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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Analysis of accident causes

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Analysis of accident causes


Thread: Analysis of accident causes

Message: Analysis of accident causes

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

From: Steve Pennypacker <spenny at>

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 20:14:15 UTC


  > A summary of accident and incident causes would certainly help in
> determining what safety measures would or would not be most appropriate,
> in terms of what number and types of accidents would be prevented. 

Hmm, this seems like a pretty good lead-in to an analysis I did using NTSB
data, when I was getting involved in aerobatics, and wrote up for the IAC FAQ
(  Below is one of the paragraphs.
Unfortunately it only explicitly deals with Decathlons, but there are lessons
for everyone.
A review of NTSB accident data for the 8KCAB Decathlon (probably the most 
common aerobatic trainer) from 1983 through 1993 shows 14 accidents related to
aerobatics.  Eight of them involved attempting aerobatics at low altitudes.
One was caused by lack of training, one by lots of unsecured loose baggage
(ie- lawn chairs and more) floating around the cockpit, and one by structural
failure.  Causes of the remaining three are less clear from the reports, but
two appear to have been due to low level aerobatics, and the third by failure
to recover from a spin.  So, of the 14 accidents in 10 years, all but one
(structural failure) could have been prevented by following the few simple
rules listed above.  The structural failure was in a known problem area and
*might* have been avoidable if the pilot was more familiar with his 



© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn