Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) remains one of the most significant contributors to fatal accidents worldwide. LOC-I refers to accidents in which the flight crew was unable to maintain control of the aircraft in flight, resulting in an unrecoverable deviation from the intended flight path.

LOC-I can result from a range of interferences including engine failures, icing, or stalls. It is one of the most complex accident categories, involving numerous contributing factors that act individually or, more often, in combination. Reducing this accident category, through understanding of causes and possible intervention strategies, is an industry priority.

LOC-I analysis​

The LOC-I Accident Analysis Report (pdf) details evaluations of the risk factors from recent LOC-I accidents to support the implementation of mitigation strategies.

It provides dynamic environment data from 64 LOC-I accidents that occurred between 2009 and 2018. It offers a user-friendly methodology to analyze and visualize LOC-I accident data and to identify patterns, trends, comparisons between data selections.

Tips: download and save a copy of the report before opening with Adobe Acrobat. The embedded MsExcel graphs are compatible with Microsoft Office 2013, 2016 and Office 365. Close any opened excel files after viewing to maintain optimum performance. 

LOC-I prevention - from aircraft design to pilot training

LOC-I is very broad accident category. This makes it difficult to produce a single, effective guidance document to help prevent LOC-I.

Analyses of LOC-I range from considerations of aircraft design to pilot training, regulatory oversight to change management. The Loss of Control Prevention: Beyond the Control of Pilots (pdf) document covers the aircraft design/manufacture characteristics as well as the organizational/managerial aspects and their role in aviation accidents, including:

  • Organizational and managerial issues which have the potential to create undesirable latent conditions contributory to LOC-I.
  • Design and manufacture, focusing on aircraft characteristics and certification specifications for transport category aircraft, which may have an influence upon LOC-I.​

LOC-I prevention documentation

Environmental factors affecting LOC-I

A strong link can be drawn between environmental factors and LOC-I accidents. IATA's “Environmental Factors Affecting Loss of Control In-Flight: Best Practice for Threat Recognition & Management” (pdf) guidance material is meant to help understand and mitigate the risk of LOC-I as a result of meteorological phenomena such as connective weather and  turbulence from aircraft wake vortices.

Any questions? 

Please contact us at safety@iata.org.