State releases study of fatal
airplane crashes in Alaska
Renewed caution and diligence
September 23, 2010
Alaska, Alaska - A study published Wednesday by the Alaska Department
of Health and Social Services Section of Epidemiology shows that
while the number of aviation crashes and fatalities has declined
over the past decade, the number of fatal crashes and fatalities
between January and August 2010 were higher than average.
According to the study, the exact reasons for this increase are
currently unclear since many investigations are ongoing. However,
the study sites stable weather systems that have produced one
of the coldest, gloomiest, and wettest summers on record for
Southcentral Alaska as having created a potential crash hazard.
"Besides being difficult to fly in, the long stretch of
poor weather may have affected pilot proficiency by limiting
time in the air," said Mary O'Connor with the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health, who co-authored the study.
"Pilot hours may have been further reduced due to the high
price of aviation fuel and other operational costs."
The study lists several recommendations for increasing pilot
safety and proficiency, including:
- a continued focus on crash
prevention through efforts such as the Medallion Foundation's
simulators and training programs, and Federal Aviation Administration
and Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation-sponsored safety seminars;
- weather information to be
continually enhanced and made easily available for pilots; and
- encouraging general aviation
aircraft to have Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)
equipment (similar to equipment used in the Capstone Project).
On the Web:
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