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Sunday, July 28, 2013

NTSB General Aviation Safety Alert Videos

Earlier in 2013, the NTSB announced they had a list of five common safety issues affecting general aviation and that they would be producing written materials (which you can find here on the NTSB's website) and videos addressing each of them. They have now released the videos, but since their website doesn't do a good job clustering just those new GA videos into one convenient spot, I've put them into this post in the order they were released. Each of them is approximately five minutes or less.

1: "Is Your Aircraft Talking To You? Listen!"
This one addresses mechanical issues and advises you to pay attention to the subtle (or not-so-subtle) clues that your airframe or engine isn't operating at 100%.

2. "Prevent Aerodynamic Stalls at Low Altitude"
Why I always teach my students that if they're not already at pattern altitude, DO NOT try to turn back to the field if they have an engine failure just after takeoff. One criticism I have of this video is that it doesn't pay much attention to the killer base-to-final turn.

3. "Pilots: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety"
In many (and probably most) cases, the accident chain started linking together before the pilot even walked out to the plane. As we all know, the cause of most accidents is a failure of the nut holding the yoke (or, as I tell my students, the least reliable piece of equipment in any airplane is installed between the seat and the stick). Here are some ways to tighten that nut.

4. "Reduced Visual References Require Vigilance"
VFR into IMC is deadly: the lifespan of a non-instrument rated (or non-current) pilot in instrument conditions is measured in minutes—and not many minutes at that. Although we often think of "IMC" as synonymous with "clouds", in many cases night is practically the same as "traditional" IMC, and just as deadly. I've often taken students over Lake Erie at night on "VMC" nights just to prove that point, and that lesson sinks in much more quickly when they realize that they can't just yank off the foggles in case they start getting disoriented—because they're not wearing them!

When they post it, I'll add it.

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