August 28, 2013 - EAA participated in an experimental aircraft safety seminar at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia, last weekend. Speaking alongside the panel of AOPA, FAA, and NTSB experts, including featured speaker NTSB member Earl Weener, EAA Government Advocacy Specialist Tom Charpentier reminded the audience of Washington, D.C., area pilots of the importance of smart decision making during Phase I test flights of experimental amateur-built aircraft.
"Phase I flight testing carries inherently elevated risk, so be smart about it," Charpentier said. "Get thorough transition training, have a detailed plan for each flight, and remember that there is no shame in deciding to have someone more experienced handle any flights you are uncomfortable with." He added that most accidents during Phase I are due to human factors such as loss of control, not mechanical failure.
He also reminded the group that a major hot spot for homebuilt accidents is during the first few hours by a subsequent owner.
"Ultimately, the safety of our community is in all of our hands," Charpentier said. "When you sell your homebuilt, take a moment to educate the buyer on the importance of transition training. Invite him or her to join organizations that can provide further resources, such as EAA, AOPA, the aircraft's type club, and their local EAA chapter."
The seminar was one in a series conducted by the NTSB at its D.C.-area facility for pilots in the region. Learn more about the Training Center and future programs.