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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: CH 34 JAN. SAFETY TIPS

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: CH 34 JAN. SAFETY TIPS




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

From: "Robert B. Johnson" <102501.1146 at CompuServe.COM>

Date: Mon, 03 Feb 1997 16:01:28 UTC


  For those interested, the following is my January article for Ch.34's "Horizon"
news letter.

Chapter 34 Safety Tips
by: Bruce Johnson
Its been months and many gallons of gas through the carburetor  since my last
safety article.  Since then Ive been selected to head IACs Aerobatic Accident
Investigation Council.  This council was formed after a perceived increase in
aerobatic accidents.  Linda Hamers last act in her presidency was to officially
create this committee to investigate the principle cause of this rise and to
suggest a course of action by IAC to lower our accident rate to as low as
humanly possible. The first work shop is to take place in Chicago  this January.
As a preliminary exercise, I reviewed every NTSB designated aerobatic accident
since 1964. The statistics bare out some very interesting numbers, from a high
in 1983 of 46 aerobatic related accidents to a low of 12 in 1994.  The average
over the last 10 years is 17.1.  Typically accident statistics are related to
how many accidents occur per 100,000 flying hours.  Currently we can only guess
how many hours we as a whole in IAC flying, but even if you assume the most
optimistic hours we have a dismal accident rate compared to all of general
aviation which averages 9.5 accidents per 100,000 flying hours.  Looking more
closely at the numbers, there are two major causes of most of our accidents.
The highest percentage comes from low altitude aerobatics, either outside or
wavered below FARs (below 1500 ft), with 50% of the accidents.  Next, are
accidents which result from spins, with 22%.  These two causes account for 72%
of all aerobatic accidents.  The remainder have as there cause many reasons,
from over confidence to mechanical failure (by the way, mechanical failures
account for very few accidents).  If, as a start, we address and drastically
reduce the top two causes of aerobatic accidents, we will be well on our way to
making this sport of aerobatics the safe and fun sport that it should be.  Next
time Ill discuss the methods by which we can address these two major causes.


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn