Fatal accidents in experimental category aircraft, particularly amateur-built aircraft, continued their decline during the Federal Aviation Administration's 2017 fiscal year that ended September 30, falling to historic lows.
For the 12-month period from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017, fatal accident totals in amateur-built aircraft were down 18 percent to just 27, compared with 33 during the 2016 fiscal year. That continues a four-year trend that has seen a total drop of 47 percent in fatal accidents, despite an increasing amount of flight hours each year over that period. The specific totals compare to 40 amateur-built aircraft fatal accidents during the 2015 fiscal year and 51 in the 2014 fiscal year. Continue reading "E/AB Accident Rate Drops to Historic Lows"
Take a look at these beautiful pictures, taken over the town of Truckee (CA), just north of Lake Tahoe, at the northern edge of the Sierra Nevada. It's mid-November, and snow is beginning to fill in the high country. The large granite crags at the western edge of Donner Lake (the approach to Donner Pass) are visible - but already showing their winter coat. To the east, we can look into the Great Basin of North America. At the foot of the hills in which we find ourselves, the city of Reno - planted in a valley known as the Truckee Meadows. These pictures were taken out of opposite sides of my RV-8, and the flying time from Truckee Meadows to the Donner Pass is about ten minutes. Continue reading "Perspective"
Lancair Owners and Builders Organization Recognized for Contribution to Safety
In 1996 the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) and the EAA established the Spirit of Flight Award to recognize those EAA members who made a significant contribution to aviation safety and flight testing, with the goal of encouraging further improvements in these areas. This year the William “Jeff” Edwards and Bob Pastusek, founding members of the Lancair Owners and Builders Organization (LOBO), were so honored. Continue reading "Spirit of Flight Award"
The FAA administrator comes to EAA AirVenture just about every summer, and as a rule the main thrust of the current officeholder's speech is pretty predictable--whoever is in the job will talk about how great GA is and how much they support it, but how hard and slow it is to change any of the rules and regs that frustrate pilots and aircraft owners. This year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta had the lucky opportunity to tout actual progress the agency has recently made toward giving GA something they dearly want — third-class medical reform — and even more. “We’re committed to making general aviation safer and more efficient and we’re making a lot of progress,” Administrator Michael Huerta told the Oshkosh crowd today. “Collaboration between the FAA and industry is allowing the GA community to benefit from upgraded technology, lower costs, and higher levels of safety.” Continue reading "Huerta Stresses Safety At AirVenture"
Bear with me a few paragraphs as I talk a little about my previous life. I have been in aviation since my teenage years, and was incredibly fortunate to spend most of my career in the operation and testing of spacecraft, primarily the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. Those were incredible decades, flying incredibly complex machinery with little to no margin for error. And sometimes – errors were made. Continue reading "Kindred Spirits – Fallen Colleagues"