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Aviation Learning Center Document AC 61-134 - Controlled Flight into Terrain Awareness
Author: Federal Aviation Administration Date: April 1, 2003
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11. Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), Section 5.
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Potential Flight Hazards, paragraph 7-5-1, Accident Cause Factors, lists the following 10 most frequent cause factors for general aviation accidents that involve the PIC. The following list contains many of the same factors listed for CFIT accidents. This listing of major reasons why GA pilots continue to have accidents has remained constant over time. With the possible exception of subparagraph f, these factors can all be CFIT factors.

  • a. Inadequate preflight preparation and/or planning.
  • b. Failure to obtain and/or maintain flying speed.
  • c. Failure to maintain directional control.
  • d. Improper level off.
  • e. Failure to see and avoid objects or obstructions.
  • f. Mismanagement of fuel.
  • g. Improper in-flight decisions or planning.
  • h. Misjudgment of distance and speed.
  • i. Selection of unsuitable terrain.
  • j. Improper operation of flight controls.

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