PILOTS will learn how to navigate high-risk situations when the weather turns against them at a special safety brief.
Deadly accidents happen when pilots who fly visually, without all the instruments, find themselves in deteriorating weather and push-on, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) communications manager Peter Gibson said.
"We have a regular program of getting around to regional areas to talk to pilots in their local flying environment about issues and so forth, but particularly this one is in response to fatal accidents caused by pilots being in trouble due to bad weather," he said.
"We have two or three fatal accidents each year caused by pilots not anticipating or managing weather conditions correctly.
You probably wouldn't need to go back through the records too far to find a weather-related accident in the region.Peter Gibson
"You probably wouldn't need to go back through the records too far to find a weather-related accident in the region."
Local pilots will learn how to assess the weather before and during a flight, how to plan for the weather conditions and good decision-making skills.
It's hoped 30 to 40 pilots will attend from across the region.
There have been a number of close calls in the region, including a minor incident at Quirindi in 2019 where an aircraft was written off, a deadly crash in Tamworth in 2005 and another fatal incident in Inverell in 2016.
Mr Gibson said the seminar is part of a broader campaign to reduce weather-related accidents.
"We'll be looking at local-specific weather conditions, in terms of fronts coming through and that sort of thing where there's more rugged terrain in your area," he said.
"But it's also about the principles behind it like good preflight planning, looking at available weather data and being prepared to make the right decisions in-flight so that if things change you have the tools in front of you to make the decision to do the right thing."
The real risk is when conditions change mid-flight for visual pilots, Mr Gibson said, as people feel pressured to finish the flights.
"It's a human psychological thing," he said.
"Turn back or divert or whatever it might be, but private pilots in particular who don't have company procedures or a bigger aircraft with two pilots to discuss options make the wrong decision to press on to get to the destination rather than turn back - that is often the fatal mistake."
Tamworth's Airspeed Aviation managing director Ben Wyndham said he felt it was particularly important for private pilots to go along, and that he would encourage his own pilots to go.
"We all know how much harder it is to drive in fog, so imagine trying to find your way back to the ground," he said.
"We've seen a number of accidents around the Liverpool Plains, Scone and Tamworth - Murrurundi Gap is notorious because people try to make it through when the weather is bad.
"There is a disappointing trend among private pilots who do get themselves trapped by time pressures or whatever reason."
The Tamworth aviation safety seminar is on August 11 at 6pm at the Tamworth Aero Club and is free to attend.
Pilots need to register with CASA due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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