WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a Safety Alert urging pilots to “vigilantly look out for other aircraft and to make their own presence known.”
Officials note the board has investigated numerous general aviation accidents in which pilots operating near one another did not maintain adequate visual lookout and failed to see and avoid other aircraft. Investigators also note that pilots can be distracted by technology such as cell phones, tablets and other devices that challenge the see-and-avoid concept.
“As a pilot, your first job is to fly your own airplane,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart, who is also a pilot. “Part of that job is to scan for other airplanes. On-board traffic advisory systems are not a substitute for an outside visual scan.”
The safety alert advises pilots to scan for traffic throughout their flight, clearly communicate intentions, use lights to be more conspicuous and encourage passengers to help scan for other aircraft.