The Society of Aviation Flight Educators (SAFE) recently asked the FAA to start collecting information on pilot recurrent safety training in addition to the data the agency already collects on airports, aircraft, and aircraft activity. The suggestion came at the quinquennial meeting in Washington, D.C. of industry and government leaders to refine data collection for the FAA’s annual GA and Part 135 Activity Survey.
“Everyone in the industry knows the importance of recurrent training for aviation safety,” said Doug Stewart, Executive Director of SAFE. “But there is almost no data on pilot recency of experience, time in type of aircraft or what kind of recurrent training is being used.” He said such data is critical for creating effective GA safety initiatives that will be used by the pilot community, and that information on pilot participation in FAR Part 61.58 instrument proficiency checks and in the FAA’s new WINGS program would be particularly helpful.
Stewart and SAFE member Jeff Edwards, President of Lancair Owners and Builders Organization represented the more than 800 SAFE members at the September 10 meeting.
SAFE’s request came in part because of the Society’s work on the ongoing FAA Loss of Control workgroup, a part of the agency’s General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC). That committee focuses on loss of control GA accidents, which are almost always fatal. “These kinds of accidents are almost always called pilot error,” said Stewart, “but we rarely have any data on what recurrent training the pilot has taken, and when. That’s why we’re asking the FAA to start gathering such data. It would help immensely in determining why these kinds of accidents keep occurring.”