Too many lives are being lost to GA accidents, according to the FAA‘s Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker.
“Improving general aviation safety is a top priority for the FAA and industry,” he said. “Last year, 434 people were killed in 251 GA accidents. The fatal accident rate remains flat and too many lives are being lost despite the great work of our GA community.”
His comments came after a GA Safety Summit held July 1. Whitaker noted that he was “encouraged by the discussions we had around how we can reduce risk in general aviation.”
He noted the FAA is working through the GA Joint Steering Committee to use safety data analysis to take aim at the leading causes of GA accidents.
“Loss of Control remains our greatest concern,” he noted. “In fact, it’s on the National Transportation Safety Board’s Most Wanted List.”
Last month, the general aviation industry and the FAA launched the Fly Safe outreach campaign, which features Loss of Control causes, tips, and resources.
Whitaker said he encourages anyone with an interest in general aviation safety to follow and share the #FlySafe campaign on social media.
“It was clear from the meeting that there are a lot of innovations and technologies in the GA industry that can make a difference,” he continued. “In February 2014, the FAA simplified design approval requirements for AOA indicator, which can help a pilot avoid a stall. Today, AOA indicators are becoming increasingly affordable for GA pilots and can help prevent Loss of Control.”
The FAA is now working on a new performance-based regulatory approach to airworthiness standards for Part 23 airplanes, which includes small piston-powered airplanes to complex high-performance executive jets.
“The goal is to set a standard that improves safety, enables innovation, streamlines the certification process, and utilizes consensus standards to assist applicants in complying with the performance-based regulations,” he explained. “The FAA is working to get the rule out as quickly as possible. I look forward to working with industry as we promote safety through education, technology solutions, and improved regulatory standards.”