The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute (ASI) today kicked off a nine-month safety campaign to raise awareness of the risks involved with visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions (VFR into IMC) operations. ASI called such flights the most significant cause of weather-related accidents.
In addition, noted ASI senior v-p Richard McSpadden, “VFR into IMC is among the top five causes of fatal general aviation accidents, which are largely preventable. And it’s not only VFR pilots who get trapped; about one-third of these accidents involve instrument-rated pilots.”
ASI research has found that pilots encounter VFR into IMC conditions every other week on average. Related accidents typically result in a fatality, McSpadden added.
“Experience alone is no guard against them. In fact, instrument-rated commercial pilots are twice as likely to be involved in VFR into IMC accidents compared to their non-instrument-rated counterparts,” he said. “Often thought of as a single cause, VFR into IMC plays a role in several other types of accidents, including loss of control in-flight (LOC-I) and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). “
As part of the campaign, which runs through December 31, ASI has developed an online resource center that is packaging videos, courses, podcasts, articles, webinars, studies, and other educational material, events, and programs.