AOPA studies technically advanced aircraft safety

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) has published a special report for pilots who fly technically advanced aircraft (TAA).

Titled “Technically Advanced Aircraft Safety and Training,” the report outlines a training syllabus, compares accidents of TAA and traditional aircraft, and includes NTSB accident narratives and Aviation Safety Reporting System reports.

The FAA defines TAA as having at least a GPS, multifunction display (MFD), and an autopilot. In 2004, 92% of newly manufactured GA airplanes were TAA.

The report finds that TAA are fundamentally sound, but require some different piloting approaches.

“Pilots of GA aircraft are now undergoing the transition that the airlines and corporate pilots did in prior decades,” said Bruce Landsberg, ASF executive director. “This report is designed to assist them with training and piloting suggestions to make the transition as smooth and safe as possible.”

The ASF accident database found that, as with most aircraft accidents, those involving TAA are mostly pilot-related, with errors that include poor judgment, misinterpretations, misprogramming, and poor flight-control handling.

ASF suggests new ways to train for flying TAA, noting that CDs, DVDs, and online simulation provide a more realistic training environment.

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