Friday, February 1, 2013
By George Hatcher

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman today praised two organizations for their response to NTSB safety recommendations.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association took action that exceeded the NTSBs recommendations following the investigation into the Aug. 9, 2010 airplane accident in Alaska that killed former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. The NTSB recommended that AOPA educate pilots about the benefits of notifying passengers about the location and operation of survival and emergency communication equipment aboard the airplane.

In response, AOPA produced a video to educate pilots about briefing passengers on emergency equipment such as basic VHF radio operation, the cockpit emergency locator transmitter switch and the location of emergency gear. The video also included a sample passenger safety briefing. AOPA also developed a printable checklist for use in the aircraft. All this information is available on its website at

“This is a perfect example of an organization embracing not only the letter, but the spirit of our recommendation,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairman of the NTSB. “This will result in a higher level of safety for general aviation passengers, who often are friends and family.”

Hersman also praised the action of the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission in implementing multiple NTSB recommendations as a result of its investigation into the June 9, 2009 crash of a helicopter operated by the New Mexico State Police. The NTSB recommended rest standards to prevent pilot fatigue, training in encountering instrument meteorological conditions and encouraged the installation of flight-tracking equipment and 406-megahertz emergency locator transmitters on their aircraft.

“The fact that the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission implemented all of the NTSB’s recommendations in just six months is to be highly commended,” Hersman said.

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