Controlled Flight into the Terrain – UPSC Prelims

 Controlled Flight into the Terrain (CFIT):
  • A Controlled Flight into the Terrain is defined as an accident in which the aircraft collides with terrain, water or any obstacle during the course of a flight. During such a condition, the pilot is unable to identify the loss of control.
  • This definition has been put forth by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which determines the global standards for airline safety and security
  • IATA mentions that a CFIT event is triggered by various possible factors such as environmental conditions, bad weather conditions and sometimes there are possibilities of flight crew errors.
  • A study revealed that the approach-cum-landing phase of an aircraft accounted for two-thirds of all CFIT and contributed to 62% of fatal CFIT incidents.
  • In the accident analysis report of IATA, it was estimated that 6% of 837 commercial aviation accidents were caused by CFIT incidents during 2008-17.
  • Therefore, CFIT is considered as the second most frequent category of fatal accidents with 42 fatal accidents which is 28% of total fatal accidents found in aircrafts.
  • Why in News? Findings of General Bipin Rawat helicopter crash have found that unexpected change in the weather conditions resulted in the spatial disorientation of the aircraft’s pilot that led to the Controlled Flight into the Terrain (CFIT).

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