Close 1d2 NOW! There is no longer acceptable approach/departure routes of flight at 1d2. No route of flight can provide reasonable opportunity to execute an off-airport emergency landing that will not jeopardize other persons or property in the Canton, Plymouth and surrounding communities.
Regardless of altitude, it is not possible to make a safe emergency landing for any reason without hazard to persons or property on the ground in the Canton, Plymouth and surrounding communities from 1d2.
It has been almost 25 years since the State of Michigan purchased 1d2 in the 1990s. That was 25 long years ago when the population was around 57,000 people with a population density of 1585 people per square mile. It’s now 2017 with a population around 93,000 with a population density around 2583 people per square mile. See Population Density Section for more details.
Devastating and Sad: June 30, 2017 thru July 11, 2017: 139 aircraft incidents, 15 FATAL accidents, 41 dead
Just when you thought that it could NOT get any more devastating and sad! There were 139 aircraft incidents, 15 FATAL accidents, 41 fatalities June 30, 2017 thru July 11, 2017. (NOTE: some dates are different from when they actually occurred and then logged by NTSB or ASN).
- 06-30-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB CEN17LA244, N4196Y (Air Tractor), ASN Aircraft 29-JUN-2017 Air Tractor AT-602 N4196Y
- 07-01-2017 – 2 FATAL, NTSB WPR17FA139, N492XB (Experimental light sport), ASN ???, (incident was NOT correctly listed on FAA ASIAS page).
- 07-01-2017 – 4 FATAL, NTSB ???, N44HJ (Piper PA23), ASN Aircraft 01-JUL-2017 Piper PA-23-250 Aztec N44HJ, (was also fatal N-number in 1984). Saturday 4 dead in Georgia (N44HJ), Sunday 6 dead in Wisconsin (N2655B).
- 07-01-2017 – 6 FATAL, NTSB ???, N2655B (Cessna C421), ASN Aircraft 01-JUL-2017 Cessna 421C Golden Eagle N2655B. Small airplane fell apart in the air in Wisconsin, killing 6.
- 07-01-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB CEN17FA249, N62JN (Experimental light sport, NEW safe model), ASN Aircraft 01-JUL-2017 Flight Design CTSW N62JN
- 07-02-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB CEN17LA250, N9103F (Experimental E-AB with expired registration), ASN Aircraft 02-JUL-2017 North American T-28A Trojan N9103F
- 07-02-2017 – 2 FATAL, NTSB ???, N467ZW (Experimental light sport), ASN Aircraft 02-JUL-2017 North Wing UUM Scout XC N467ZW. FAA AIN Notices Report.
- 07-02-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB ???, N3449 (Experimental E-AB) (was also a fatal N-number in 1985 and 1970), ASN Aircraft 02-JUL-2017 Slip Stream Genesis N3449
- 07-04-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB ERA17FA226, N45851 (Luscombe), ASN Aircraft 04-JUL-2017 Luscombe 8A N45851
- 07-06-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB ???, N49453 (Cessna C152), ASN Aircraft 05-JUL-2017 Cessna 152 N49453, Pilot said he flew alone because flight instructor was a no-show
- 07-07-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB IAD76FLQ16, N917JL (1961 MORRISEY 2150A, registration pending), ASN Aircraft 06-JUL-2017 Varga 2150A Kachina N917JL. Commercial pilot with 3900 total hours, 21 in type!
- 07-08-2017 – 2 FATAL, NTSB CEN17FA258, N793MA (Piper PA28), ASN Aircraft 08-JUL-2017 Piper PA-28-181 Archer III N793MA
- 07-08-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB ???, N2812 (Experimental E-AB), ASN ???
- 07-08-2017 – 1 FATAL, NTSB CEN17FA259, N4257R (Air Tractor), ASN ASN Aircraft 08-JUL-2017 Air Tractor AT-602 N4257R
- 07-11-2017 – 16 FATAL, ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed KC-130T Hercules Itta Bena, MS. 15 Marines, one sailor killed in the Corps’ deadliest crash in more than a decade. At Crash Site of Marine Corps Plane, Bodies ‘Were Everywhere’. Marine Corps KC-130 crash: Equipment and ammo may be cause.
Very very sobering and sad for all the families, 139 aircraft incidents, 15 FATAL accidents, 41 dead June 30, 2017, thru July 11, 2017.
‘Near Miss’ Could Have Triggered ‘Greatest Aviation Disaster in History’!
People SHOULD realize how significant this was! A landing Airbus A320 narrowly missed four other fully loaded and fueled aircraft by 100-300 feet at San Francisco’s SFO airport with only 11 seconds to spare to pull up! ASN Aircraft 07-JUL-2017 Airbus A320-211 C-FKCK.
Airbus A320-211 landing – 135 passengers
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – 335 passengers
Airbus A340-313 – 224 passengers
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – 335 passengers
Boeing 737-924ER – 126 passengers
Total fatalities could have easily exceeded 1000 passengers and crew members. Canadians are saying more about SFO near-disaster than FAA! FAA must and will provide answers about SFO near-disaster soon. The Air Canada Jet Just 100 Feet From Four Other Planes At SFO. The FAA probe will provide answers. You can listen to the ATC/Aircraft conversation.
San Francisco SFO: This is the same airport as the 3 FATAL described in the NTSB Crash of Asiana Flight 214 Accident Report Summary. ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 777-28EER HL7742 San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO). Asiana Airlines Flight 214 – Wikipedia.
Horrible March 24-27, 2017:
7 Fatalities, 4 FATAL Crashes, 23 Aircraft Events
The FAA ASIAS System that reports preliminary accident and incident reports showed that there were 7 fatalities, 4 fatal crashes, for a total of 23 aircraft events over the weekend period of March 24-27.
