In a press release issued on Friday, March 8, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that board members will meet next week in Washington D.C. to consider five new Safety Alerts "aimed at reducing the number of general aviation accidents." Safety Alerts are essentially information briefs with strategies designed to remedy specific general aviation safety issues. According to the agency press release, the NTSB will consider five safety issues in their meeting next week, including:
- Reduced-visual-reference accidents, including controlled flight into terrain and uncontrolled descent to the ground due to spatial disorientation.
- Aerodynamic stalls at low altitude in daylight visual weather conditions.
- Pilot inattention to indications of mechanical problems.
- Risk management for aviation maintenance technicians.
- Risk management for pilots.
According to NTSB data, personal flying accident rates are on the rise by about 20 percent, with fatal accident rates up to 25 percent over a 10 year period. Every year, the NTSB investigates roughly 1,500 general aviation accidents in which about 475 people are killed and hundreds of others seriously injured. General aviation safety is a key issue with NTSB, as it has been on the agency's Most Wanted List since 2011.