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Hart: Part 23 Rewrite Will Be Good For Aviation Safety

NTSB Chair At Oshkosh For AirVenture

By Tom Patton

The proposed rewrite of FAR Part 23 will benefit aviation safety, according to Christopher Hart, the Chair of the NTSB.

Hart was in Oshkosh for a "Meet the Chairman" event at AirVenture Tuesday. Speaking with ANN on the sidelines of the show, Hart said that the Board is excited about the Part 23 re-write. "There are so many new developments, and new technologies, and they're not going to do any good unless they're in the airplane," Hart said. "So Part 23 helps that process of getting them into the airplane, and we're excited to see that happen."

Hart reiterated that loss-of-control accidents still account for 40 percent of General Aviation fatalities, and moving to a performance standard for certification rather than a prescriptive standard will get safety technology into the cockpit more quickly.

The NTSB chairman said that the number of GA fatalities has remained stubbornly flat, and it has been a concern of the board for years. "That's why we're excited to see that General Aviation is taking the commercial aviation example, which is collaboration. Bringing everybody to the table who's got a dog in the fight and working together on a common problem, so that we can come up with a solution that "everybody wins."

Chairman Hart said that the board continues to look carefully at automation in the cockpit, because "the good news is, there's more automation ... but the bad news is, there's more automation." He also said that the board is looking at how fatigue and distractions contribute to accidents. "We have now fatal accidents in every mode of transportation because of distractions, typically from a cell phone," Hart said. He added that the board is seeing a general upward trend in impairment. He said that Americans seem to be using drugs more, and it was showing up in an increasing number of aviation fatalities. "So, we have a number of key areas we're looking at where improvement needs to be made."

Hart was sworn in as chair of the NTSB in March of 2015 after serving as Acting Chairman since Deborah A.P. Hersman left the position in March 2014.

(Staff image)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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