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Top 10 Causes Of General Aviation Accidents (2012)

FAA Air Safety Investigator, Tony James, talks about the top 10 causes of general aviation accidents and offers insight in how they can be avoided.

Last Edited by lenthamen at 12 Nov 20:37

Interesting video.

EDLE, Netherlands

Just watched it.

1. Loss of control
3. Engine failure
4. Low altitude ops (e.g. crop spraying)
5. Unknown (no GPS, radar etc data)
6. Errors on IAPs, loss of SA
7. Fuel exhaustion
8. Didn’t catch this one despite watching it twice
9. Midair
10. Windshear or severe weather

There is a video at 28:35 showing how fast a twin can kill you if it gets an engine failure at the worst possible moment on takeoff and you don’t react fast enough.

The midair data is interesting versus Europe where midairs are far less common.

Last Edited by Peter at 12 Nov 22:48
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Still watching it, but I thought he said for #8, in “Southernese”:
System Component Failures, (non-power plant).
Examples: Electrical Failure, Cabin Fire/Smoke, Vacuum pump Failure, CO.

Last Edited by DavidS at 12 Nov 23:41
Booker EGTB, White Waltham EGLM

There is a video at 28:35 showing how fast a twin can kill you if it gets an engine failure at the worst possible moment on takeoff and you don’t react fast enough

Was the airspeed too low at lift-off for engine failure control? You can see the ASI – and that speed would be in the manual.

[quote fixed up]

Last Edited by Peter at 13 Nov 21:43
Last Edited by Maoraigh at 13 Nov 21:23
EGPE, United Kingdom

It is marked on the airspeed indicator with a radial red line – minimum control airspeed. To fly straight at that speed with one engine at full power and the other one windmilling, you need full rudder towards and (typically) some bank into the good engine. There is some allowance made for pilot reaction, but not much.

If you don’t apply full rudder fast enough, the aircraft will yaw towards the dead engine, and very likely roll over. You can also smartly close the throttle(s) and land.

Unless you absolutely MUST, you don’t fly slower than the minimum control speed. Given that the certification limit is 1.2x stall speed in the take-off configuration, it is not normally necessary.

Biggin Hill

And in a typical twin the climb rate even with a feathered prop is terrible. If you don’t do the procedure well you can have less than no climb.

EGTK Oxford

It all depends on the options, there are some situations where putting down in a field are better than trying to climb and hitting a tree at 95kt. It also depends whether you can drift down to Vyse, or have to accelerate to get it. In the latter case, especially when not clean yet – the only way is down….

Thankfully, the time one spends climbing below the blue line is measured in seconds each flight.

Biggin Hill

It would be interesting to compare the U.S. top ten with Europe.

I don’t suppose we have many low altitude operations!

Midairs are also extremely rare over here.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Is it just me or anyone else surprised engine failures are number 3? I thought they were much rarer than midairs..

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