The Society of Aviation Flight Educators(SAFE) last week asked the FAA to start collecting information on pilot recurrent safety training in addition to the data the agency already collects on airports, aircraft, and aircraft activity.
The suggestion came at the quinquennial meeting in Washington, D.C. of industry and government leaders to refine data collection for the FAA’s annual GA and Part 135 Activity Survey.
“Everyone in the industry knows the importance of recurrent training for aviation safety,” said Doug Stewart, Executive Director of SAFE. “But there is almost no data on pilot recent experience, time in type of aircraft or the kind of training being used.”
He said such data is critical for creating effective GA safety initiatives that will be used by the pilot community, and that information on pilot participation in FAR Part 61.58 instrument proficiency checks and in the FAA’s new WINGS program would be particularly helpful.
Stewart and SAFE member Jeff Edwards, President of Lancair Owners and Builders Organization, represented the more than 800 SAFE members at the Sept. 10 meeting.
SAFE’s request came in part because of the society’s work on the ongoing FAA Loss of Control workgroup, a part of the agency’s General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC). That committee focuses on loss of control GA accidents, which are almost always fatal.
“These kinds of accidents are almost always called pilot error,” said Stewart, “but we rarely have any data on what recurrency training the pilot has taken, and when. That’s why we’re asking the FAA to start gathering such data. It would help immensely in determining why these kinds of accidents keep occurring.”
SAFE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership association that provides networking opportunities, aviation education updates and online resources for flight instructors, public and private school teachers who use aviation to help students understand practical applications of science, technology, engineering and math, as well as post-secondary academicians and other aerospace professionals.