Why do we suck at being safe?

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Why we suck at being safeI wrote a recent article for AirFactsJournal.com that highlights what I feel is the larger issue around light aircraft safety. It has very little to do with inadequate training or marginal equipment or antiquated regulations. I think the current training programs are fine (could always be better), the equipment very safe, and our FARs exist mostly from prior mistakes (we earned them).

The article talks through the major cause of accidents (pilot error), and dives into Human Factors and behavior. The thrust is, what we can all do collectively to help the issue. A point I didn’t belabor in the article but bears repeating is, “if we don’t improve our safety stats in general aviation, the government will.” I hope that statement chills you like it does me. 

If you are a student of accident statistics, you’ll recognize that we haven’t really gotten worse, we just haven’t improved like other segments of aviation safety. So now we are the target – related article here: NTSB Safety Alerts: General aviation is on the radar and not in a good way!

I think we are all aware that our freedoms are “conditional” in this day and age. If we give regulators a reason, they will have no problem striping away the privileges that we enjoy today. 

The article doesn’t hold all the answers, or even most of them, but I would encourage you to read it and share it with others. I believe it is imperative that we “move the meter” a little on our safety metrics and show everyone that we don’t need anyone “helping us” manage our industry. 

by Brent Owens

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