Another whole family dies in a plane crash returning from Disney World on March 25. The Cessna 210 plane reportedly took off from Kissimmee, Fla. on Saturday afternoon, when it “came apart” in the air somewhere over Hayden, Alabama — crashing near a Dollar General store and killing Joseph Crenshaw, 45, his wife Jennifer, 43, their son Jacob, 16, and daughter Jillian, 14.
Numerous witnesses reported debris falling out of the sky that landed across five fields that stretched across almost a mile, according to multiple reports. “At first we just thought it was thunder and people started stopping and saying they’d seen debris falling,” one witness said. “It is a mess, it’s a rubble of tin, and you cannot tell it’s a plane.”
Another small plane shown above crashed in a residential neighborhood in Marietta, Ga., on Friday March 24, killing the pilot and destroying the home. Witnesses said the plane spun out and nose-dived to the ground crashing in the home’s front yard that sent the house up in flames. Fortunately the family was at church at the time of the crash.
Yet another deadly plane crash on Friday March 24, 2017. Witnesses in the area noticed the aircraft doing a flat spin before crashing. “The airplane is kind of rotating downward without any really forward motion,” one witness said.
Investigators said since the 1978 Beechcraft Bonanza BE35 plane crashed and burned, and was completely obliterated, it makes their investigation a little bit tougher. “A lot of the machine is missing,” the investigator said. “We’ve lost that aspect of the investigation. It’s just going to make the facts on the probable cause that much more difficult to come to.”
Horrible February 27-28, 2017:
4 FATAL, 2 Critically Injured
Both crashes were into homes. 3 killed and 2 critically injured, and 1 killed when Experimental Amateur-Built aircraft crashes thru condo roof!
Three people were killed, and two critically injured after a small plane crashes directly into the home pictured above. Witnesses described the horrific crash as a ‘Ball of Fire’. Upon impact, the airplane split in half, ejecting one of the female passengers into the now flaming home. The women ejected from the aircraft suffered third degree burns over 90% of her body. The other person that was not killed by the impact is also in critical condition.
Miraculously, no one was in the home at the time of the crash. A couple and their three children, who used to live in the destroyed home, now have no place to live. The Red Cross is helping people in the area who have also been displaced as much of the immediate neighborhood has been evacuated for safety and to conduct the investigation.
A surveillance video shows the actual plane crash into the densely populated neighborhood. A local resident captured the flaming aftermath just minutes after the fatal crash impact that shows the horrific damage. News crews quickly reached the scene to report on the deadly crash by following the smoke trail that was now high into the atmosphere.
The plane that crashed was a 43 year old (1974) Cessna 310. The Cessna 310 is an American six-seat, low-wing, twin-engine monoplane that was produced by Cessna between 1954 and 1980. It was the first twin-engine aircraft that Cessna put into production after World War II.
A very frightening afterthought for the residents in their homes: this is second fatal plane crash in recent memory into the same densely populated neighborhood from the same airport.
On the next day, Tuesday, February 28, 2017, an experimental E-AB airplane crashed into a densely populated neighborhood condominium complex that killed the pilot and destroyed two condos. That horrible crash is covered in more detail in the Experimental E-AB Section.
Common Safety and Health Dangers and Risks
To most the enormous list of safety and health problems, dangers, and risks with small private piston engine planes and helicopters at 1d2 should be obvious. These dangers are highlighted on TV and in the daily news. The results are visible everywhere. If you are still not convinced all you have to do is use your favorite search engine such as Google search small plane crash house or Bing search small plane crash house, to convince yourself of the frequency of these risks and dangers.
To see how frequent these tragedies happen just set up alerts, see how to set up an alert here in Bing or Google, and then see the updates arrive regularly almost like clockwork. Every week there are many small plane or helicopter crashes somewhere or other in America. These seemingly very common events are tragic and sad to say the least to unwilling people on the ground.
Small planes and helicopters are dangerous to the people that use them and openly accept the risks. But small planes and helicopters are even more dangerous to the non-participants on the ground. One reason is non-participants don’t get any opportunity to accept the risks or not. Homeowners that discover those risks after the fact don’t need any convincing. That’s when it’s too late. What non-participants do NOT realize is that there is NO protection from those risks and dangers that aviation participants openly accept and place on the community below.
No Insurance Required
WARNING: there is NO Federal law, NO FAA rule, and NO Michigan law that states that an owner or pilot of a private aircraft must carry insurance to cover injuries to a third party on the ground or passengers. While a few states do have limited requirements, the regulatory environment is an inconsistent patchwork and presents major challenges for non-participants on the ground.
Members of the United States Congress requested a report that was created by the United States Government Accountability Office, Report to Congressional Requesters titled “GENERAL AVIATION: Observations Related to Liability Insurance Requirements and Coverage for Aircraft Owners“, report # GAO-15-740 (pdf) to cover the problems caused by the lack of insurance. The report reveals that the situation is a real nightmare for people on the ground or passengers in small airplanes or helicopters as they have absolutely no protection.
If general aviation (GA) pilots were required to carry liability insurance, pilots would then be required to obtain the superior training the insurance companies would require to receive coverage. More training can’t be bad, right? Seems like a good idea to many . . .
In a New York Times article The Dangers of Private Planes the author states: “Typically an insurer will be more rigorous than the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) in setting a [higher] minimum number of flight hours in a specific aircraft model, and may require additional training for a pilot who is considered inexperienced or has few flight hours. “The insurance companies study these statistics, know what leads to safer flying, and most importantly to them, have a vested interest in the pilot being properly trained and experienced in the aircraft before they take on the risk,” said Stuart Fraenkel, a lawyer and associate adjunct professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
This lack of Federal or State regulation can have a serious impact for victims. Here is one of many crashes highlighting an unlucky homeowner where a small single-engine plane crashed into her house. The owner of the wrecked house was lucky to survive but stunned to find out that the pilot had no insurance! This is just one example of an increasingly common problem.
