NTSB Alerts Pilots to See and Be Seen

Illustrated by Tim Eggert

Every year since 1978 there has been an average of more than 450 near midair collisions and 30 actual collisions resulting in an average of 75 deaths per year, according to seeandavoid.org, a website funded by the FAA and the Air National Guard. In hopes of reducing these numbers, the NTSB has issued a special safety alert reminding pilots to exercise good collision avoidance techniques.

Titled "See and Be Seen: Your Life Depends on It," the publication points the finger on the increased use of electronics in the cockpit as a potential catalyst for collisions. To reduce the risk of collisions, the NTSB listed the following recommendations to help pilots reduce the probability of a mid-air collision.

— Be vigilant and use proper scanning techniques during all phases of flight.

— Divide attention inside and outside, and minimize distractions such as PED use, photography or sightseeing.

— Make the airplane more visible by turning on external lights, even during the day.

— Use proper communication outlets and phraseology to alert other pilots of your position.

— Be extra vigilant in conditions that make it more difficult to see other airplanes.

— Encourage passengers to look for traffic.

— Use on-board traffic advisory systems, if available.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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