Experimentals Experience Deadly Month
September 20, 2012 - After a relatively quiet mid-summer, the experimental aircraft community has unfortunately seen a sharp uptick in fatal accidents over the past month. Since August 26 there have been 15 fatal accidents in experimental aircraft, representing 21 percent of the segment's total for the fiscal year, which ends September 30.
This rash of accidents has placed the fiscal year's total at 70, just one shy of the not-to-exceed mark set by the FAA for the year with a little more than a week to go. The FAA includes all categories of experimental aircraft in that total, including amateur-built, E-LSA, exhibition, air racing, research and development, market survey, and FAR compliance.
A recently released NTSB study of 224 experimental amateur-built aircraft accidents found that the category accounts for a disproportionate share of the total, particularly among fatal accidents. EAA urges all pilots of experimental aircraft to fly safely and use good judgment, particularly during the initial flight-testing phase and when transitioning to a new type as a builder or subsequent owner. All too often, investigations of fatal accidents reveal that the pilots involved were generally competent and safe individuals who fell victim to a tragic lapse in good decision-making.