory changes, and measure aviation safety.

Persons invited to participate in this year’s survey will receive a postcard invitation. Invitees can complete the survey online or use the paper copy of the survey that will be mailed to them along with a postage-prepaid return envelop. Invitees are asked to complete the survey even if they did not fly in 2015, sold their aircraft, or their aircraft was damaged.

Tetra Tech, an independent research firm, conducts the survey on behalf of the FAA. Survey information will be used only for statistical purposes and will not be published or released in any form that would reveal individual participants. Persons can contact Tetra Tech with questions at 1-800-826-1797 or infoaviationsurvey@tetratech.com.

Previous years’ survey results can be found at http://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/general_aviation/.

FAA Safety Briefing March/April 2016: Your Guide to Preventing Loss of Control

FlySafeThe March/April 2016 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, Your Guide to Preventing Loss of Control, is now available online. This issue features articles on loss of control — or “unintended departure from controlled flight” — a key focus of the GAJSC and the subject of two work group reports.

Articles in Your Guide to Preventing Loss of Control are intended to help pilots better identify the warning signs of loss of control, as well as fine tune their mitigation strategies and recovery techniques.GAJSC

The issue also contains an article on the GAJSC describing the history of the committee and it’s work to-date (see page 13).

Previous issues of FAA Safety Briefing and GA Safety Enhancement (SE) Topic Fact Sheets are available online here.