"CSI-Style" Lesson To Help Pilots Avoid Fatal Mistakes

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Pilots in Melbourne, Australia, will undertake a special "Crash Scene Investigation (CSI) style" training session this Saturday, aimed at teaching them to avoid aircraft accidents caused by bad weather. "The whole day is one long whodunit and why," said David Pattie, a safety expert with Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The lesson will re-create the investigation of a real accident that killed three people -- the crash of a Piper Warrior in 1999, which was caused by deteriorating weather conditions. "Pilots will unravel what went wrong and how the fatal accident could have been avoided," Pattie said. Once every 10 days an Australian pilot declares an emergency due to deteriorating weather conditions, according to CASA, and many of those emergencies are fatal. Pilots will leave the workshop with a much stronger understanding of the risks of flying into deteriorating weather conditions while operating under visual flight rules, Pattie said. The workshop also will teach pilots how to avoid weather emergencies, what to do if caught out in worsening weather and how to maximize chances of survival if a crash occurs. CASA is hosting the CSI workshop. Experts from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Search and Rescue and an aviation medical specialist will take part. "CASA's CSI pilot safety workshops will help save lives," Pattie said.