"The goal of this National Transportation Safety Board study was to better understand the risk factors associated with accidents that occur in weather conditions characterized by IMC [instrument meteorological conditions] or poor visibility ("weather-related accidents"). Safety Board air safety investigators collected data from 72 general aviation accidents that occurred between August 2003 and April 2004. When accidents occurred, study managers also contacted pilots of flights that were operating in the vicinity at the time of those accidents for information about their flight activity. A total of 135 nonaccident flights were included in the study. All nonaccident pilots voluntarily consented to interviews and provided information about their flights, their aircraft, and details about their training, experience, and demographics. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration provided information about pilots. practical and written test results and their previous accident/incident involvement. Statistical analyses were used to determine the relationships between study variables and accident/nonaccident status and to identify variables that could be linked to an increased risk of weather-related general aviation accident involvement. The analysis revealed several pilot- and flightrelated factors associated with increased risk of accident involvement. The safety issues discussed in this report include: 1) pilot age and training-related differences, 2) pilot testing, accident, and incident history, and 3) pilot weather briefing sources and methods. Safety recommendations concerning these issues were made to the Federal Aviation Administration."
United States National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov/