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EAA, GA Working Group in Front of Focus on Loss-of-Control Accidents

Findings already providing ideas to address NTSB Top 10 item

January 15, 2015 – EAA and the general aviation community are already well ahead of the curve when it comes to finding ways to reduce GA loss-of-control accidents, because of several years of progress through the FAA’s General Aviation-Joint Steering Committee working group that has studied those accidents.

Loss-of-control accidents in general aviation gained visibility this week when the National Transportation Safety Board named it as one of its Top 10 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements. It was the only GA item mentioned in this year’s list, which also includes rail, mass transit, commercial trucking, and motor vehicles driving impairment.

“The general aviation community is already well on its way toward meeting its own goal of studying loss-of-control and finding ways to reduce those totals through its exhaustive work within the GA Joint Steering Committee,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “EAA has been a very active member of this committee’s working group, which is focused on using verifiable data to find causes and the best ways to address the issue, while not wasting time and resources on solutions that would have only a minimal impact.”

EAA co-chaired the first Loss-of-Control Working Group several years ago and has been the lead organization for implementing several of the group’s safety enhancements regarding training and outreach. Among the solutions advanced by EAA through the Loss-of-Control Working Group was the recently FAA-approved use of a test pilot for Phase 1 flight testing in amateur-built aircraft. This “second pilot” program was detailed in the story “Education, Not Regulation - The AC 90-116 Success Story” that appeared in the November 2014 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine. (Scroll down to page 12.)

Elliott, who serves on the GA-JSC steering committee, noted that the process being used by the GA working group is similar to the Commercial Air Safety Team (CAST) program adopted by airlines in the 1990s that greatly reduced their accident rate. The CAST program evaluates data over a longer period of time that shows trends and specific items to address through education and training.

“EAA has always believed that education is more effective than regulation, and our members have always shown themselves to be dedicating toward making themselves better pilots,” he said. “While the NTSB focus on GA loss-of-control accidents is a good reminder, the aviation community and the public should know that EAA is already part of an outstanding, substantial GA community effort toward a solution.”

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