28-Jun-2016 Source: FAA
The FAA and general aviation (GA) groups’ #FlySafe national safety campaign aims to educate the GA community on best practices in calculating and predicting aircraft performance, and in operating within established aircraft limitations.
Remember the lyric, “Get your motor runnin’…”? Well, it’s even more important to KEEP your motor running. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) says inadequate engine maintenance has led to a high number of engine failures. This is not a good scenario when you are in flight.
Get to know your airplane, and your mechanic
Ideally, pilots and mechanics should work together to make sure the aircraft is operated and maintained properly. As a pilot, you should take an active role in maintenance by reviewing inspection results and discussing Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins with your mechanic.
Don’t ignore regular maintenance
Be sure to comply with all manufacturer-recommended service intervals:
Keep your eyes open
Every service interval is an opportunity to give your aircraft a once-over. Look for leaks and stains in the engine compartment. Look for missing, loose, or broken hardware. Check the condition of hoses, belts, and baffles. Tires, brakes, and oleo struts should be checked as well.
Maintain safe flight
How we operate our engines has a lot to do with how long they’ll last. It’s actually harder on an engine if the airplane spends a lot of time sitting in a hangar, or worse, on the ramp. Regular operation keeps your engine components lubricated, which reduces potential corrosion.
Monitor your engine performance
It’s true that most GA aircraft don’t have dedicated automatic flight data recording devices now, but there are still quite a few options available:
Basic instrumentation such as airspeed indicators, attitude indicators, angle of attack indicators, manifold pressure gauges, RPM gauges, and G-force meters all give immediate feedback as to whether design limitations have or are about to be exceeded. This information is available now, on every flight.
What is Loss of Control?
A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.
Contributing factors may include:
Message from FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our Fly Safe campaign. Each month on FAA.gov, we’re providing pilots with a Loss of Control solution developed by a team of experts. They have studied the data and developed solutions – some of which are already reducing risk. We hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.
Did you know?
The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.
Check out “Check Engine!” in the May/June 2015 edition of FAA Safety Briefing to learn more about engine data management systems.
Check out the 2016 GA Safety Enhancements (SEs) fact sheets on the main FAA Safety Briefing website, including Engine Maintenance and Performance Monitoring.
The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.
Have you thought out the “what-ifs” if your engine fails? Read a pilot’s lifesaving story.
Understand what makes every airplane tick by taking the online courses and safety quizzesoffered by AOPA
Changing your own oil is common in automobiles. But, in your airplane? That’s a different story. Be sure to check out this video from Disciples of Flight.
The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of accidents in GA.
The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers across different parts of the FAA, several government agencies, and stakeholder groups. The other federal agencies are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which participates as an observer. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The European Aviation Safety Agency also participates as an observer.
An FAA fact sheet outlines GA safety improvements and initiatives.