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NTSB commends AOPA for safety training efforts

February 4, 2013, 05:09 pm

The National Transportation Safety Board has recently commended the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for its actions following safety recommendations. 

Following an accident in Alaska on August 9, 2010, the NTSB recommended that the AOPA educate pilots on the benefit of telling passengers their location and how to operate survival equipment on airplanes. In response to the recommendations, the AOPA released a video educating pilots on debriefing passengers on emergency information, including the use of the VHF radio, the cockpit emergency transmitter and the location of various emergency gear. In addition, the AOPA produced a printable checklist of safety gear needed in the airplane. 

“This is a perfect example of an organization embracing not only the letter, but the spirit of our recommendation,” said Deborah Hersman, chairman of the NTSB. “This will result in a higher level of safety for general aviation passengers, who often are friends and family.”

In a separate report, NTSB officials have said that the amount of fatalities in the aviation community has fallen. According to the board, the number of general aviation fatalities decreased slightly from 454 to 444 in 2011 on a year-over-year comparison. Transportation fatalities in total fell by 2 percent in 2011 to 34,434 according to the recently released study. 

“Transportation accidents remain one of the nation's leading causes of death,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “We can do better, which is why the NTSB shines a light on key safety issues each year through the Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements.”

General aviation was listed on the NTSB's 10 Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements, primarily for the the accident rate remaining flat in the past 10 years. According to the NTSB, the accident rate averaged 6.8 fatalities for every 100,000 flight hours, which accounted for nearly 1,500 accidents each year. Officials at the NTSB said that incidences of fatalities in personal flying have increased 25 percent and accidents have gone up 20 percent in 2011 on a year-over-year comparison.

Bruce Landsburg, president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and Air Safety Institute, said that while general aviation remains on the list, the association trained 1.9 million people last year in an effort to reduce the amount of accidents in the general aviation community. 

Pilots in the general aviation community are reminded to obtain pilot life insurance before taking to the skies.

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