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Thread: Safety: EAA type accidents

  1. #21
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    21.6% was a number I just made up for the purpose of illustration, it has no basis in reality, so don't hold me to it. However, I'd bet a six pack that it is closer to reality than 800% that you refer to again and again in your posts as being the gospel truth.

    Challenging grossly inaccurate and misleading stats is not nit-picking.
    Jeff Point
    RV-6 and RLU-1 built & flying
    Tech Counselor, Flight Advisor & President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

  2. #22

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    Whatever the details, lets all try to be safety concious,
    Not to belittle the discussion about the accuracy of the numbers, but just as important is the "how to" encourage everyone to be more "safety conscious"?

    For starters, how would you define "safety conscious"? How can everyone go about improving their safety consciousness?

    The video AOPA posted on their email this week was very thought provoking, as well as being profoundly sad. The gentleman involved is taking a strong & brave step to use his terrible experience to try to improve safety consciousness in others. Tragically, he has first-hand experience of what can happen in the worst case scenario.

    Perhaps an SMS (Safety Management System) system program (or app?) that those who wish to can apply to their individual situation? Perhaps all the pilot license curriculum/practical test standards, from Private through ATP, and flight reviews, should require pilots to do more research into the CRM/SMS type situations. Having said that, while a well taught CRM course is a thing of beauty, a poorly taught one is a waste of time & oxygen. There are so many seminars & presentations held around the country, available to anyone who takes the time to go along, yet I wonder how many do actually attend. It would be interesting to know what the number is as a percentage of the total pilot population? Can these all be done as webinars as well?

    I once visited the AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch) hangars in Farnborough. The wrecks we were shown ranged from the Lockerbie 747 (Pan Am 103) to a composite glider that had disintegrated after a lightning strike. Both those examples, of course, were not based on the PIC making a wrong decision, but on external factors. All the other wrecks were caused by poor judgement - a Jet Provost whose pilot had buzzed friends a bit too low, once too often (dust & a small part of the tail surfaces was all that was left on that one); a Grumman Tiger whose pilot had lost control trying to practice cross wind landings when not current enough & ended up embedded in the side of a Shorts 360. On some wrecks there was still blood visible. It was not nice & clinical like a photo or a video on a screen. I felt that if more people were to visit these places, perhaps the AAIB (& the NTSB) would have fewer wrecks to deal with.

    The NTSB investigators, and the FAA folks who also research the accidents, must just scratch their heads in wonder at the decisions some of the pilots have obviously made to get them into the predicament which has brought them to the site of the accident. What could be done to help change that decision making process?
    Last edited by Janet Davidson; 08-26-2012 at 08:16 PM.

  3. #23

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    Janet, congrats you are the first one on this topic that actually gets to how to be safer.

    On the same site as the one about Van and the FAA meeting, there is the next two by Van that talks about how to make flying safer for RVs. So go www.vansairforce.com, then to the topic Safety on the left side, then down to the 3rd line and essay 1, 2, and 3.

  4. #24

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    Jeff, for someone who writes not to misquote you, you are pretty loose with your standards on that. Nowhere did I ever write that the 600 or 800 % statistics were the" gospel truth", not one time, much less "again and again".

    And I did not make up any of the statistics. You can believe the FAA or not, you can dislike or disrespect the FAA, and will likely have many who join you; but don't try to make it that I said something I didn't. That's just not honest, not a fair way to have a discussion.

    I personally think or at least guess that the FAA facts are somewhere in the ball park, and I want to fly safer and encourage others to do the same. If we are successful in flying safer and the FAA stats are somewhat inaccurate, what harm is done? Rather than tarnishing the reputation of homebuilts, including R Vs, having a better safety record will enhance this. And if the FAA stats are right on, then for sure we need to make some changes.

    By the way, if you did even read the part by Van about the FAA meeting, the next section which I didn't yet mention is that if homebuilt folks don't improve on their own, the FAA can and will make new regs. Hey, that should be fun for all, eh?

    Let's give the FAA credit for one thing in this; instead of a bunch of desk lawyers imposing hard and fast regulations on our EAA types, they are seeking input from people like Van and Paul P.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 08-26-2012 at 09:07 PM.

