FAA Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) community’s national #FlySafe campaign helps educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.
A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.
What is a “Smart” Cockpit?
Imagine taking advantage of the automation available now to make your flight as safe as possible. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) has determined that pilots who use “smart” procedures, including automated checklists for normal and emergency operations, predictive aircraft performance, and performance monitoring, might help reduce their chances for an accident. Is that a good thing? YES!
The “smart” cockpit takes advantage of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), electronic ignition and engine control, interconnected devices, and flight information stream flow. ADS-B is the first step.
The ADS-B equipage date is firm: All aircraft flying in designated controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics by January 1, 2020. Only aircraft that fly within uncontrolled airspace and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt.
Those who have already equipped know the advantages of ADS-B. It provides more precision and reliability than the current radar system. It also provides improved aircraft position data, which is critical in collision avoidance. ADS-B In has a data link for environmental information, which can also be used for air traffic control (ATC) communications , notices to airmen (NOTAM), and up-to-the-minute temporary flight restriction information.
Time is running out. There are only 21 months left until the deadline. If you have questions, see the FAA Equip ADS-B website.
Electronic Ignition and Engine Control
If your car has a start button, you know what this is all about. Electronic Engine Control (EEC) systems are more reliable, more efficient, and less costly to purchase and maintain than analog systems. EECs evaluate input from engine and environmental sensors hundreds of times per minute, which keep your engine running at peak efficiency for your operational environment. Those same sensors will also give you a clear picture of your power plant’s health. If there’s a problem, a light will let you know you need to schedule maintenance.
Interconnected devices turn your cockpit into an information powerhouse. Air-to-ground data links can provide air traffic clearances and instructions as well as current weather and field condition reports and NOTAMs.
Link your phone to access even more information safely and securely. You’ll be able to see where you’re going without “fumble-fingering” your route. Information is transferred directly from your flight plan to your aircraft. This is not technology of the future. It’s here and ready to use, today!
Flight Information Stream
With a flight information stream, you can get complete information on your aircraft’s health from a variety of internal and external sources that are available now, or will be soon. This information can be formed, updated, and presented in a graphical and text form.
In the future, ATC communications and aircraft configuration will be integrated, and smart checklists for normal and emergency operations will appear as needed. With all that information, the aircraft will be able to predict performance in takeoff, cruise, approach, and landing operations. Imagine knowing how much runway you’ll need for every take-off and landing!! Smart! By taking advantage of the “smart” systems available, you’ll increase the safety and efficiency of your aircraft, and you’ll have a lot more time to do what you enjoy the most: flying!
Message from Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Every month on FAA.gov, we provide pilots with Loss of Control solutions developed by a team of experts — some of which are already reducing risk. I hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.
More about Loss of Control, Contributing factors may include:
- Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
- Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
- Intentional failure to comply with regulations
- Failure to maintain airspeed
- Failure to follow procedure
Pilot inexperience and proficiency
- Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol
Did you know?
- From October 2016 through September 2017, 247 people died in 209 general aviation accidents.
- Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.
- Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
- There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days.
The GAJSC is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.