…Risk Factors Revealed…


For this study, NTSB investigators collected data from 72 GA accidents that occurred between August 2003 and April 2004. An additional 135 safe flights that were conducted in the same area and time as the accident flights were also studied. The analysis showed that risk factors associated with flying in instrument weather conditions or low visibility include: 1) pilot age and training-related differences; 2) pilot testing, accident, and incident history; and 3) pilot weather briefing sources and methods. The board recommended that the FAA should beef up weather-related portions of the Airman Knowledge Tests and flight reviews, develop a means to identify at-risk pilots and target them for intervention, and improve the delivery of weather information to pilots. The NTSB’s last published report on weather-related GA accident risks was in 1989. That report focused on accidents in which VFR into IMC was cited as a probable cause or contributing factor, and did not generate any new safety recommendations.