  5. #25
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Steve, your objection to the FAA or FSDO, not being as through as the NTSB in accident report, is, to my way of thinking, a distincintion without a real operative difference, in many or our type of EAA accident.
    It is a huge difference. This is probably one reason we find so many of the FAA handled crash sites wind up with "undetermined reasons" involved. If we are having problems with the engines or the fuel systems and it is going unrecognized then that significantly contributes to the prevention of crashes.

    This focus on design features, AFTER the crash is fine, but is different than trying to avoid the crash in the first place.
    You have to do both. Because of the very nature of many experimental designers, builders and pilots, you'll probably never significantly reduce the human factors issues that lead to many crashes. We are simply all too often the "infallible alpha male" who doesn't want to think he can fail. I mean, the attitude is often "I built a **** airplane! I am the master of all things aeronautical!". Take a hard look at a lot of the folks we rub shoulders with and you'll see the dangerous attitudes that were so well discussed by Tony Kern in Darker Shades of Blue are frighteningly common.

    AND IT IS NOT A MATTER OF WHETHER THE EXACT FIGURE IS 800 % MORE OR ONLY 500 % MORE.
    The bigger question is "What is really causing that disparity? Is it mostly truly human factors problems or are there flaws in either the designs or the execution of those designs?". If someone is doing a crappy job looking at the wreckage and doesn't really care, then you're getting false data.

    Maybe my writing was not clear, but nobody has come on this topic and said, Yes,we need to improve and here is a way to do it safer.
    The problem is that when people make suggestions, those who will be effected by them tend to get really defensive and often hostile. That's one reason why I don't go over to VAF anymore. However, here are my recommendations towards preventing crashes.
    1. Require a 'biennial' flight review or a 'test piloting for dummies' course and check ride immediately prior to beginning the flight test period
    2. Revamp the FAA inspection process prior to issuance of the airworthiness certificate include provision of proof (such as a video tape, etc) showing the engine has been shown to work in both a nose high and nose low condition with the fuel tanks at low levels as well as full.
    3. Require more stringent ground run requirements for modified or unproved engines. This would include many of the VW and Corvair conversions as an example. Every engine of this type should be treated as suspect until proven otherwise. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the concept but one needs to be very certain that everything works like they believe it will before betting one's life and the reputation of general aviation and experimental aviation upon them. One of my friends is a very big advocate for them but advises that any such engine be built, inspected and tested "like you would a handled poisonous snake: very careful"

    I think,that to many, safety is a boring or uncool topic.It's like someone telling me to eat my veggies, and give up donuts. Even here on this EAA forum, we still don't have a category for safety, and if you go on the other Warbird forum there is not one either. I have made that suggestion on both sites and got nowhere.
    The problem is that it's not so much considered boring or uncool but rather that it requires one to be introspective and self-critical.

    oh my goodness level of risk that the flawed FAA study tries to make us believe
    You show me a study that isn't somehow flawed and I'll show you how you're not reviewing it intensely enough. No study is perfect but just because we don't like what the FAA has to say about us does not give us carte blanche to throw out the study and simply view it as "flawed". Not that I think you're suggesting that but we have to be careful using phrases like "flawed study" because people get the wrong impression when they aren't imbued with the ability to critically evaluate or the desire to vet what they are told.

    However, I'd bet a six pack that it is closer to reality than 800% that you refer to again and again in your posts as being the gospel truth.
    No offense but if you seriously believe that then prove it in a way that doesn't include unrealistic exclusions of subsets of aviation etc.

    The NTSB investigators, and the FAA folks who also research the accidents, must just scratch their heads in wonder at the decisions some of the pilots have obviously made to get them into the predicament which has brought them to the site of the accident. What could be done to help change that decision making process?
    I find that asking pilots (and their passengers) to sign medical/autopsy releases for use in crash survivability research when I see them about to do something exceptionally stupid (like the Cessna 172 pilot who was about to taxi out for takeoff in freezing rain as an example) tends to be a good way to make them reconsider their thought processes. However, I know this wouldn't work as a wider practice. Then again, if anyone wants to sign a release just in case, let me know.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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