People on the ground are not always lucky enough to survive. Here is yet another example, in the long list of examples, of crashing into ‘densely populated area’ where there is:
- no acceptable approach/departure route of flight that provides a reasonable opportunity to execute an off-airport emergency landing that will not jeopardize other persons or property
- regardless of altitude, it is not possible to make a safe emergency landing for ‘any reason’ without hazard to persons or property on the ground.
Again, sadly, this person on the ground, a non-participant, was not lucky enough to survive to talk about it.
Detroit Women Electrocuted in Emergency Landing in a ‘Densely Populated Area’
The Detroit Free Press reported last June 27, 2016 that a Small plane crash lands in Detroit injuring pilot, bystander. Two people were taken to the hospital, one in serious condition, after a small plane ran out of fuel and made a tragic emergency landing on Detroit’s east side, which ended with a pedestrian being electrocuted.
A follow up article Feb. 3, 2017 by the Detroit News Report: [Detroit] Pilot ran out of fuel before June fatal crash [killed bystander] stated that reported sadly that she died July 6, more than a week later. The NTSB report CEN16LA236 describes the details defining the event as ‘fuel exhaustion’. The saddened, and angry family filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit in September 2016, a jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2018.
In an updated article Teen pilot in fatal banner-towing crash had troubled history the Detroit News states that the National Transportation Safety Board investigators now say the pilot from Jackson ran out of gas after flying too long – and it may have been the second time that month he landed without fuel on a banner-towing flight. He may even have fallen asleep while flying over the Detroit River that night, the investigation suggests. A day after reports of the fatal Detroit accident, a pilot in Wisconsin, recalled a similar incident June 11 at the Westosha Airport with the same pilot from Jackson, unbelievable.
The NTSB’s findings lead many to question whether the pilot should still be permitted to fly. According to FAA records, he remains a licensed commercial pilot and certified aviation instructor, even more unbelievable, go figure.
How Common is Lack of Insurance?
Lack of any insurance, or being underinsured, is quite common, and seems to be the rule rather than the exception! Typically, aircraft coverage is similar to marine insurance, is very limited, and usually required by the:
- Lender – If the aircraft was not paid for in full with cash, the lender will want to be sure the owner at least has hull coverage so if the aircraft is damaged they, the lender will still get paid.
- Local FBO (fixed base operator, 1d2 has none) or Airport Management – As a condition of having a tie down/hangar some FBOs require some form of liability insurance in case the pilot taxis into a building or another plane.
Most owners, pilots, or flying clubs (fractional owners) form small corporations or LLCs to protect themselves, some purchase limited liability insurance policies but are usually very limited in scope to keep the costs down to attract members or to cut overall operating costs for themselves, the individual.
And of course, the whole purpose of incorporation or LLC is meant to protect the owner, pilot, or fractional members, not protect anyone else exposed to consequence of small planes and helicopters and the inherent dangers and subsequent actions. This would be like someone incorporating or forming an LLC to protect themselves instead of buying automobile insurance, just to cut costs and save money! It just doesn’t make any sense!
Aircraft liability is an ongoing problem that will not go away soon, so the real question: Can Aircraft Owners Avoid Personal Liability for Air Crashes? will continue to be asked in an aviation biased fashion and challenged for quite a long time, all at the unwilling non-participants cost.
Here is a ‘hard to believe’ presentation from a local FAA FSDO that appears to advise people on how to avoid being a ‘target’: to avoid liability insurance (NOTE: broken link, FAA removed file), save insurance premiums, transfer your assets, to make defense easier to ensure individual success, which appears to mean not helping or assisting non-participants with something they did not choose or accept. NOTE: the FAA removed the original MS Power Point file referenced above, here is a local pdf copy of that article that discusses and appears to be designed to show how to avoid insurance liability. Here is the summary:
- Liability insurance – [sadly positioned as a] Downside: Premium costs
- On the other hand, no insurance makes you a much less desirable defendant.
- Asset transfers.
- Final Caveat – None of these precautions will keep you from being sued. They only make defending yourself easier and help ensure your [the pilot’s] success!
Again, instead of buying ‘aircraft liability insurance’ like ‘car insurance’, it seems better to some to use methods to avoid doing the right thing because there are costs to protect others around you from the result of their own actions. This is a sad strategy indeed.
This ‘success’ seems to be ignoring responsibility for what one does to others while limiting their own costs only because they can. This seems pretty selfish and irresponsible on behalf of the community at large.
Everyone wants to save money, but at what cost to the community? Money and cost seem to be a higher priority topic discussed in many articles such as How to Save Money on Aviation Insurance, but coverage or protection for non-participants does not seem to be required anywhere in the US, let alone in Michigan.
Basic Aviation Definitions
It is always good idea to establish some basic ideas & definitions that will be used to describe dangerous safety problems. These definitions will be used here and in other sections Helicopters, which discusses major safety problems with helicopter MRO test flights, Experimental E-AB, which discusses major safety problems with experimental test flights.
Aviation can be a complex, abstract topic to discuss without getting somewhat specific. In an effort to simplify and focus on the topics in question several terms are needed with more exact descriptions so anyone that wants to participate will be on the same page. Starting with the What, Why, Who, How, Where, and When always seems like a good place to start:
- What is General Aviation (GA)? Special interest groups and politicians use this definition to lump everything together into one group and then use it differently based on what they want or are trying to achieve. Many definitions using the term keep changing too as statistics get better or worse. Precise, consistent definitions and statistics are required, no smoke screens allowed!
- What aircraft is being flown? (How was aircraft built, fixed wing Part 23 / 25, helicopter Part 27 / 29, Experimental Amateur-Built (E-AB), other)
- Why is the aircraft being flown? (private, commercial)
- Who is flying the aircraft? (what pilot certificate, sport, recreational, private, commercial, instructor, ATP, with what ratings or endorsements?)
