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5 Ways You Can Be A Safer Pilot

UND Aerospace sponsored this story. Check out the full series here. And, if you're ready to start your aviation career, learn more about UND Aerospace.

If you make good choices in your plane, chances are you'll have a smooth, problem-free flight. That's why the NTSB put together a list of the 5 most common types of mistakes that lead to accidents.

1) Watch your airspeed, especially when you're low.

The majority of stall/spin accidents happen in the traffic pattern. You can stall at any airspeed, if you exceed your critical angle-of-attack. And when you increase your bank to 60 degrees, your stall speed is 41% higher.


2) Avoid VFR flight in low visibility.

When the visibility gets low, your risk as a VFR pilot goes way up. Most of the time, it's because of spatial disorientation or controlled flight into terrain.


3) When your plane makes unexpected noises, you need to pay attention.

The third most common problem that leads to a GA accidents is a powerplant system or component failure. Remember, if you lose your engine (or an engine component), never stop flying the airplane.


4) Good maintenance makes a huge difference.

According to the NTSB, system and component failures are one of the most common causes of GA accidents. Make sure you're getting all of your required inspections done, and give your mechanic plenty of time to get your maintenance done before your next flight.


5) When in doubt, stay on the ground.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it's not always that simple. External pressures, get-there-itis, and a whole lot of decision making errors can lead to an accident. In fact, the NTSB says that nearly every GA accident has some type of poor risk management or aeronautical decision-making involved. If you're ever in doubt, it's best to stay on the ground.


Flying safely comes down to managing your risks and making good decisions. Do both, and you'll have a smooth flight.

Ready to put your flying career in motion? Whether you want to start your aviation career, or you just have a few questions about learning to fly, get in touch with the UND Aerospace team today.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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