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By Bill Gunston

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The NTSB studied accident files over a nine-year period. In that period, 4714 people died in 2026 accidents. Weatherrelated accidents accounted for more than one out of three of all fatal general aviation accidents (Craig 1992). ” All-weather maybe—if the conditions were just right. All-weather fighters, such as the F-106 Delta Dart, were all the rage. We have come a long Weather 17 way toward all-weather capability, but it’s still all-weather if all the conditions are right (not too much wind, rain, shear, snow, ice, and so on).

There should have been other concerns, as a host of problems could have manifested themselves. Probably the most severe potential problem would be a large branch or other part of the tree being lodged in the gear. A large branch could cause the small aircraft to tip on its side during landing—not a pleasant thought. Similarly, the tree could have punctured the left-side wheels of the gear so that the tire was flat, or if the tire was just severely bruised, it could blow out upon impact with the concrete.

One of the innovations, the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS), has been responsible for a reduction in CFIT over the last decade. Seventyfive percent of the mishap aircraft in the Flight Safety Foundation report lacked a GPWS. Proper use and abuse of the GPWS will be discussed. The automation discussion will lead into other types of equipment problems and their role in CFIT, covered in Chap. 7. Automation machinery is not the only type of equipment relevant to this topic. To err is human, and air traffic controllers are no exception.

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