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Avoidable accidents

By Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner

Transport safety is a journey of continuous improvement. And while the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 dominates the media, we’re continuing to focus our attention on improving transport safety across aviation, marine and rail. 

Recently, we’ve been busy reinforcing important aviation safety messages to general aviation pilots. We mailed all flight training schools and aero clubs in Australia, highlighting the ongoing safety concerns in the industry.

We all know that ‘accidents only ever happen to other people’, but in aviation, pilots rarely get second chances.

As we explained, general aviation pilots continue to die in accidents that are mostly avoidable. Worryingly, the fatality rate in general aviation has not improved over the past 10 years. The major contributors to those fatalities have remained the same. These contributing factors revolve around common mistakes pilots make while flying or preparing to fly. These avoidable accidents are an aviation challenge worldwide, not just in Australia.

The common mistakes that contribute to accidents have been included in a series of booklets that we call the Avoidable Accident series.

  • low-level flying
  • wirestrikes, involving known wires
  • poor management of partial power loss after takeoff in single-engine aircraft
  • visual flight in instrument meteorological conditions
  • poor fuel management
  • over-reliance on flying experience
  • visual flight at night.

The booklets should refresh pilot’s knowledge of the type of issue that can lead to an avoidable accident and how to minimise the chance of being involved in one. We all know that ‘accidents only ever happen to other people’, but in aviation, pilots rarely get second chances.

You can find PDF versions of booklets from this series and additional printed copies are available for free by emailing us.

Written by Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner at 10:00 AM

1 Comment :

Chris said...
A great initiative. With the seemingly universal fly-by-wire now in jets and VFR allowing safer smaller prop aviation, pilot error is really the major risk now. Continued awareness in areas such as your topics (especially engine power loss and fuel mant) are critical.
March 24, 2016 16:33