NTSB identified Experimental Amateur Built for improvement
EAA has put much effort into E-AB
2017 Numbers are better
In 2011, the NTSB initiated a study of this sector of aviation, by saying
Experimental amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft represent nearly 10 percent of the U.S. general aviation fleet, but these aircraft accounted for approximately 15 percent of the total—and 21 percent of the fatal—U.S. general aviation (GA) accidents in 2011. Experimental amateur-built aircraft represent a growing segment of the United States‘general aviation fleet—a segment that now numbers nearly 33,000 aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) undertook this study because of the popularity of E-AB aircraft, concerns over their safety record, and the absence of a contemporary and definitive analysis of E-AB aircraft safety.
Kudos to the Experimental Aircraft Association for this good news- here it is:
2017 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey
“These statistics show that growth and safety are not mutually exclusive in our community,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “We are immensely proud of the progress we have made, but we’re not done yet and never will be. We cannot afford to be complacent. EAA will continue to be highly engaged in initiatives and programs to enhance aviation safety.”
In addition to the good news on the 2017 accident rate, the preliminary count shows that experimental accidents in FAA fiscal year 2018, which ended on Sunday, came in below the FAA not-to-exceed goal for fatal accidents. This would be the fourth year in a row that the experimental community outperformed this safety benchmark.
How safe are amateur-built/homebuilt aircraft?
Studies by FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) show that amateur-built/homebuilt aircraft have an accident rate less than one percentage point higher than the general aviation fleet. In fact, the accident rate for amateur-built/homebuilt aircraft is dropping. The total number of registered homebuilt aircraft has doubled since 1994, and the total hours flown have increased by 123 percent, while the total number of accidents has stayed virtually the same.
Another good barometer of safety is insurance rates. Companies that insure both homebuilts and production aircraft charge about the same rates for owners of either type of airplane. That indicates a similar level of risk.
What does EAA do to support the amateur-built/homebuilt program?
EAA was founded in 1953 with a focus on amateur-built/homebuilt aircraft activities. Since that time, the interests of EAA members have grown to include virtually all of aviation’s broad and dynamic spectrum. The core of EAA activities continues to revolve around amateur-built/homebuilt activities.
For more than 60 years, EAA has been educating builders and pilots so they may enhance the safety of their aircraft and their individual flying abilities. For instance, EAA technical counselors, who are experienced airplane builders, restorers and mechanics, volunteer their time to visit builders and review their projects. EAA flight advisors help pilots evaluate their flying skills so they are well suited to flying this particular type of aircraft. In some cases, the evaluation will point toward more flight training before a pilot flies a newly built or restored airplane.
EAA also offers a full range of instructional books and educational videotapes, as well as a full-time staff that provides information on specific aircraft so people can embark on a project suited to their individual needs and abilities.
As Sean Elliott said, there is more to be done
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