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ATSB releases CFIT accidents study
19 December 2007

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) released a report on CFIT accidents. It examines accidents from an international perspective, current and potential CFIT preventative strategies, and identifies those characteristics associated with CFIT in Australia.
Australian data shows 25 CFIT accidents and two CFIT incidents in the period 1996 to 2005. General aviation accounted for the greatest proportion of CFIT accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities. Only one CFIT occurrence over the reporting period (VH-TFU, Lockhart River, Queensland, 7 May 2005) involved regular public transport operations, but this accident accounted for nearly one-third of all CFIT fatalities.
In line with international experience, nearly two-thirds of CFIT accidents and incidents in Australia occurred in the approach phase of flight, of which half of these were during an instrument approach.
When compared with the total number of accidents recorded by the ATSB over the 10-year period, the results of the study indicate that CFIT in Australia is a rare event. However, when CFIT does occur, the likelihood of it resulting in fatalities is high. (ATSB)