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Annex II / microlight aircraft accidents not being investigated...

A while ago a Dutch pilot crashed with his Blackshape Prime in the Italian Alps south of the Brenner Pass.
Rumor has it that they found the body of the pilot in a tree while the aircraft was shattered all over in pieces.

I have flown in that area myself and would like to know the circumstances that have led to this accident.

I was astonished to read that the Italian Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo (ANSV) has decided not to investigate this accident.
According to EU regulation 996/2010 there is no requirement to investigate accidents with microlight aircraft.

This is very sad because now we will never know what happened.

The fact that Annex II aircraft accidents might never be investigated is something to consider if you’re thinking about flying a MLA (or other Annex II) aircraft…

lenthamen wrote:

The fact that Annex II aircraft accidents might never be investigated

Microlight aircraft are only a subset of Annex II. Microlights are exempt all regulations, except SERA. They are not aircraft in a “legal” sense. Investigation is therefore left to the police, or any other entity. All other Annex II are aircraft, but not EASA aircraft, and therefore must be investigated as usual.

LeSving wrote:

All other Annex II are aircraft, but not EASA aircraft, and therefore must be investigated as usual.

Not correct. This is what REGULATION (EU) No 996/2010 says:

To my knowledge lenthamen is absolutely right. 3 years ago I attended a seminar here in Denmark at our AAIB, where the Board informed about this. Even C172’s and Piper Cherokee’s of old vintage are Annex II aircraft. So far all accidents involving “23”-aircraft (FAR-23, JAR-23, CS-23) and the like have been investigated, but in a pinch, the Annex II ones may be skipped. It makes no sense because there is just as much to learn from accidents with Annex II aircraft as with the rest.

Last Edited by huv at 09 Nov 15:29
huv
EKRK, Denmark

huv wrote:

It makes no sense because there is just as much to learn from accidents with Annex II aircraft as with the rest.

I disagree. Unless the aircraft is certified, or at least has a C of A, there is little to learn in terms of technical improvements that is to be used later (for other than the manufacturer of that particular type). For pilot errors and similar things, there is of course much to learn.

lenthamen wrote:

Not correct

It’s not that black and white. What I said was that microlights will be investigated by the police or some other entity. In Norway they are investigated by the police (required by law in any case for all serious accidents of any kind) and by the microlight organisation (as part of the safety work). But, they are not investigated by SHT that investigates all other aviation accidents and incidents. They will never become a part of the statistics like all other aircraft. However, investigations are done, and statistics exist, but you won’t find them among the others.

An accident involving a microlight Eurostar could relate to more airframes than an extra 400. I would worry about the competence of the police or any non-specialist body to investigate aircraft accidents.

EGCW

kwlf wrote:

I would worry about the competence of the police or any non-specialist body to investigate aircraft accidents.

Exactly! Also, the investigation is of little value if the results are not shared with the public.

My view on this FWIW is that there’s a kind of a repetitive theme of inappropriate complexity of European aviation regulation leading to fractionalization, and a net loss of regulatory benefits. I understand Annex II is some kind of ICAO subdivision of aircraft, but its typical of European regulation that it drills down into the concept and creates unecessary divisions, which then have unintended side effects… like some aircraft accidents being investigated differently than others.

In the US virtually nobody outside of (presumably) the FAA knows what ‘Annex II’ means, nobody needs to know or cares, all FAA regulated aircraft have some kind of certificate of airworthiness (whether certified or not) and if a light aircraft type is FAA certified, it’s that way forever without endless and nonproductive churn and reassessment. As far as I know all aircraft accidents are investigated equally for potential lessons learned. Experimental category aircraft accidents are investigated without that fact implying that FAA has authority or responsibility to direct changes to the design. This stuff is really not regulatory rocket science, there are just a few basic principles, and I think attempting make it into rocket science defeats the funding objectives.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 09 Nov 19:02

Silvaire wrote:

European regulation that it drills down into the concept and creates unecessary divisions, which then have unintended side effects… like some aircraft accidents being investigated differently than others.

Again, this isn’t black and white, you draw conclusions too fast. It’s only microlights that have a different “regime”. In EASA terms, a European microlight is like a unregistered US microlight. There is no need for a license, no need to register it. It’s like a hang glider or paraglider. But, the various countries view this differently. Most places they must be registered, and you must have a license etc, but also typical, it’s not the authorities that handles them. There could also be even lighter aircraft with their own “regime”. The moment MTOW increases to above 450/475 kg and/or the stall speed is above 65 km/h, then it is not a microlight anymore, and the usual authority of investigation must investigate an accident. CS-LSA for instance (similar to US-LSA), must be investigated, the same goes for experimentals and “old classics”.

FWIW, lots of certified stuff is not investigated. Where the pilot survives, often he just gives a verbal or written account to the UK AAIB and you get a 1-page accident report. This [ local copy ] is one such, which I remember because the gentleman asked me some years later if he could rent my TB20.

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Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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