Investigators Launch Safety Study of Home-Built Aircraft

by nph | July 15th, 2011

Tim LeBaron, a Senior Air Safety Investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, examines the wreckage of a home-built Ravin 500 aircraft Sunday, May 8, 2011 in Conroe, Texas

Tim LeBaron, a Senior Air Safety Investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, examines the wreckage of a home-built Ravin 500 aircraft Sunday, May 8, 2011 in Conroe, Texas

July 14, 2011

On Thursday federal safety investigators announced that the National Transportation Safety Board would commence with a study of home-built aircraft to determine how to lessen the number of crashes.

The National Transportation Safety Board says experimental, amateur-built planes have a significantly higher accident rate than general aviation aircraft. Though home-built aircraft represent only eight percent of planes and four percent of flight hours logged, they are involved in 18 percent of fatal aviation accidents. In 2010, there were 67 fatal amateur aircraft crashes.

The study comes not only in response to safety concerns but also to the growing popularity of the home-built plane. There are now an estimated 33,000 amateur planes in the United States.

As part of the NTSB’s study, the Experimental Aircraft Association is hosting a web survey for home-built aircraft owners.

“Earlier studies have looked at isolated E-AB safety issues, but this is the first study to comprehensively examine both the building and piloting of these unique aircraft,” said NTSB Office of Research and Engineering Director Joseph Kolly. “And the direct input from E-AB owners and others involved in the design and day-to-day operations of these aircraft will be of enormous value in understanding all of the aspects that play a role in the safety of experimental flight operations.”

Study results are expected in Fall 2012.

Read more.

Do you think experimental aircraft are less safe than other private planes? Would you fly in a home-built airplane?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the national aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.

Photo courtesy of YourConroeNews.com