- How is the aircraft being flown, by what rules? (Part 91, Part 121, Part 135)
- Where is the aircraft being flown? (distance, air space, airport, country, state, etc.)
- When is the aircraft being flown and under What conditions? (VFR – visual flight rules, IFR – instrument flight rules). Eighty-eight percent of all accidents occur in daytime VFR conditions, according to the twenty-fifth Joseph T. Nall Report.
This list of basic questions will shape the discussion a little more accurately for anyone interested. Not all topics will be covered in detail in this particular discussion.
What is General Aviation?
General Aviation (GA) is the umbrella term for all civil (non-military) aviation operations that are not governed by Parts 121, 135, or 129 scheduled air services for remuneration or hire.
- Part 121 – Scheduled Commercial
- Part 129 Foreign Air Carriers
- Part 135 – On Demand Charter Flights, non-scheduled air transport operations
General Aviation covers a wide range of aircraft and operations used for a variety of flying from gliders and powered parachutes, to balloons, experimental E-AB/LSA, Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA), to turboprops and jets used for corporate travel. In addition, General Aviation includes some other types of commercial activities.
Civil aviation is one of two major categories that can be either private or commercial. Commercial aviation involves operating aircraft for hire to transport passengers or cargo. Here is a graphic that shows the major categories. Definitions that follow will hopefully explain the categories in a distinct manner.
It should be clear from the FAA graphic above, the FAA and the NTSB have done an outstanding job ensuring that Commercial flights (Part 121, Part 135) in the USA are the safest in the world! Also of note is that Corporations have budget, time, and discipline to help ensure that ‘Corporate’ travel is as safe as possible. However, Business travel in single engine airplanes has the same dangers as Personal travel as they use the same aircraft. This is another statistical trick to separate the small piston engine statistics. The only difference is mainly the ‘purpose’ of getting from point A to point B.
The number of fatal accidents of Civil Aircraft with 19 or More Passengers, and the number of fatalities of Civil Aircraft with 19 or More Passengers has consistently decreased over the last 20 years. This can be seen in Causes of Fatal Accidents by Decade.
However, it should also be very clear, that the LSA (Light Sport Aircraft), and Experimental Amateur-built (E-AB) categories continue to be a majority of serious incidents, accidents, and fatalities and are the main focus of safety discussions here and elsewhere all over the country. See Experimental E-AB Section for more details.
Again, special interest statistics lump all of the categories together based on miles flown which is very misleading. The first four categories above cover the most miles with the fewest accidents and fatalities. While the last four categories have fewest miles with the most accidents and fatalities. If you add the top four categories with the bottom four categories together the statistics are skewed way off the charts and mask the real problems, issues, and concerns.
Are Small Planes and Helicopters Safer Than Cars?
No, Not Really!
In the Live Science article Why Private Planes Are Nearly as Deadly as Cars, the author states: “Raw numbers, however, mean little without context — far more people merge onto the highway each day than take off in a Cessna from a runway. That’s where the statistics get a little tricky. The NTSB measures accidents per 100,000 flight hours, while automobile accidents are typically measured in accidents per miles traveled. It’s apples and oranges in many cases”.
According to a 2010 NTSB report, that while accidents and fatalities are down in corporate and business jet flights, the accident rate in personal flights has increased by 20 percent in the past decade, and the fatality rate for personal flights is up 25 percent.
What about helicopters? The article Are Helicopters Safer Than Cars? concludes that flying helicopters are at least 27 times more dangerous than driving. In an article by NASA, it is interesting to note that personal helicopters, often operated by inexperienced pilots, crash 18 times as often as commercial helicopters, and are even more dangerous. But, based on hours alone, helicopters, as a whole, can be viewed as being 85 times more dangerous than driving.
In his book, Injury Epidemiology: Fourth edition (September 12, 2015), Leon Roberson, Ph.D., states that:
“Use of denominators other than population is an attempt to obtain a more refined estimate of rate per exposure. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration reports injuries in aircraft crashes per hours flown. Obviously, a person who doesn’t travel in airplanes will not crash in one, although crashing aircraft injure people on the ground.
Aircraft usually crash during attempts to take off or land. In the same make and model of airplane, a person who flies the same number of hours over shorter distances is at greater risk per hour flown than when flying the same number of hours over longer distances. Therefore, rate per hours flown can be a [very] misleading indicator of risk.”
‘Plus Three / Minus Eight’ – In aviation lingo this refers to the first three minutes of the plane ride and the last eight. It’s during these 11 in-flight minutes that roughly 80 percent of all plane crashes occur. It’s easy to find so many statistics that are manipulated, or ‘refined’ by analyzing more sub-categories to dilute the small plane and helicopter crash topic. The real facts are usually pretty simple.
Many accident analyses that are averaged over at least a 10 year period indicated by phase of flight: show the majority of accidents occur during Descent & Landing (57%), followed by the Climb stage of the flight (24%). Just 9% occur during the Cruise stage. Small planes with many frequent take-offs and landings are easily highlighted in terms of danger when they are separated from commercial activities. Special interests also change the jargon and metrics used from year to year to make the information appear new and positive as a marketing mind trick.
Skewed statistics are just one of the tricks that special interests use to hide the real true statistics. See Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Major Programs of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for ‘actual’ data on exposure to various forms of transportation.
Additionally, as noted above, another trick used is that the hours reported by the FAA and others are only estimates based on voluntary survey questionnaires, not actual hours flown. The actual GA ‘hours flown’ has seen huge decreases due to many factors, such as much higher overall costs including fuel and maintenance, older aircraft, older pilots, shrinking numbers of pilots and aircraft, etc. This is discussed in more detail later.
In another similar article, by a pilot, Is GA Flying Safer Than Driving? the author states that special interests like to point out that, despite some passengers’ apprehension, flying in an airliner is actually safer than driving a car.
