Controlled flight into terrain
A controlled flight into terrain (CFIT, usually pronounced cee-fit) is an accident in which an airworthy aircraft, under pilot control, is unintentionally flown into the ground, a mountain, a body of water or an obstacle. In a typical CFIT scenario, the crew is not aware of the situation until it is too late to stop it. The term was coined by engineers at Boeing in the late 1970s.
Accidents where the aircraft is out of control at the time of impact, because of mechanical failure or pilot error, are not considered CFIT (they are known as uncontrolled flight into terrain). Accidents resulting from the deliberate action of the person flying the aircraft, such as acts of terrorism or suicide by pilot.
According to Boeing, CFIT is a leading cause of airplane accidents involving the loss of life. It has caused over 9,000 deaths since the beginning of the commercial jet age. CFIT was identified as a cause of 25% of USAF Class A mishaps between 1993 and 2002.
- "Boeing: Commercial Airplanes - Jetliner Safety - Industry's Role in Aviation Safety". Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Uncontrolled Flight into Terrain". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
- "Boeing". mediaroom.com.
- Air Force Magazine, February 2004, Published by Air Force Association, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1198, USA.