In an open letter to the general aviation community sent just before the Memorial Day weekend, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked each pilot to “make sure you’re ready — really ready — to fly.” The letter (PDF) noted that GA accident rates have remained “stubbornly flat” in recent years and asked everyone in the GA community, from pilots to mechanics to passengers, to share some simple messages. Huerta’s advice includes: Take advantage of all training opportunities, know the weather for every flight, help to grow a safety culture among your local contacts, and intervene if you see someone doing something unsafe.
Huerta added that the FAA is doing its part, making “long-term investments” in safety. Those investments include improvements to training and testing standards, streamlining certification for life-saving technologies, and developing better ways to use data to understand the risks in aviation. “But for this summer,” Huerta concludes, “we need you to make a personal commitment to understand your strengths and limitations.” The letter was a follow-up to a recent meeting called by Huerta with representatives of all the major GA user groups.