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Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)

A situation where a mechanically normally functioning airplane is inadvertently flown into the ground, water, or an obstacle. There are two basic causes of CFIT accidents; both involve flight crew situational awareness. One definition of situational awareness is an accurate perception by pilots of the factors and conditions currently affecting the safe operation of the aircraft and the crew. The causes of CFIT are the flight crews’ lack of vertical position awareness or their lack of horizontal position awareness in relation to terrain and obstacles.

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