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Lessons Learned

Posted by on October 20, 2008 4 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog

The FAA has just released a new web tool / service called “Lessons Learned” and it is worth checking out.  The idea behind the site of course, is learning lessons from aviation accidents.  And although the site focuses mainly on commercial transport category accidents, there is still something to be taken away for even an ultralight pilot.   Think of “Lessons Learned”  has “I Learned About Flying From That” but with a airliner theme (and online instead of in print).


Here’s a good example.  Take for instance Eastern Airlines Flight 401 that crashed into the Florida Everglades when the autopilot was accidentally disconnected and went unnoticed as the flight crew tried to diagnose a unsafe landing gear position indicator.  The FAA website now breaks this accident snyposis down so that we can see the chain of events that lead to this horrific accident.  For instance, a lesson learned would be “false assumptions” regarding who (or what) is flying the plane.  At the time of this accident, there was no CRM (or crew resource management) training given by any airline.  If there had been, it might have addressed procedures and policies for this kind of malfunction and delegated who had responsibility for flying the airplane while another crew member focused on the problem.

I’d encourage you to visit this new website and let me know what you think.

Stories like these remind us all that we need to work hard to…



  1. Wayne Conrad on Oct 21, 2008

    When you arrive at the FAA web site at http://accidents-ll.faa.gov/ , your eyes will be drawn to a fancy three-paned navigational tool at the bottom of the page. Ignore it. It’s a decoy which leads to no information. Go straight to the tabs at the top of the screen (“View All Accidents”, etc.).

  2. instructor on Oct 21, 2008

    Thanks Wayne, I noticed that too.

  3. Lleaxyine on Jan 23, 2009

    Actually, don’t sell the windows at the bottom of the page short. They aren’t a navigation tool – the computer powers that be, and who have control over FAA websites, wouldn’t allow navigation from there, but if you click on any/all of them, you get to new windows that allow you to dive further into each element, and find the definitions of each of the life cycle elements, threat categories,and common themes. It would be nice if navigation could occur from there, but that wasn’t allowed. At least, you can get a context of what things mean within the website.

  4. Jeremy on Mar 09, 2009

    That is a useful section and I actually remember the flight 401 story. I’ll have to bookmark that site, thanks!

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