Accession Number : ADA530988
Title : Causes of General Aviation Weather-Related, Non-Fatal Incidents: Analysis Using NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System Data
Descriptive Note : Final rept.
Corporate Author : FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
Personal Author(s) : Knecht, William R ; Lenz, Michael
Report Date : Sep 2010
Pagination or Media Count : 52
Abstract : Adverse weather remains a major cause of general aviation accidents. However, weather alone is never the sole culprit. Searching for other salient causal factors, we turned to incident analysis. Incidents are less serious than accidents, but far more common, and have witnesses to better determine causes. The current research examined 100 GA weather-related incident reports made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) during 2005-06. With pilot permission, ASRS gathered additional data on nearly 300 variables related to possible root causes. The following factors seemed to constitute a problem for 5%, or more, of pilots: 1. Darkness (4 dusk +17 night = 21% of pilots). 2. Moisture affecting visibility (clouds, fog, rain, snow 50%) and/or air movement affecting aircraft handling (thunderstorm, icing, turbulence 25%). 3. Multiple weather factors experienced simultaneously (85%). 4. Failure to get a preflight weather briefing, or briefing with only a low-grade (non-aviation-oriented) source (5%). 5. Deterioration of weather forecast accuracy over time (66% correct forecasts at departure, decreasing to 37% correct at destination). 6. Weather that materialized worse than predicted (35%. This implicitly includes lack of en-route forecast updates). 7. Lack of weather-related training and experience ( 50%, non-instrument-rated and new instrument-rated pilots). 8. Inadequate equipment (less-experienced pilots tend to have less-capable airframes and avionics). 9. Ambulance missions (7%, particularly helicopter ambulance). 10. Non-weather-related factors: decision-making (26%), time pressure (21%), get-home-itis (9%), aircraft equipment problem (8%), fatigue (7%), distraction by passenger or crew (5%). In broad terms, this analysis reveals two major at-risk target groups with distinct training needs: Non-instrument-rated pilots Newly minted instrument-rated pilots.
Descriptors : *AVIATION ACCIDENTS , WEATHER FORECASTING , DARKNESS , AVIATION SAFETY , MOISTURE , PILOTS , VISIBILITY
Subject Categories : Commercial and General Aviation
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE