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EAA Shares Update on Completing NTSB’s E-AB Recommendations

August 30, 2018 - EAA this week sent a letter to the NTSB updating progress on a series of safety recommendations issued in a 2012 report. The NTSB studied the root causes of fatal experimental amateur-built aircraft accidents in 2011, and came back with 16 safety recommendations; 12 for the FAA, and, uniquely, four for EAA.

“In the past six years, EAA has been actively working to address the recommendations directed at us in this study,” EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety Sean Elliott stated in the letter. “We have made significant progress, and are continually working to improve the experimental safety record.”

In response to the first recommendation that EAA support and promote flight test training, the letter outlines multiple safety initiatives that EAA has developed:

  • The Additional Pilot Program (APP) was developed by EAA as an Advisory Circular that offers a way to bring more experience into the cockpit as an aircraft goes through Phase I flight testing.
  • The Experimental Amateur-Built Safety Pledge calls EAA members to sign on to using best practices for fuel flow testing, as well as evaluating angle of attack and lift information systems.
  • EAA’s Flight Test Manual, on track for release later this year, is a curriculum that will provide builders and pilots with a clear path to completing flight test training.

The second recommendation calls EAA to promote the use of electronic data recording in homebuilt aircraft. EAA is working closely with three major avionics manufacturers to develop this kind of technology and to make it readable as aircraft go through the flight testing process.

EAA previously completed the third recommendation with the publication of its list of Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders, and the NTSB closed out the item in 2013, noting that EAA’s work exceeded the recommended action. EAA is currently undertaking a major update to the list and is seeking policy improvements to the LODA program to make it even more useful in amateur-built aircraft training.

The fourth and final recommendation led EAA to establish the Type Club Coalition (TCC), a stand-alone body of type club and safety experts from 38 member organizations that represent all facets of fixed-wing aviation. The TCC offers these organizations a place to work together to establish the best possible training programs and operating practices for their members.

“EAA continues to commit itself deeply to improving the safety of recreational aviation activities in all of its forms, particularly experimental and amateur-built aircraft,” Elliott wrote. “We appreciate our unique ability to work collaboratively with the National Transportation Safety Board members, as well as [their] staff. This relationship has allowed us to make meaningful improvements in safety, and we look forward to continuing our work together.”

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