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.

Run your own LOC-I analysis​

The IATA Annual Safety Report provides analysis of aviation accidents, including the Loss of Control Inflight (LOC-I) end states. To delve into the specifics, one can utilize the interactive features of the report by selecting the LOC-I end states and applying filters like timeframe, aircraft propulsion, and region of operators. This allows for a tailored examination of the data, offering insights into trends and patterns that can inform safety improvements.

LOC-I prevention 

The IATA Annual Safety Report is a comprehensive platform that provides the capability of analysis of Loss of Control Inflight (LOC-I) accidents. It includes a section (or a tab) on Threat and Error Management (TEM), which focuses on identifying factors contributing to LOC-I accidents. This section provides the user with the capability to select the LOC-I accident category from the left pane and the classification of the TEM will correspond to the selection.

The report also features a Recommendations for Accident Prevention section, which outlines strategies and measures to enhance LOC-I accidents in aviation. For those interested in further exploring these aspects of the IATA Annual Safety Report, the document is accessible online and provides valuable insights for operators, pilots, and other stakeholders in the aviation community to reduce the likelihood of LOC-I.

Furthermore, 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.