Many pilots of small planes seem to erroneously ‘recall‘ this argument, and mistakenly apply it to General Aviation, or apply it to their own small airplane. It does not make sense to compare scheduled airlines, charters, or military, to small piston engine airplanes or helicopters and say “flying a small plane is safer than driving a car.” It just isn’t true, not even close.
This author concludes that per mile, GA flying has about 5 times as many fatal accidents, and 9 times as many fatalities, as compared to travel by motor vehicle. Commercial airlines have about the same fatality rate as driving, but a much lower fatal accident rate (by virtue of a large number of fatalities per accident).
As mentioned above, statistics from special interest groups only contain estimates of GA flying hours/miles. These rate-based numbers depend on estimates of miles traveled and hours flown. The hours flown data come from the FAA’s “GA Survey”, and are derived from responses to voluntary surveys sent to only a selected sample of pilots. All the usual caveats of statistical survey and sampled data apply.
Unlike commercial service aviation, GA operators are not required to report flight activity to FAA. To have some idea of the activity, FAA estimates GA flight hours based on estimates derived from its annual survey of GA operators and the Part 135 Activity Survey. It was reported by the GAO in 2012 that the GA survey has long suffered from methodological and conceptual limitations, even with FAA’s efforts to improve it over the years.
Some key points and takeaways regarding statistics:
- General Aviation covers everything from student pilots in Cessna 152s to ATPs flying corporate jets, it’s not just small piston engine aircraft.
- Interestingly enough, pilot inexperience was not necessarily a factor since 12% of fatal accidents involved an ATP-related pilot, 26% a Commercial pilot and 58% had an Instrument-rated pilot on board. Also, 20% had a flight instructor on board.
- Experimental Amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft made up 27% of all fatal accidents, but only 5% of overall flight time. (See Experimental E-AB section for more details)
GA will never be as safe as commercial flights because commercial aircraft have: two experienced (ATP) pilots, fly into big airports, long runways, precision instrument approaches, many redundant systems, multiple engines, and fly above the weather. GA flights usually have a single engine, less experienced pilots, less capable aircraft, lower altitudes in the weather, and have many takeoffs/landings (which are the most critical phase of flight) that make up a substantial portion of GA flight time, but a small portion of the commercial (Part 121) longer distance flight time.
Can the FAA Reduce Fatalities by 10%?
GAO Doesn’t Think So
Members of the United States Congress requested a report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Report to Congressional Committees, titled “General Aviation Safety: Additional FAA Efforts Could Help Identify and Mitigate Safety Risks”, report # GAO-13-36, paraphrasing what the GAO found:
The FAA has set a goal to reduce the fatal general aviation accident rate 10% by 2018. However, given the diversity of the industry and shortcomings in the flight activity data, this goal is not sufficient for achieving reductions in fatality rates among the riskier segments of general aviation. Further, achieving the goal could mask continuing safety issues in segments of the community.
The [FAA] strategy has shortcomings that jeopardize its potential for success. For example, the strategy lacks performance measures for the significant activities. Without a strong performance management structure, the FAA will not be able to determine the success or failure of the significant activities that underlie the multi-year strategy.
Of course, the reference to the ‘riskier’ segments above is to the bottom ‘segments’ in the graphic above, namely this refers to, Personal, LSA (Light Sport), and Experimental Amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft. See Experimental E-AB section for more details.
Now we can break down the other parts of our discussion further into three sections: 1) Why and How of the flying, 2) What is being flown, and lastly, 3) Who, Where, and When of the flying to describe more accurately the topics of discussion.
The Why and How of Flying?
These are the rules and regulations of flying for general operating rules, commercial helicopter on demand, and commercial helicopter transport. There is no reason to deep dive into the rules except to quote some specific parts, but it is good to always identify the rules for the sake of further discussion and understanding. Here are the FAA FAR rules that we are interested in understanding:
Subchapter F (Air Traffic and General Operating Rules)
Part 91 – Non-commercial, most everything else. (General Operating and Flight Rules)
How the Aircraft is Built / Tested:
Part 23 / 25, and Part 27 / 29
When it comes to how something is built, what it is built out of, and how it is inspected, verified, validated, and certified, there are huge differences in safety, functionality, and of course, you guessed it, price.
Many aircraft manufacturers have all but abandoned small part 23 prop planes as being too costly to adequately and safely equip for a disappearing demographic and market place. Piston engine aircraft deliverys declined by 51% from 2003 to 2013. Large traditional manufacturers have instead focused on the part 25 market. More demand, higher level of safety, higher entry price, more technology, better avionics, etc.
Part 23 is the FAA design and certification standard for general aviation aircraft. The majority made up of mostly single engine, some light twin engines, and a few turboprop aircraft. Part 23 aircraft represent the low end of the aircraft performance spectrum and therefore have less stringent design standards than those certified to Part 25 standards. Part 25 applies to commercial aircraft, e.g. mostly airliners and newer business jets. Because commercial aircraft carry the general public (for hire), the FAA mandates that Part 25 aircraft are designed and perform at a much higher level of safety.
While there are obviously many differences, a primary difference between the two design standards include the ability of multi-engine Part 25 aircraft to takeoff and climb after one engine fails late in the takeoff roll. Most Part 23 multi-engine aircraft, by comparison, are essentially like single-engine aircraft after one engine fails.
Light twin engine aircraft, similar to old clunkers like a second hand almost 50 year old 1968 Beechcraft D55. Certified under Part 23 and without a very light takeoff weight it lacks the ability to climb after an engine failure on takeoff in most cases. This is similar to the Beechcraft Barron that crashed into a Farmington supermarket after takeoff from 1d2 several years ago. [see 1d2 crash fatal info, save file for best viewing]
Like any single-engine aircraft, a twin-engine Part 23 aircraft that has suffered an engine failure on takeoff must essentially make a controlled descent to an emergency landing in all but the most ideal conditions. High density altitude, high gross weight or mishandling by the pilot may make it impossible for a Part 23 twin engine aircraft to climb after an engine failure on takeoff.
