The FAA and industry safety advocates are continuing their efforts to tackle the general aviation fatal accident rate, focusing on the importance of transition training for all types of aircraft. “Many accidents occur when pilots fly aircraft they’re unfamiliar with,” the FAA Safety Team (FAAST) says in its latest briefing. “In fact, the first 50 to 100 hours in a new aircraft type are particularly dangerous, especially when a formal transition training program isn’t followed.” Since transition or familiarity training programs are required only on larger turbine-powered general aviation aircraft types, pilots of the majority of GA aircraft are on their own to seek out transition training.
To that end, the FAAST, in concert with the industry/government General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, is spotlighting transition training in the latest safety briefing. The briefing explains the need for transition training and the steps to be taken to ensure proper familiarity with a different model or type, whether moving up to a more complex aircraft or down to a simpler one.
The briefing recommends pilots take these three steps: “hit the books; train with a qualified instructor; and practice, practice, practice with an instructor.” Knowledge of the transitioning aircraft’s systems, avionics, normal and emergency procedures, cockpit switch locations, and performance numbers is essential, the article emphasizes. The briefing also advises how to find the proper instructor and what maneuvers to practice.