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  #1  
Old 01-26-2012, 06:26 AM
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roadrunner20 roadrunner20 is offline
 
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Default NTSB Completes Data Collection On E-AB Aircraft Accidents

Thought this would be of interest to the forum.

NTSB Completes Data Collection For Study On Experimental - Amateur Built Aircraft Accidents
January 23, 2012
WASHINGTON - Throughout the 2011 calendar year, the National Transportation Safety Board has been conducting a study of Experimental Amateur-Built (E-AB) aircraft to evaluate the safety of this growing and innovative segment of general aviation. In addition to using the information gathered during its accident investigations, the NTSB has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and individual owners and builders to evaluate a range of issues unique to this popular segment of general aviation.

"The cooperation we have received from EAA and the E-AB community has been tremendous," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P Hersman. "Through this study, we hope that we'll be able to give the innovators and aviators in the community information about accidents that will result in a real and immediate safety payoff for them when they are flying these aircraft."

As part of the study, NTSB investigators have conducted in-depth investigations of 222 E-AB aircraft accidents that occurred during 2011. Fifty-four of these accidents resulted in 67 fatalities. Most of these accidents (93%) involved amateur-built airplanes, the remaining accidents involved gyroplanes (4%), helicopters (2%), and gliders (1%). These accidents occurred in 44 states, with California (18 accidents), Texas (16 accidents), and Florida (14 accidents) accounting for the most. More than half (53%) of the E-AB accidents investigated in 2011 involved E-AB aircraft that were bought used, as opposed to having been built by the current owner.

The EAA has supported the study by conducting a web-based survey of E-AB owners and builders. More than 5,000 E-AB owners and builders responded to EAA's survey, and 4,923 of these responses were sufficiently complete to use in analyses. Most respondents (97%) described E-AB airplanes, while gliders, gyrocopters, and helicopters were each described by slightly less than 1% of the respondents. Sixty-three percent of respondents had already built their E-AB aircraft, 13% were currently building their E-AB aircraft, and nearly 24% had bought used E-AB aircraft. More than 340 distinct makes of amateur-built aircraft were reported, although kit manufacturers accounted for more than 55% of the reported aircraft.

"The NTSB is extremely pleased with the number of respondents who participated in the survey," said Dr. Joseph Kolly, Director of the Office of Research and Engineering. "The survey data provides us with quantifiable, factual information that enriches our understanding of how E-AB aircraft are built and operated."

The safety study is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2012.

Contact: NTSB Public Affairs Peter Knudson
Contact: NTSB Public Affairs Keith Holloway
(202) 314-6100
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2012, 08:29 AM
Peterk Peterk is offline
 
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More than half (53%) of the E-AB accidents investigated in 2011 involved E-AB aircraft that were bought used, as opposed to having been built by the current owner.

...didn't see that one coming.

Last edited by Peterk : 01-26-2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: removed "wow" as underserving exclamation
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2012, 08:40 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterk View Post
More than half (53%) of the E-AB accidents investigated in 2011 involved E-AB aircraft that were bought used, as opposed to having been built by the current owner.

Wow...didn't see that one coming.
Based on actual observation I would see this as a valid point. Builders seem to be quite concerned about putting their new plane at risk due to lack of training......that doesn't seem to be as much the case with new pilots of pre-owned RVs.

I suspect the reason is builders are more likely to have been plugged into the RV community for a long time and have considerable exposure to sermons about getting transition training. New owners of pre-owned RVs often have very little exposure to experimental aviation of any sort and haven't been schooled in the need for transition training. Second owners are more likely to have several years flight experience which may lead some to believe transition training isn't necessary.

Wonder if this study will prompt insurance underwriters to make their training requirements more stringent.....
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2012, 09:12 AM
Peterk Peterk is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
Based on actual observation I would see this as a valid point. Builders seem to be quite concerned about putting their new plane at risk due to lack of training......that doesn't seem to be as much the case with new pilots of pre-owned RVs.

I suspect the reason is builders are more likely to have been plugged into the RV community for a long time and have considerable exposure to sermons about getting transition training. New owners of pre-owned RVs often have very little exposure to experimental aviation of any sort and haven't been schooled in the need for transition training. Second owners are more likely to have several years flight experience which may lead some to believe transition training isn't necessary.

Wonder if this study will prompt insurance underwriters to make their training requirements more stringent.....
Makes sense when you put it that way. Wonder what the NTSB will "recommend"? They always have something pretty substantial to say.
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2012, 09:23 AM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
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Default Difference? & I got the survey request & insurance demands

The write up at the start of this thread is one of the nicest I have seen on this subject. Well done!