Another difference is the enhanced safety feature of Part 25 aircraft in the form of increased system redundancy. Flight instruments, hydraulic systems, navigation equipment and flight controls are just some of the important aircraft systems that are required to retain some operational capability after single or even multiple failures so that the aircraft can continue flying and ultimately land safely.
Part 25 aircraft are also required to have design enhancements that allow continued safe flight after certain structural failures that would make a Part 23 aircraft not airworthy. G-loading tolerances are just one of the differences between the two aircraft design standards. Part 25 aircraft handle much higher stress levels.
Flight testing during initial, subsequent, and final certification is more involved for Part 25 aircraft. Including the requirement to demonstrate “typical” flight operations capabilities before being approved to carry passengers. Route proving flights, flight in known icing tests and passenger evacuation demonstrations are a few of the additional certification tests required of Part 25 aircraft.
For obvious reasons, the time and effort required to design, build, test and certify a Part 25 aircraft is much more extensive than for a Part 23 aircraft. The increased complexity of the aircraft makes the Part 25 aircraft much more expensive to purchase and maintain than a Part 23 aircraft. That increased cost and complexity is intended to offer a much safer and more capable aircraft.
General aviation aircraft are operated under Part 91 (general operating and flight rules), which could be any category of airplane, including transport category and rotorcraft. Additionally, airplanes operated under Part 121 (commercial airlines) and Part 135 (on-demand charter flights), may include small airplanes, but are not considered General Aviation (GA) aircraft when operated under these rules as there are different design standards and requirements and will not be discussed here.
Part 27 Normal Helicopters, Part 29 Transport Helicopters
Part 27 normal category rotorcraft limits are a maximum takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg) with a maximum passenger capacity of nine. Airworthiness standards cover normal category (rotorcraft) helicopters like the Bell 407, Bell 429, Schweizer 300, or Eurocopter EC120B.
Part 29 transport category with more than 7,000 lbs (3,175 kg) maximum takeoff weight and 10 or more passengers cover airworthiness standards for helicopters such as the Bell 412 or Boeing Chinook. Helicopters with more than 20,000 lb (9,100 kg) maximum takeoff weight must be certified to additional Category A standards.
The FAA mandates that Part 29 transport helicopters are designed and perform at a much higher level of performance and safety than Part 27 normal category helicopters. This is reflected in the features, and of course the cost, much like Part 23 and Part 25 differences previously discussed, safer, better performance equals greater cost!
14 CFR Part 23 Rewrite
The new FAA FAR Part 23 rule (Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes) addresses how airplanes weighing up to 19,000 pounds can be certified and implements performance-based airworthiness requirements instead of the prescriptive design requirements it replaces. It offers little regulatory relief to owners or operators of existing or aging aircraft. Given the scope of the rule changes, the FAA is delaying its implementation eight months, to August 30, 2017.
A feature of the new rule is a break with traditional ways of organizing FARs. It adopts a suggestion from the European Aviation Safety Agency, EASA, an FAA counterpart, on how to distinguish the new regulations from the old. Accordingly, the existing Part 23 structure (e.g., section numbering, which starts at 23.1) will be left intact. The new rule starts its numbering at 23.2000.
Owners and operators of existing airplanes, and manufacturers of parts and other equipment for them, hoping for some fundamental changes to the ways existing Part 23 airplanes are modified, maintained and operated are disappointed in the new rule, however. Additionally, requests for the FAA to adopt an aviation rulemaking committee’s recommendation to establish a “Primary Non-Commercial Category” (PNC) to address the needs of aging airplanes were NOT implemented.
The FAA is completely transparent and very realistic about the reach of the new rules: “With respect to the existing fleet, the FAA does not expect the revisions to Part 23 to provide immediate benefits to older airplanes,” the final rule states. Many of the objectives sought in the PNC request involve necessary changes to FAR Parts 21 and 43, as well as Part 91. “The FAA is not making additional changes to Parts 21 or 43 because they are outside the scope of this rulemaking,” the new rule states.
The new Part 23 standards complement global efforts to remove regulatory restrictions and develop common certification standards, including concurrent work by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to revise its CS-23 rule for small aircraft.
Under the final rule’s provisions, categories such as utility, aerobatic, and commuter will be eliminated for future Part 23 airplane certifications. In its place, four levels of performance and risk will be used, based on the aircraft’s maximum seating capacity. Of course, this will affect safety and price as well. How much safety do you want will be a function of how much money can or will you spend?
Airplane performance levels will be designated as low speed (a maximum design cruising speed or maximum operating limit speed of less than or equal to 250 KTAS) or high speed (airplanes with a maximum design cruising speed or maximum operating limit speed greater than 250 KTAS).
Such standards cover a wide variety of airplanes. The sweeping NPRM (notice of proposed rulemaking) would replace airworthiness standards for normal, utility, acrobatic and commuter categories, covering all airplanes with fewer than 20 passenger seats and with a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 lbs. or less. This means everything from two place trainers to mid-size jets would fall under this process going forward.
Instead of the weight classes, there are four levels of certification based on aircraft performance and risk. Factors determining which category an airplane would fall under includes stall speed, VFR (visual flight rules) or IFR (instrument flight rules) operations, and whether the airplane is pressurized or not. The NPRM outlines suggested breakpoints for each, based on passenger seats:
- Level 1 – no more than one passenger
- Level 2 – 2-6 passengers
- Level 3 – 7 to 9 passengers
- Level 4 – 10 to 19 passengers
A ‘notice of proposed rulemaking’ (NPRM) is a public notice issued by law when one of the independent agencies of the United States government wishes to add, remove, or change a rule or regulation as part of the rulemaking process. Such NPRM notices are published in the Federal Register (Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes). Additional information regarding some technical standards of newer aircraft can be found here: ASTM technical committee F44 on General Aviation Aircraft standards.
