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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Regulating Safety

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Regulating Safety


Thread: Regulating Safety

Message: Regulating Safety

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: "Dave Swartz" <DaveSwartz at>

Date: Sun, 25 Feb 1996 23:09:54 UTC


  The current discussion on safety and what can be done to improve it, is a good 
one.  My feelings line up with Guenther's last post.  Many things can be done 
to improve safety - some are more effective than others, some are more 
practical than others and some are more expensive than others.  We clearly 
accept some risk each time we step into our aircraft.  The question of how far 
each pilot should go to improve the odds is not that simple.  There are limits 
to what burden (financial, convenience, weight) different pilots can accept.  
I need more information before I can decide if a fireretardent suit would be a 
practical safety improvement for myself.  South Florida is a great place to 
fly, but I am wringing wet by the time I've got the engine turning most of the 
year.  I understand that the suit would give me some number of additional 
seconds (which could make the difference) to get out in the event of fire,  b 
u t ,  if wearing a suit would put me in danger of heat exhaustion or even 
take the joy out of flying, I personally would prefer to accept the additional 
danger.   If it were mandated that I must wear the suit, I would probably have 
to get one but I know it is unlikely that I would wear it while practicing.  
I'm in the box at contests a total of about 1 hour each year.  I practice away 
from the box about 120 hours.  A mandate to wear a suit obviously wouldn't 
improve my odds much if I didn't wear it for every flight.

No one would argue against requiring a fire extinguisher at the starting line. 
 There is an excellent payback at an extremely small price (most likely a 
borrowed extinguisher anyway).  Forcing each aircraft owner to install an 
engine fire suppression system is not as simple.  This requirement would 
reduce the number of rental aircraft available at contests and would also 
reduce the number of non-competition aerobatic pilots that give competition a 
try.  The new environmental restrictions on Halon could impact availability 
and cost.  Those of us that fly factory built aircraft would have to find 
STC'd equipment.

I'd personally consider a helmet but I would still prefer to choose for 
myself.  I think the best thing the IAC can do for safety is to continue to be 
a conduit for educating the membership.  If the membership is exposed to 
powerful evidence that one safety device or another can make the difference, 
many will adopt it.  If the current rules are changed to mandate additional 
equipment, I would expect to see a reduction in the number of new competitors 
and some attrition in the ranks of current competitors.


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn