Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) persisted as the world’s second leading cause of commercial aviation fatalities as of 2008. Flight Safety Foundation first helped bring the issue clarity and resources in the early 1990s, when it was the accident type that killed more people than any other in the industry. Essentially, CFIT occurs when an airworthy aircraft under the control of the flight crew is flown unintentionally into terrain, obstacles or water, usually with no prior awareness by the crew.
The FSF-led international CFIT Task Force, created in 1992, set as its five-year goal a 50 percent reduction in CFIT accidents. The task force included more than 150 representatives from airlines, equipment manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers and many other technical, research and professional organizations. The task force believed that education and training are readily available tools to help prevent CFIT accidents.