Additionally, some in the aviation industry wonder if the rewrite is the right approach as mentioned in the article The Part 23 Rewrite: A Disaster in the Making? The author also notes that: “Simplifying the rules for aircraft certification seems like a terrific idea, but there are also pitfalls in taking such radical steps” such as tradeoffs of safety and quality versus cost.
What is Being Flown?
- Fixed Wing Aircraft
- Part 23 – airworthiness standards: normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes, (fixed wing < 12,500 lbs).
- Part 21.191 Experimental Certificates. (see section Experimental E-AB for more details)
- The Airworthiness Certification of Products and Articles, 8130.2H, Dated 02/04/2015 regarding aircraft covers
- Section 6. Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) Category Airworthiness Certifications
- Section 7. General Experimental Airworthiness Certifications
- Section 8. Experimental LSA Airworthiness Certifications
- Section 9. Experimental Amateur-Built Airworthiness Certifications
- Appendix C. Procedures for Issuing Operating Limitations, #46, Certification Basis (14 CFR Part 21) #191.
- The Airworthiness Certification of Products and Articles, 8130.2H, Dated 02/04/2015 regarding aircraft covers
Warning: It is important to remember that any Experimental aircraft have no real FAA certification process as such and that there are NO REAL Airworthiness requirements at all.
Who is Flying?
There are several different type pilot certificates – Sport, Recreational, Private, Commercial, Flight Instructor, or ATP. A pilot certificate, which is often referred to as a pilot’s license, is different from a rating. There are the six types of U.S. pilot certificates.
Sport – easiest and least restrictive certificate, light aircraft only, at low altitudes in their local area, certificates can be earned in one of multiple categories: Airplane, powered parachute, glider, rotorcraft and lighter-than-air, limited to one passenger, prohibited from flying at night, above 10,000 feet, or in Class B, C or D airspace, only requires 20 hours of logged training time, most applicants are not required to obtain an FAA medical certificate.
Recreational– less common than sport or private, can fly heavier aircraft than sport pilot, for those who don’t necessarily want to move on to more advanced training, requires at least 30 hours of logged flight time, including 15 hours of dual instruction. Recreational pilots limited to flights less than 50 nautical miles from departure airport, can only fly during the day and must stay out of controlled airports (class B, C and D airspace).
Private – most common, requirements require more than recreational or sport pilot, private pilots are allowed to do more, like fly at night and at controlled airports. Can fly any aircraft in the category allowed. Most private pilots certified for the category “Aircraft-Single Engine Land,” means can fly any single engine land based airplane (with appropriate ratings and endorsements, such as those needed for a high-performance aircraft or complex aircraft). Not allowed to fly for commercial purposes, and cannot be compensated for pilot services. Private pilot training consists of multiple maneuvers, minimum 40 hours flight time, 20 of which must be with an instructor.
Commercial – paid for their flying services, must abide by any additional federal aviation regulations pertaining to commercial flying operations e.g. scheduled flights. Fly complex aircraft, which have retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable-pitch propeller. Requires more precision training and knowledge about professional flight operations. 250 hours flight time required.
Flight Instructor – path to gain hours or go into a career as a pilot, build experience while paid to fly, learning instructional design, learning theory, and commercial pilot topics in depth. Share knowledge of flight gaining experience for airline job. Some additional training, IFR (instrument) rating, commercial pilots license (250+ hours), medical exam, 15 hours as PIC (pilot in charge), and appropriate ratings/endorsements.
Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) – 1500 hours flight time, required by all commercial airlines, restricted ATP with lower requirements for some military pilots and students graduating from approved universities. Must start from private pilot and work up, CPL (commercial pilots license), add IFR, multi-engine rating, etc.
For Sport, Recreational, or Private pilot, the bottom line is that after 20, 30, or 40 hours. This is the length of one normal work week, equivalent to 5 eight hour sessions, after which you can fly over anyone’s house or school in an experimental homebuilt aircraft, or the aircraft of your choice. This seems to be slightly more hours than is required to get a drivers license for an automobile.
How Many Flying Hours Per Year
It’s interesting to note that the average small aircraft is flown less than 300 hours max a year, a typical average appears to be around 100 hours per year, but with costs constantly increasing, there are many fewer people that are flying less each year, with many fewer aircraft.
Industry subject matter experts (SMEs) estimate that experimental aircraft flight hours per year seem to average less than 100 hours, somewhere around 60-80 flight hours a year. Of course there is no real way of knowing as actual flight hours are not officially tracked or recorded anywhere. This also affects funding and budgets erroneously as well. See Taxation Section for more info.
Flying is expensive, and many people cut corners and rationalize away maintenance, training, and learning opportunities on a regular basis. GA aircraft have a whole other set of problems that are quite distinct from commercial operations as noted in the following bulleted list.
Because the rules are looser for general aviation than for commercial planes, the risks are much higher. General aviation pilots can be certified to fly a given aircraft with a relatively very low number of flight hours. Many believe, including most insurance companies, that the requirements are barely adequate to insure the safety of all involved, especially non-participants on the ground who don’t seem to get a say in accepting someone else’s risk.
The bottom line is that GA pilots with reduced hours and requirements are NOT and will NEVER be as safe as commercial rated pilots or above, but the more training and experience can mean all the difference in safety. However, statistically experience, certificate type, or even number of pilots is not positively reflected in the number of accidents or fatalities.
Here is another good discussion regarding fuel exhaustion in the Aviation Safety Magazine article 5 Ways to Crash an Airplane. The article goes on to say “Planning a flight commensurate with the fuel available is a simple matter of airmanship. There is no real excuse for a ‘fuel exhaustion’ incident .” The author goes on to suggest that the failure isn’t improper planning, but rather failure to plan at all.
