NTSB Hosts LOC Forum at Oshkosh

 - August 3, 2018, 1:36 PM

The NTSB staged its “first ever” General Aviation Safety Road Show at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, presenting a forum on loss of control (LOC) led by more than half a dozen top safety officials and aviators. LOC, a stubborn fixture on the agency’s annual Most Wanted List of safety improvements, “claims more lives than any other factor in general aviation—almost half of the fatalities,” NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said in opening remarks.

Several experts called for more upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT). Aerobatic ace Patty Wagstaff, in the forum’s keynote address, said, “People are always quick to blame the pilots” in these mishaps, “but I think it’s a training system error.”

In a panel discussion moderated by Tim LeBaron, NTSB deputy director for regional operations, board member Earl Weener highlighted efforts by the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, a public-private partnership, to ease regulations for adopting safety technology, such as angle of attack indicators.

Both Richard McSpadden, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute, and the FAA’s Corey Stephens urged attendees to use online training aids their organizations offer on LOC. Sean Elliott, the EAA’s vice president advocacy and safety, noted the importance of creating a “culture of safety,” as his association does through its chapters.

Meanwhile, the University of North Dakota requires all its CFI candidates to undergo stall-spin training, said professor Jim Higgins, though the instruction is optional for other students in the aviation program.

In follow-on presentations, NTSB air safety investigator Mike Folkerts discussed the role of professionalism in LOC accidents, and Nicholas Webster, a medical officer with the agency’s Office of Research & Engineering, highlighted physiological issues contributing to LOC.

All Part 121 pilots will be required to receive UPRT beginning March 12, 2019. LeBaron noted that this year the NTSB began providing UPRT to all its aviation accident investigators