Pilot Performance, Data Collection Remain NTSB and NBAA Safety Committee Focus For 2016

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Jan. 14, 2016

Washington, DC ­– The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today said the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB’s) 2016 “Most Wanted” safety improvements, announced on Jan. 13, are in step with the safety focus areas of NBAA’s Safety Committee, and that alignment between government and industry efforts to address these issues best contributes to improved flight safety.

“Preventing loss of control inflight (LOC-I) continues as the NTSB’s primary general aviation (GA) safety improvement area in 2016, and this issue is also among the NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas,” said Mark Larsen, NBAA’s senior manager for safety and flight operations. The NTSB links this issue with 47 percent of the fatal fixed-wing GA accidents in the U.S. between 2008 and 2014.

Business aviation loss of control accidents are a subset of those across the broader GA spectrum, and the alarming consistency of catastrophic outcomes in this type of accident compels an effort to better understand and control LOC-I risks.

Aviation, and other forms of transportation, shares the other safety improvement areas. Disconnecting from deadly distractions was again included on the NTSB’s list and focuses on the need to disconnect from non-mission-critical information as humans’ focus and attention spans are finite, and each auxiliary task impedes our ability to conduct the primary task.

NBAA’s Top Safety Focus Areas list includes the hazard of distraction and technology management, which reiterates the need to focus on the primary task at hand in lieu of non-mission-critical information, and to be fully trained and proficient with mission-related technology, so that managing it while performing safety-sensitive tasks does not itself become a distraction.

Reducing fatigue-related accidents, requiring medical fitness for duty and ending substance impairment in transportation are all NTSB most-wanted items with parallels to the fitness for duty foundation for safety specified in the NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas. In a physically and mentally demanding environment, a clear mind and healthy body are essential to safe business aircraft operation, maintenance and management. Operators must address fatigue, sleep apnea, improper use of medications and many other physical and psychological aeromedical issues.

New to the NTSB list this year is expanding the use of recorders to enhance transportation safety. With the growing use of data as part of aviation safety programs, recorders play a critical role in helping operators to validate processes and identify trends before problems occur.

“The majority of the NTSB’s most wanted safety improvements for 2016 parallel a number of NBAA’s Top Safety Focus Areas,” said Larsen. “A continued focus on these items will contribute to improved safety, so we encourage all business aviators to consider what these issues mean to your flying.”

“A proactive safety culture that seeks input from all facets of the operation is key to improved business aviation safety,” added NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “NBAA remains dedicated to our collaborative working relationship with the NTSB to help improve business aviation safety.”

The NBAA Safety Committee will review the NTSB’s 2016 Most Wanted List as part of it’s annual risk assessment at the end of January. Business aviation professionals are encouraged to provide input to the NBAA risk assessment through the 2016 NBAA Safety Committee Risk Assessment Survey.

Review the 2016 NTSB Most Wanted List.

Review the 2015 NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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