NTSB Takes On GA Weather Hazards...

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New Methodology Employs Statistics

Typically, the NTSB reports on flight risks after reviewing a set of relevant accidents, but for its latest report, released last week, the board has implemented a new methodology. The new "case-control" statistical-analysis approach was used in a study of GA weather-related accidents, comparing a group of accident flights to a matching group of non-accident flights in an effort to identify patterns of variables that distinguish the two groups from each other. The advantage, the NTSB says, is that instead of focusing on factors that accidents have in common -- and possibly being misled by characteristics common to most pilots and flights -- it identifies characteristics that set accidents apart and contribute to their occurrence. All non-accident pilots voluntarily consented to interviews and provided information about their flights and their aircraft and details about their training, experience, and demographics. That information was compared with data about the accident flights. Additionally, the FAA provided information about pilots' practical and written test results and their previous accident/ incident involvement.