NTSB Warns of CFIT Danger During Night VMC

 - January 31, 2008, 11:06 AM

The NTSB is stressing the importance of altitude awareness and preflight planning after identifying “a noticeable number” of controlled flight into terrain accidents during night VFR conditions. The Safety Board noted in a safety alert that many of the general aviation pilots involved were in contact with ATC and receiving radar service at the time of the accidents, but they appear to have been unaware of the danger. The Board stated that better planning by the pilots “would likely have prevented all of these accidents.” A spokeswoman for the NTSB told AIN that the accidents “appear to be quite preventable,” but added that some are still under investigation. Of the six accidents referenced in the safety alert, three–two Beech King Air accidents and one involving a Learjet 35A–were aeromedical transport flights. The spokeswoman said the Safety Board did not issue the alert “to identify any particular risk for medical transport aircraft,” but added, “by their very nature, these kinds of aircraft often operate in more remote or rural areas.