Plane Crashes: Secrets to Staying Safe, Avoiding Accidents

The NTSB said many small plane crashes can be avoided with more pilot training.
5:02 | 03/18/13

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Transcript for Plane Crashes: Secrets to Staying Safe, Avoiding Accidents
For most fear of flying involves fleeting flashes of nerves during turbulence on a flight through stormy mother. Overcoming the white knuckle panic can help get you through the jitters. But nerves of steel are also the secret to actually surviving or better yet avoiding a mid flight catastrophe. ABC's Jim -- takes to the skies to find life -- answers. Sometimes they get lucky little -- the three passengers on board an antique plane -- -- know that they would soon be filming a close call with death. Their private pilot desperately trying to take off -- -- heavily loaded small plane at high altitude. When it finally stalls into the treetops. The plane tumbles to the ground cameras still rolling. Passengers and pilot survive. Meaning it can't be. But too often in general are private aviation luck is not enough. Just this weekend there were nine fatalities in eleven small plane crashes. Nationwide. This twin engine jet came down into a house in South Bend, Indiana. Killing two. A twin engine turboprop in Fort Lauderdale killed three when it crashed into an on -- The NTSB is so concerned with GA safety that we have placed this issue on our most wanted list. Of transportation safety improvement. In fact while domestic commercial airplanes are on a safety streak of no fatalities in more than three years. Small planes averaged five accidents a day. Nearly 500 Americans died in small planes each year the leading cause of death is pilot loss of control. Almost all of these accidents are preventable and -- we've seen them before and unfortunately. And -- things change we will see them again. Which is why we went to the spin doctor -- stole he says private pilots don't get the training they need to recover from emergency. They have never Dennys bed until it's a -- what kind of enemy -- panic which is what we all go through Seward. Once we panic it's over sow panic is. Really the precursor to light sound and so by having some kind of a mental. Routine that we can go through a mental procedure it takes us away from panic. So awfully go to practice panic get 3000 feet above the California soil. My plane intentionally entering a death -- Too often for private pilots their final view over the first time a pilot is in -- -- is when they're in trouble. Yes it typically the -- the last Jefferson stole teaches private pilots like me to overcome panic and human instinct. To survive -- straight stall. Where the plane stops in mid air because it's climbing too fast. And falls towards the ground. Don't you feel that -- just allow the stick to come forward about two inches is all you really being. And try to relax when that happened. Next the barrel rule often caused by high wind or turbulence strong enough to push the -- up right and over. Get -- -- over the decider even get its upside down. Do -- wider role. -- -- Not nearly as much. His attitude doubt they'll -- back. And finally the combination dived to the ground and that deadly -- So. There bill that we letter -- to -- this adding we started off -- break out. Helping for the first thousand civilians -- the hardest. Have no idea which usually -- ticket out of that. For pilots the most difficult lesson is to resist the temptation to pull up when going down. Because when an airplane stalls it doesn't -- enough speed to fly. So contrary to the natural impulse the pilot must push the controls towards the ground to pick up enough speed to recover. The pilots typically freeze on the controls. Yet they typically -- occurring on the set up to the ground that's what they're entering the speed it's already too late. So we have to replace that survival instinct wins. The brain telling nobody knows you have to do this and have to do. A full 97%. Of all aviation fatalities happen in small planes. Not all can be avoided with practice this Idaho plane was doomed from takeoff. Too heavy to gain altitude in the mountains. But for many experiencing the unthinkable. From rules to spins to dies before that critical life and death moment. Could save lives. We're Nightline I'm Jim over Santa Paula California.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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