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Safety Programs That Work!
Iby Charlie Precourt, MMOPA Safety Committee
magine a year when there are no fatal accidents in general aviation...seem impossible? The airlines achieved that many years ago, and so can we if we focus on the right things in our safety programs. In fact, the overall trend in general aviation accident rates over
the last few years is very encouraging. AOPA’s Air Safety Institute published its annual GA Accident Scorecard recently revealing fatal accidents from 2008 to 2017 are down more than 30 percent. There were nevertheless 185 fatal accidents in 2017, so we still have a long way to go. But there are many developments in safety programs across GA that can keep the trend going.
Your MMOPA Safety Committee has adopted some great initiatives, like the FRAT tool, the Proficiency Assessment Review, accident reviews at the convention, and now the Master Aviator program. These programs appropriately focus on helping us perform better as pilots. The 2018
Nall Report, also put out by AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, shows pilots account for 74 percent of the fatal accidents, so it was great to hear of the enthusiasm MMOPA’s
Master Aviator Program generated at the convention in Colorado Springs.
In my involvement with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Citation Jet Pilot’s Association (CJP), safety initiatives similar to those at MMOPA reveal
a couple of important points. One is that a culture of safety is growing broadly across most sectors of GA, and perhaps more importantly there is much to learn from each other about the effectiveness of these various initiatives. EAA has seen a four-year drop of 47 percent in fatal accidents among homebuilts! So there must be something right going on there. A major focus on appropriate transition training before flying a new homebuilt is paying off.
When I joined the CJP safety committee that organization did not have a Safety Foundation. I introduced to them what MMOPA had established and CJP now has its own foundation that supports extra training and awareness courses throughout the year. The CJP community similarly is showing great enthusiasm for an increased focus on safety. An unfortunate fatal accident
                                                    24 MMOPA MAGAZINE   NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2018

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