To Conduct General Aviation Weather Encounters Study
accidents account for the majority of aviation fatalities
and most of these weather accidents involve General Aviation
aircraft. Since GA aircraft are not equipped with voice or
data recorders, the specific causes for these accidents are
often unknown. In order to develop preventative measures,
it is therefore extremely important to gather insights and
data from pilots who were involved in weather-related incidents.
conjunction with the FAA, NASA/ASRS will examine a variety
of GA weather encounter issues. Some of the factors to be
analyzed include: VFR in IMC, icing encounters, unexpected
ceiling and/or visibility issues, disorientation, loss of
positional or situational awareness, loss of aircraft control,
controlled flight toward terrain (CFTT), and severe turbulence.
In short, any weather encounter that affects safety of flight
will be analyzed. Contributing elements such as pilot experience,
training, proficiency, weather briefings, and aircraft equipment
will also be studied.
most aircraft involved in weather encounter events reported
to ASRS are expected to be light single and twin, piston-engine
aircraft, all aircraft and rotorcraft involved in FAR Part
91 and 135 operations are to be included in this study piston,
turboprop, or jet.
time frame for this effort is from April 2005 through September
order to provide the level of detail needed to fully understand
the hazardous situation and the factors affecting it, ASRS
will begin contacting pilots who report general aviation weather
encounters to request their voluntary participation in completing
a written survey questionnaire. Reporter participation in
the survey is strongly encouraged.
identifying information (names, company affiliations, etc.)
will be removed before the ASRS research data is given to
support FAA and industry efforts to improve awareness, knowledge,
training, and procedures related to aviation weather, ASRS
strongly encourages general aviation pilots who experience
adverse weather encounters to report these incidents to the
Program and to participate in the Weather Encounters Study.
back in the days of the Wright Flyer and the Boeing 737-200,
aircraft control was directly dependent upon real-time pilot
input. The "pilot action - aircraft reaction" algorithm
tended to reduce the possibility of distraction or complacency
during aircraft maneuvering.
today's fully automated, glass cockpit environment, the pilot's
role has become more supervisory and the requirement for direct
control input is diminished or absent. When automation functions
reliably, as it does most of the time, it can induce pilots
to be less alert in monitoring its behavior. As these recent
ASRS reports illustrate, pilots must guard against distractions
and automation complacency in order to ensure that the aircraft
performs as directed and anticipated.
from the Line
and track or heading deviations continue to represent a significant
percentage of the incidents submitted to ASRS. In each of
the following reports, the deviations resulted when automation
failed to perform as expected. Each report also contains an
observation worth noting.