Posted: 2/24/2010 16:51:08
The newly released 2009 Nall Report is pretty hard of experimental amateur built aviation. There is a reasonable doubt about their rate calculations based on FAA estimates of hours flown, but any way you slice it we are having accidents all out of proportion to our share of the total number of airplanes and hours flown. E-AB aircraft had an accident rate almost 5 times higher than certificated aircraft and a fatal rate of 7 times higher per hour flown. Even if the FAA hours estimates are off by a factor of 2, which they most probably are not, we are not looking too good. We need to do better.
We have accident rates involving mechanical problems and unexplained losses of engine power that are about double that of certificated airplanes. That says to me that we need to do a better job of helping amateur builders get their airplanes put together correctly and safely. We don't need to take the "experimental" out of experimental airplane building, but we do need to help builders avoid mistakes (experiments) that have proven to be bad ideas.
Who has some good ideas to help reverse this troubling trend?
BTW, you can see the 2009 Nall Report at www.aopa.org The article and link is on their home page.
Posted: 2/25/2010 06:15:36
Maybe what we need to do is what the housing industry has been doing for years. Inspections. Not all of us have had aerornautical backgrounds or a life time of mechanical experience. For those that haven't, inspections would be a good thing to do. The other thing we need to do is stand up TOGETHER and raise holy h#@@ about ethanol. I test my fuel every time I buy it and have found that the % is inconsistant. It seems that since they OKed its use they've stopped doing any testing themselves. MY two cents worth, J.
Posted: 3/2/2010 11:22:51
Despite the notable lack of activity here, this topic has become a hot one on the GlaStar and Sportsman Association's forum (members only). It seems as though there are a number of problems with the data related to experimental amateur built accidents in the Nall report, thus calling into question many of the more dire conclusions. This is a big deal, because of the potential impact these impressions can have on our insurance rates.
I understand that the EAA is looking into this, but apparently has decided not to comment on this forum until they do more analysis. I am fine with that, but I am anxious to see what they come up with.
I am a bit surprised to see so little activity on the topic here and absolutely nothing on the AOPA forum, even though the AOPA was where I first found about the report.
We in the GlaStar and Sportsman Association are setting up a mentoring program to help out builders approaching their first flights, both to assist with flying experience and building issues. I would hope that other groups would follow suit.