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Digging Deeper on Homebuilt Safety

March 9, 2010Extracting accurate statistics for amateur-built accidents can be an exhausting exercise in numbers, especially since the FAA and NTSB often use different statistics to report the homebuilt aircraft fleet size and the accidents that occur each year.

Some reports are based on data that may give a misleading impression of amateur-built accident and fatal-accident rates. It takes some digging to get beneath the surface for actual totals and comparisons.

For instance, there are the wide variance in actual numbers, as well as a lack of recognition in flight-hour totals between aircraft used solely for recreation and those used for business and transportation. In addition, the historical context of homebuilt safety must included, as does specific areas within the homebuilt community that merit additional attention.

An accurate, in-depth review is important, as it gives the homebuilt and entire general aviation community a proper reflection of safety and how it can be enhanced. Longtime EAA member Ron Wanttaja, who has spent nearly a decade analyzing the numbers, goes in-depth to show what’s really happening.

“It’s important to set the record straight with accurate information and measured analysis, which is why we asked Ron Wanttaja to supply a report based on his decade-long review of homebuilt accident figures,” said EAA Chairman/President Tom Poberezny. “The figures Ron supplies are very enlightening. They show where there is good news and where there is room for improvement in the accident figures. EAA is committed to enhancing safety on every level, whether it is with aircraft, pilot skills or other factors involved in accidents.” Read Ron's report.

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