Australia’s transport safety investigator has called on general aviation pilots to make smarter decisions in the air and before flight.
The alert from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) came after the fatality rate of general aviation pilots failed to improve over the last decade, with many deaths coming from accidents that could have been avoided.
‘General aviation pilots continue to die in accidents that are mostly avoidable,’ said Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner at the ATSB. ‘The major contributors to those fatalities have remained the same.
‘We all know that “accidents only ever happen to other people”, but in aviation, pilots rarely get second chances. These avoidable accidents are an aviation challenge worldwide, not just in Australia,’ Dolan added.
The ATSB identified and published booklets on the seven key areas GA pilots make in leading to ‘avoidable accidents’. These include:
- Low-level flying
- Wirestrikes, involving known wires
- Poor management of partial power loss after take-off in single-engine aircraft
- Visual flight in instrument meteorological conditions
- Poor fuel management
- Over-reliance on flying experience
- Visual flight at night
The ATSB also mailed all Australian flight training schools and aero clubs in an effort to highlight the concerning safety trend to the GA community.