First of all, I don't think 53% vs. 47% is a significant difference deserving a WOW! I would have expected more like a 60/40 buyer/builder split. If the Phase 1 testing accidents were removed the results would move in that direction I believe.

I got the survey and I studied it but I threw it in the trash. As the builder and frequent modifier of my airplane, I was not anxious to report all of that to a government agency interested in safety and opposed to modifications to improve performance - I do not view them as a needed friend.

Insurance companies are rightfully scared of exposure to early flight accidents. I accepted the risk and flew the first 5 hours without insurance as a direct result. After that I applied and got the insurance at a tolerable rate. I suspect I may not be the only one that will only allow insurance companies to control my actions so far in the pursuit of happiness.

Bob Axsom
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2012, 02:15 PM
Wayne Gillispie Wayne Gillispie is offline
 
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Sam is right on. Spending years lurking on VAF before flight training, reading NTSB reports and finally building has made me a much safer pilot. I have learned a great deal from others mistakes. I will always try to prepare and fly like a 200 hour pilot at the end of phase 1. Yes, it takes more prep time and I won't get to say "watch this", but I am okay with that. I sure hope we can reduce these numbers.

I flew the entire 25 hr test period with a 10% of hull value deductible. This got me a very good price for the year for a low time pilot. I now have a $250 deductible which did not change the way I plan or fly. Safety and training is still and always will be top on my list, especially since it is not just me anymore. Pretend you have your mom, wife or kids in the plane with you even when it may be just you or you and another pilot. Be safe.
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2012, 02:49 PM
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akschu akschu is offline
 
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I really dislike insurance companies. Alaska + Experimental = No insurance at any cost.

I can't even buy builders insurance to cover the cost of parts if I lost my house in a fire or some other natural disaster.

I talked to my home ower's agent and they won't touch anything aviation with a ten foot pole.

Now I understand that people don't want to insure in perceived high risk situations, but good grief, builders insurance where I am has less risk then someone building on the east coast due to hurricanes.

Also, there may be a situation where I'm willing to pay the money for the insurance. For example, you can't fly through Canada without liability insurance, but I can't buy it. If I was living in the lower 48 then I could have insurance and fly to Alaska and back, but living in Alaska, I can't buy insurance to fly to the lower 48 and back.

This is one of many reasons why I'll probably leave Alaska once the airplane is done. I'm just sick of getting treated like I live in a foreign country.

Probably what I'll do is fit floats to the airplane (no it's not an RV) then fly it down southeast to Wrangle then go from there to Washington. Is that the safest way to do it, heavens no, but I think I'm willing to do it one time if I allow myself 2 weeks for weather, fly in July, and get really picky about when I launch.

When the airplane shows up in Washington, I'll leave it in the lower-48 and only fly back to AK for vacation.

Sorry for the rant, carry on.
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2012, 03:55 PM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Axsom View Post
First of all, I don't think 53% vs. 47% is a significant difference deserving a WOW! I would have expected more like a 60/40 buyer/builder split. If the Phase 1 testing accidents were removed the results would move in that direction I believe.
Not enough information to know if this is a "wow" or not. You need to know the total number of hours flown in E-AB aircraft by the builder vs hours flown by someone that purchased the plane. Or at least know the percent E-AB that are still owned by the builder vs owned by a non-builder.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:31 PM
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FORANE FORANE is offline
 
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As one who purchased an experimental already completed and flying, I am certain I learned much during the years of ownership that the builder would have known prior to first flight. Would that have made a difference in accident rate? I am not convinced it would. As a low time pilot at time of purchase though I am convinced of one thing. I am absolutely certain I would have crashed on first flight had I not received transition training from a QUALIFIED pilot.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2012, 05:11 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
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Default What percent of E-AB airplanes are owned by their builder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plehrke View Post
Not enough information to know if this is a "wow" or not. You need to know the total number of hours flown in E-AB aircraft by the builder vs hours flown by someone that purchased the plane. Or at least know the percent E-AB that are still owned by the builder vs owned by a non-builder.
It would be interesting to know how many E-AB planes are owned and flown by their builder. My guess would be that many more planes are flown by second, third, or fourth owners and many less are flown by builders. If that is true, and I have no way of knowing if it is or not, than builders need to step up their safety program. From reports I have seen and makes sense, the first 40 hours is the time to be extra cautious. That may be the reason it is close to 50-50 in this survey.
Without additional information, it is an interesting report, but doesn't give enough detail to make much of a judgment other than be careful!
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