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EAA, VAA Bring Safety Ideas to NTSB


Vintage Aircraft Association Executive Director H.G. Frautschy (front row, center) and Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations (front row, second from right), were among the presenter at NTSB's two-day GA safety forum this week in Washington, D.C. (NTSB photo)

June 21, 2012 - EAA and Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) officials emphasized the importance of simplified maintenance and modification approval for improved vintage aircraft safety, as they spoke Wednesday during the National Transportation Safety Board's safety forum in Washington, D.C.

Doug Macnair, EAA's vice president of government relations, and H.G. Frautschy, VAA executive director, participated in one of the eight panels that presented over the two-day forum, titled "General Aviation Safety: Climbing to the Next Level." Their panel was focused on aviation maintenance, especially the ability to bring replacement parts and modern technology into vintage aircraft without burdensome regulations and approval processes.

"The NTSB event was a thorough examination of the challenges that general aviation continues to face," said Sean Elliott, EAA's vice president of advocacy and safety, who also attended the forum. "Some of the issues were long-standing ones for the GA community, but there was an encouraging amount of new technology discussed that could move the needles positively in regards to safety."

Tuesday's four panels focused on areas such as overall aviation safety, reaching pilots with safety programs, flight training, and use of flight simulation for improved safety. On Wednesday, the NTSB heard more on aviation weather information, new technology to enhance safety, and communications in addition to the aviation maintenance panel. Representatives from throughout the general aviation community participated in the forum.

The participation of EAA and VAA continues to signal not only the NTSB's increasing engagement in general aviation safety, but also the agency's regard for EAA and its resources in addressing safety challenges. Several times during the forum, the Type Club Coalition, of which EAA is a founding member, and the FAA's General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, where EAA is extremely active, were mentioned as examples of the collaborative efforts that can improve GA safety.

In addition, the NTSB will be highly visible at next months' EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in, including two forums jointly led by EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower and NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman:

  • "Meet the Chairman" session with NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman on Wednesday, July 25
  • Review of the NTSB Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft Study on Thursday, July 26

"It's difficult to predict whether the NTSB will make specific recommendations or suggest additional regulation based on this week's forum," Elliott said. "One thing is certain, however: If we as aviators do not want new regulation, it is up to each and every one of us to be involved in improving our own aviation safety knowledge and enhancing our flying skills. We must continue to raise the safety bar and encourage other aviators to do so, too."


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