Work Begins on Plan to Lower A-B Fatal Accident Rate
EAA participates in ongoing work on GA safety and LSA standards
January 27, 2011 — EAA Government & Advocacy Specialist David Oord was in Sebring, Florida, last week meeting with several task forces and committees regarding light-sport aircraft certification and GA safety initiatives. In these ongoing collaborations with government and industry entities, EAA plays a key role, evolving standards for light-sport aircraft and working with the FAA to lower the experimental amateur-built aircraft accident rate.
Training was front and center at an FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) meeting, where kit manufacturers, insurance companies, owners groups, EAA, AOPA, NAFI, SAFE, and the FAA gathered to plot a course to lower the fatal accident rate of experimental amateur-built aircraft. This most recent initiative is part of the agency’s overall plan to transform general aviation. Loss of control continues to be the chief cause of fatal accidents. However, a direct hour-to-hour comparison of commercial GA passenger flights may be misleading since recreational aircraft spend the vast majority of flight time maneuvering and charter and corporate GA aircraft tend to avoid this type of flight activity. That being said, in 2009, 27 percent of the GA fatal accidents involved experimental aircraft even though they account for less than 4 percent of the total GA hours flown.
The FAASTeam will focus on training as a key way to address the accident rate, including developing a review process for training that providers can use to develop and improve their syllabi. As the GA Joint Steering Committee (GA-JSC) undergoes a reorganization to address the new safety push, EAA is encouraging members to stress airmanship, stay proficient during the building process, and, when the time comes to fly, seek out aircraft specific flight training and utilize the EAA Flight Advisor program.
At ATSM task group meetings, the attendees worked to consolidate quality assurance standards for the five categories of LSAs as well as preliminary work on standards for flight into IMC. As part of the GA-JSC, Oord co-chairs the Light Sport Joint Safety Committee, which is pursuing several action items, including S-LSA certification, industry consensus standards, and flight training practices and procedures.
In addition to individual advocacy for members with specific issues, EAA Government & Advocacy is a longtime participant in these ongoing committees and task forces that help shape standards and policies for general aviation.