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Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents

Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control AccidentsThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) community’s national #FlySafe campaign helps educate GA pilots about how to avoid loss of control (LOC) accidents.

A 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.

LOC is the number one root cause of fatalities in GA accidents. More than 25 percent of GA fatalities occur during the maneuvering phase of flight. Of those accidents, half involve stall/spin scenarios.

Stay safe! This series will show you how you can incorporate safety into every flight.

Change is in the Air  

In the past, the FAA focused on a narrow path when it came to building a safe airplane. Today, we realize that there are other and better ways of reaching that goal.

The rewritten Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 23 Airworthiness Standards for Normal Category Airplanes regulations covers airplanes weighing 19,000 pounds or less and having 19 or fewer passenger seats. The rewritten Part 23 regulation eliminates the old prescriptive regulations and replaces them with performance-based metrics, coupled with consensus-based compliance methods for specific designs.

This new regulation offers a way for industry and the FAA to collaborate on new technologies, while keeping pace with evolving aviation concepts.

This approach recognizes there is more than one way to deliver on safety. The new format enables faster installation of innovative, safety-enhancing technologies, while reducing costs for the aviation industry. It implements forward-looking, flexible rules that encourage innovation. The rule also adds new certification standards to address GA loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions.

Part 23 also promotes regulatory harmonization among the FAA’s foreign partners, including the European Aviation Safety Agency, Transport Canada Civil Aviation, and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Authority. Harmonization may help minimize certification costs for airplane and engine manufacturers and operators of affected equipment, who want to certify their products for the global market.


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 2017 through September 2018, 382 people died in 226 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. 

Learn more: 

The new Part 23 has been streamlined, and is now better than ever. Means of Compliance (MOCs) can be found here.

See the May/June 2019 issue of FAA Safety Briefing which focuses on performance-based aircraft certification for general aviation and what the Part 23 rewrite means for you.

Learn more about Autopilots through this AOPA training brief

Time is getting short!! The FAA’s Equip ADS-B website gives you the information you need to equip now.

Curious about FAA regulations (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations)? It’s a good idea to stay on top of them. You can find current FAA regulations on this website.

The website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars, and more on key general aviation safety topics.

The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements.  It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (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.

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