National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC – The National Transportation Safety Board today has issued a safety alert to pilots warning them to actively maintain awareness of severe weather along their entire route of flight. The Safety Board has identified several accidents in which in-flight encounters with severe weather appear to be causal or contributory. These accidents have all involved aircraft operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) and in contact with air traffic controllers.
“Severe weather avoidance is the responsibility of the pilots,” said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. “We at the Board feel that it is imperative to reiterate the seriousness of this task during flight.”
Safety Board investigations have shown that pilots were either not advised about areas of severe weather ahead or were given incomplete information. The primary job of ATC is to keep IFR aircraft separated. When their workload permits, controllers are also required to provide additional services such as weather advisories, and, upon pilot request, suggested headings to avoid radar-displayed precipitation.
In today’s Safety Alert, the NTSB presents scenarios in which pilots did not take full advantage of air traffic services and provides information that every pilot should know when operating in the air traffic system and near severe weather.
NTSB Media Contact:
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.