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NTSB/FAA beginning to talk the talk

http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety_alerts.html

NTSB Issues Five Safety Alerts For GA Pilots And Mechanics

Interesting that it is now being recognised, and openly discussed, that the old chestnut - MAINTENANCE, OR LACK OF - being viewed as a primary cause of GA accidents.

Interesting that a number of incidents occurring at post maintenance flight, and diligence required.

The thread on here recently, re Why so much appalling maintenance, is obviously not restricted to EASA land, with US shops coming under some fire. This surprises me somewhat, perhaps due in part to the economic woes in US?

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

I doubt there is any difference between the competence of European shops versus US shops, at the individual worker level.

The US scene has the advantage of a much bigger and more mature pilot community (of pilots who actually fly a lot of hours) which is a lot more "connected" so good and bad reports get around quickly. And of course there is a lot more choice.

The EASA regime encourages off-the-books work to be done, which is safe if done correctly... The organisational approval costs and procedures raise the barriers to entry into the business, but the same actual individuals do the work so nothing actually changes (and all the boxes are always ticked because they have to be). The principle of organisational rather then personal authorisations prevent the customer establishing where the buck stops, which enables bad eggs to carry on.

The FAA regime also probably encourages off-the-books work to be done, because while the FAA offers a straightforward route for field approvals for Major mods, individual FAA inspectors can be difficult.

The two serious issues I've had were immediately post-Annual: major internal leak in landing gear which forced flight with gear down (incorrectly assembled emergency gear release valve); totally frozen elevator trim at -14C (unidentified lubricant applied to the trim screw assembly).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Maintenance induced failures are all too common. Replacing items based solely on time in service is not always the safest. Which aircraft would you prefer to fly over a body of water outside of gliding distance from land, one that just had its engine overhauled 75 hours ago or one that is 75 hours beyond TBO but has good compression, normal oil consumption, normal fuel consumption, and otherwise normal performance, One has proved itself the other hasn't. Often the most dangerous flight is just after major maintenance.

KUZA

http://iflyblog.com/2013/03/17/ntsb-safety-alerts-general-aviation-is-on-the-radar-and-not-in-a-good-way/

Another view point on the original post. He is taking the view that over 30k aircraft are on experimental in the US, and views a potential interference from authority to impose more regulation in this sector.

The issue potentially is that EASA may use this to condone their take on more regulation in the sector, looking to the US to essentially sanctify.

Interesting also that Debra Hersman's view is-

She continues on to say, “So much of general aviation is a world apart from air carriers, which have training departments, safety officers, and safety management systems. GA is essentially an airline or maintenance operation of one, which puts the responsibility for sound decision-making on one person’s shoulders.” – end quote.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

She continues on to say, “So much of general aviation is a world apart from air carriers, which have training departments, safety officers, and safety management systems. GA is essentially an airline or maintenance operation of one, which puts the responsibility for sound decision-making on one person’s shoulders.” – end quote.

My original flight instructor told me me much the same thing, except that he added "so one reason we fly is because flying is the last stand of ultimate life and death individual freedom under a Federal government that would if possible remove meaningful individual responsibility from our lives. Flying allows us to connect with reality and is the most American of activities"

If you look at the FAA regs, you see they basically allow you to harm yourself as long as you don't harm others. Other than Experimental Amateur Built aircraft, a good example is no ELT requirement for single seat aircraft.

The NTSB would have us live in cocoon to avoid risk, and their recommendations tend to be extreme. Luckily they have have no regulatory authority.

I think the issue now, is that others are now indeed being harmed, and the perception might, just be taking hold, that he concept of freedom, may come at a cost.

The other issue here, is that Debra, whilst not only being easy on the eye, is in fact a superb speaker, clear, concise and articulate. Obviously highly intelligent to boot. In political circles, this is dangerous, because where a male might not make much headway, a female with these attributes, might just change attitudes, and statute.

We also know that Mr Obama, has not exactly been a friend of GA, and the tides on both sides of the Atlantic might be turning.

It just ogres not that well for the future of GA as we know it. Hope I am totally wrong, but it would just spell disaster if the US model were to change to a more restrictive, regulatory role.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

Well, FWIW I see no indication of a change in 'regulatory tone' in the US. Any change to Experimental Amateur Built is supposed to be a careful realignment to make sure the high performance 'factory built with owner involvement' aircraft remain within the spirit of education and experimentation.

The current European aircraft regulatory changes are so bizarre and totalitarian that to be honest I think most parties in the US are motivated to be ever more vigilant, if not go in the opposite direction!

If you look at the FAA regs, you see they basically allow you to harm yourself as long as you don't harm others.

This is why Australia has taken well over ten years to bring in regulatory reform. The original idea was to parallel the FARs...they kept the same numbering at least....but the more they got into it the more it became apparent that the default Autralian culture is the exact opposite of the US....

EGPD / OMDW / YPJT, United Kingdom

The current European aircraft regulatory changes are so bizarre and totalitarian that to be honest I think most parties in the US are motivated to be ever more vigilant, if not go in the opposite direction!

With a bit of luck, the current "European regulatory experiment", supplemented by the finger-up to the USA, will make Americans realise that they need to look after what they have.

but the more they got into it the more it became apparent that the default Autralian culture is the exact opposite of the US....

Do you mean Australians are risk averse?

I know virtually nothing about Australia but would have thought that they would have quite a gung-ho culture, a bit like the South Africans.

In aviation regulation, Australia can do a lot of what the USA does, without concern for unintended side effects, because in both cases the vast majority of based pilots never leave the country. In fact I think most GA planes cannot leave Australia without a ferry tank

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

At the risk of sounding unAustralian, I mean the concept of allowing activities that only have the potential to harm ones self is unheard of in Australia....the culture is that if it sounds dangerous it should be illegal....even if it is only a theoretical risk....and make it so...with strict liability...complete with associated penalties and policing mechanisms...see my previous rants! I particularly like the US attitude of resisting regulation at every turn...(by a reducing majority of people at least)....Europeans (and Australians) tend to accept and actively encourage the government's right (and obligation) to impose regulation to cover every conceivable scenario....end of rant!

EGPD / OMDW / YPJT, United Kingdom
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