More and more information is being released about the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and 8 other people. We have new aviation terms for you lovely souls. In the coming days, you are probably going to hear the words “CFIT” and “UFIT“.
“CFIT” means “Controlled Flight Into Terrain”. Essentially, this means that the pilot had positive control of the aircraft and its control surfaces before it crashed into terrain. A pilot, say perhaps, who is flying and is in control of the airplane, crashes into the side of a mountain inadvertently – That would be a CFIT situation. “Terrain” can be a body of water, land, a building or any obstacle connected to the surface of the Earth. We expect to hear that the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant was a CFIT situation.
Everyone was okay
An overloaded (Overweight) plane, in air that’s too thin (Density Altitude), too warm (Insufficient lift) and insufficient
power, yikes. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
“UFIT” means “Uncontrolled Flight Into Terrain”. This means, that the pilot has lost positive control of the aircraft he or she is flying and crashed. This could be a result of airframe structural failure (Like a wing breaking off or folding), an unrecoverable “stall” or similar maneuver that leads to a crash, or a pilot that has become incapacitated and the aircraft crashes because of that incapacitation.
Both terms, “CFIT” and “UFIT” can apply to fixed wing aircraft and helicopters (Rotorcraft) – Anything that humans can fly. These terms are applied to both non fatal and fatal aviation accidents.