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Amateur-Built Fatal Accident Total Drops 21 Percent


October 2, 2006 — In a continuing trend toward safer operations of homebuilt aircraft, the final figures for the past 12 months show a decrease of more than 20 percent in the number of fatal accidents involving homebuilt aircraft. For the federal fiscal year that ended September 30, the official Federal Aviation Administration reports that there were 49 fatal homebuilt aircraft accidents during the period from October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006. That is a drop of 21 percent from the 62 fatal homebuilt accidents recorded from the 2004-05 fiscal year.

"This is excellent news, especially since the number of homebuilt aircraft continues to rise each year," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. "While one fatality is always one too many, the trend continues toward increasing safety by those who build and fly homebuilt aircraft."

EAA has several programs dedicated to enhancing homebuilt aircraft safety. Those programs include EAA Technical Counselors, who provide advice and guidance during aircraft construction, and EAA Flight Advisors, who help pilots evaluate their own flying skills prior to making their first flights in homebuilt aircraft. Many of these programs are available through local EAA Chapters, which also provides invaluable support and assistance for those building and flying recreational aircraft.

"Among all the programs that EAA administers to benefit its members and all recreational aviators, those that enhance safety are the top priority," Lawrence said. "These are essential tools to assist EAA members, who also deserve credit by keeping the highest standards when building and maintaining their aircraft."

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