The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die (Google eBook)

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McGraw Hill Professional, Dec 12, 2000 - Transportation - 304 pages
4 Reviews

This literal survival guide for new pilots identifies "the killing zone," the 40-250 flight hours during which unseasoned aviators are likely to commit lethal mistakes. Presents the statistics of how many pilots will die in the zone within a year; calls attention to the eight top pilot killers (such as "VFR into IFR," "Takeoff and Climb"); and maps strategies for avoiding, diverting, correcting, and managing the dangers. Includes a Pilot Personality Self-Assessment Exercise that identifies pilot "types" and how each type can best react to survive the killing zone.


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Unfortunately, Craig repeatedly commits a rather serious statistical error in this book. He uses accident frequency counts, rather than accident rates, as the statistical basis for his conclusions about the range of the "killing zone." Frequency counts are interesting, of course, but they don't account for the number of pilots at each range of flight hours (which accounts for most of the effect he claims). Therefore, they say little about the risk that you yourself face as your flight experience increases. My concern is the nature of that zone, and that we use the right methodologies to explore the issue. You'll have to forgive me for being geeky about this. It's just that it's part of what I do for a well-known agency having to do with aviation (which can't be named, because I'm speaking here as a private citizen).
Statistically, rates aren't interchangeable with frequencies. Rates subtract the effect of how many individuals are present in each "bin" of a frequency distribution (in this case, the y-axis, where the x-axis would be flight hours). In fact, it appears that about 70% of the "zone" may be an artifact, and can be explained just by the fact that the frequency distribution of NON-accident pilots looks nearly identical to the distribution of accident pilots. See my paper regarding this.
Bottom line: The kind of analysis we use on data like these is very tricky, is all I'm saying.

Review: The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die the Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die

User Review  - Jose - Goodreads

A book with answers to young and experienced pilots who sometimes ask themselves, what happened? how is that posible? a must for any pilot. Read full review


Chapter 1 The Killing Zone
Chapter 2 The Dangers
Chapter 3 Continued VFR into IFR Conditions
Chapter 4 Maneuvering Flight
Chapter 5 Takeoff and Climb
Chapter 6 Approach and Landing
Chapter 7 Runway Incursion
Chapter 8 Midair Collision
Chapter 12 Ice
Chapter 13 The Effects of Advanced Flight Training
Chapter 14 Instrument Flight CFIT
Chapter 15 Advanced Aircraft Accidents
Chapter 16 Pilot Personality
Chapter 17 Airmanship
Chapter 18 Accidents and the Media
Accident Statistics

Chapter 9 Fuel Management
Chapter 10 Pilot Health Alcohol and Drugs
Chapter 11 Night Flying

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About the author (2000)

Dr. Paul A. Craig, a longtime pilot, flight instructor, aviation educator, and author, designed and conducted the extensive pilot study that uncovered the Killing Zone. Driven by a lifelong concern with the high accident rate among general aviation pilots, Dr. Craig has conducted research projects for universities, the FAA, and NASA that has targeted the problem. Since 2002, he has worked as the principal investigator for NASA projects investigating scenario-based flight training, competency-based flight training, Technically Advanced Aircraft, ADS-B implementation, and teamwork among aviation disciplines. Dr. Craig is an Airline Transport Pilot and Gold Seal Flight Instructor for multiengine, instrument, and seaplane. He has twice been named an FAA District Flight Instructor of the Year. Dr. Craig won the NASA "Turning Goals into Reality" award in 2005 and the Wheatley Award as the nation's most outstanding aviation educator in 2004. He is a frequent speaker to flight instructors and others on improving flight training and safety. He is the author of "Pilot in Command; Be a Better Pilot; Stalls & Spins; Multiengine Flying", 3rd Edition; and "Controlling Pilot Error - Situation Awareness and Light Airplane Navigation Essentials".

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