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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Risk in Motion and at Rest

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Risk in Motion and at Rest


Thread: Risk in Motion and at Rest

Message: Risk in Motion and at Rest

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

From: "Barbara Beauchamp" <BEAUCHAMP at>

Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 07:49:47 UTC


  A retired Navy pilot, air show performer, and one of the best aerobatic 
instructors I know has a favorite saying:  "Everything in motion is at risk."  
Lest the faint of heart think they see an obvious shield, there is a 
corollary:  Everything at rest is at risk from things that are not.  However 
the manner and type of motion certainly has a bearing on the degree of risk.  
In aviation, who is flying, the kind of flying, and the airplane being flown 
affect the risk.  Recently two of my friends were involved in accidents 
checking out other people's experimental aircraft.  One accident was fatal, 
and the other was not.  Statistically, not good.  Even in the best of 
situations (e.g., flying the best of the factory aircraft as in Rick 
Massegee's wing separation accident), "Fate is the Hunter".  Both of my 
friends are/were excellent pilots who flew for a living.

Flying an experimental aircraft must be considered risky business until proven 
otherwise.  Being a test pilot is different from any other type of flying.  If 
you think you know how to be a test pilot and haven't seriously studied the 
subject you have proven that you have no concept of the discipline.  Our 
friends at the FAA have provided some guidance in an Advisory Circular (AC90-
89A, Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook, 5/4/95) 
describing how to test experimental aircraft.  The AC is even on the Internet 
(  I recommend anyone testing or checking out 
an experimental aircraft follow this AC as a minimum.  Make no assumptions 
about strength and flight characteristics.  Remember that (1) a CG changes 
with fuel burn which can drastically alter flight characteristics and (2) 
altitude is usually your friend especially when wearing a parachute.

I have too few friends to afford to lose any of them -- Least of all to 
preventable accidents.

submitted for;

Nelson Petrey
President, IAC Chapter 36
San Diego


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