The author also wonders if the proliferation of price competition enabled by the internet contributes to ‘fuel exhaustion’ type of accident. 1d2 seems to offer 100LL leaded avgas below current market price as a bait to attract frugal people concerned about price saving a few pennies to invite, increase or bolster the appearance of a busier airport and boost usage stats. The usage stats are bloated by non-unique, e.g. repeated ops (take offs and landings) by the same pilots/aircraft over and over again. This can be seen in the E-AB Helicopter Noise Abatement Violation log.
An interesting note in the graphic, that even with a second pilot on board, a CFI on board, or an IFR rating, the numbers are still embarrassing high for such a basic planning activity. The innocent non-participant death story above is a good case in point, a tragic loss of life for absolutely no reason at all, other than running out of fuel!
Additional Pilot Ratings and Endorsements
A private pilot or commercial pilot can add a rating on to their certificate to advance their career opportunities or enable certain types of flying. Pilot ratings include:
- Instrument rating that allows a pilot to fly by sole reference to the instruments in the flight deck, and without any reference to the ground outside. This type of rating can be added on to a private pilot certificate or commercial pilot certificate.
- Instrument Instructor – a certified flight instructor (CFI) must add an instrument instructor rating to his certificate (CFI-I) in order to instruct students that want to obtain an instrument rating.
- Multi-engine – a multi-engine rating is an add-on rating to the private pilot certificate. A multi-engine rating is necessary for most advanced training schools, and for those who want to go on to fly in the airlines.
- Multi-engine instructor – a CFI that wants to instruct in a multi-engine airplane must first obtain a multi-engine instructor rating (MEI).
Pilot Endorsements are basically a “sign-off” from a certified flight instructor that states that the pilot has received the required training for the particular task. Among the endorsements that pilots can obtain are:
- High Performance – a high-performance aircraft is an aircraft that has more than 200 horsepower and is faster than typical aircraft that private pilots fly. A high-performance endorsement ensures that a pilot will operate a more powerful aircraft hopefully in a safe manner. An example would be a Staudacher S600 with 300hp with a top speed well over 250 knots which requires a special medical certification, even after the latest FAA medical reform changes. There is a Staudacher S600 at 1d2, hopefully the pilot has both of the proper certifications. See the E-AB Helicopter Noise Abatement Violation log.
- Complex – required for aircraft that have retractable landing gear, movable flaps and a controllable-pitch propeller.
- High Altitude – means that a pilot much be familiar with oxygen requirements, oxygen systems, rapid decompression procedures and pilot health problems like hypoxia.
Always remember there is a ‘real’ difference between a ‘certified’ pilot and a ‘competent’ one!
Where is the Flying Taking Place? 1d2 – an Uncontrolled Airport
Controlled Airport (CA) is an airport with an operating tower. Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace. The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots, and making sure rules, regulations, and proper process and procedures are following in a safe orderly manner.
Uncontrolled airport (UA) – such as 1d2, is an airport with no operating tower, or air traffic control unit. Instead of receiving instructions from a tower controller, pilots follow recommended procedures. The exact procedures vary from country to country, but they often involve standard arrival and departure patterns, and they may also include radio calls over a common frequency, such as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Everyone in the Aviation industry knows the little secret, that UAs or Uncontrolled Airports are less stringent, loosely run, operated, administered. Flight Clubs and Flight Instructors get more flying time, helicopters come and go at will all without any supervision of Air Traffic Control (ATC). History shows over and over again that self administration by itself never works. Complaints regarding 1d2 come from as far away as Novi/Northville.
Additionally, there are many aircraft registrations that are: Expired , Terminated, Revoked, etc., or other problems with planes and helicopters at 1d2 as shown in the log of Noise Abatement and safety violations.
HUD Safety Violations
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards will not allow a structure to be located closer than 150 feet to a bulk fuel storage tank(s). More restrictive standards have been established for buildings that involve open areas where people will be gathering outdoors. This safe distance is referred to as the “Acceptable Separation Distance” or ASD.
There are two main standards concerning the “Acceptable Separation Distance” or ASD, namely Thermal Radiation and Blast Overpressure.
To protect people in outside areas, open spaces, like parks, recreation areas, where people congregate, HUD established the thermal radiation standard of 450 BTU/ft sq. hr for people that would be exposed to flammable fuels and liquids. This would apply to covered outdoor area on the rear of the 1d2 terminal building for protection of people in outside congregation area.
Blast over pressure can produce harm to people or destroy buildings if this pressure is higher than 0.5 psi.
To recap the established safe minimums are:
- Thermal Radiation
- Buildings – 10,000 BTU/Ft.sq Hr
- People – 450 BTU/Ft. sq Hr.
- Blast Overpressure
- Buildings – 0.5 PSI
The 1d2 Terminal building is old, dilapidated, and built so long ago that it does appear to meet any acceptable safe building standards for the protection of the public:
- 1d2 terminal building does NOT appear to have an “Acceptable Separation Distance”
- Thermal Radiation for buildings at 10,000 BTU/Ft.sq Hr. Of course it doesn’t help the fire rating with a the little boys club-like ‘old lime green velvet couch’ in the lobby that is a distinct violation of public health and fire safety standards of modern public facilities! It doesn’t even look like a public airport!
- Thermal Radiation for people at 450 BTU/Ft. sq Hr
- 1d2 Terminal building does NOT appear to have “Acceptable Separation Distance”
- Blast Overpressure 0.5 PSI
This is a danger that people at the airport, surrounding businesses, and schools may not be aware with respect to the HUD guidelines, regulations, and restrictions.
Central Focus of Discussion
The focus of discussion for what is being flown, under What rules, and who is flying.
For the purpose of discussion the specific definitions of interest for this web site are:
- Part 21.119 All Experimental types including Amateur Built (E-AB), LSA, E-LSA, also rotorcraft and gyrocopters, has piston engine(s), operated under Part 91, operated by Sport, Recreational, Private pilot
- Part 23 ‘Small aircraft’, fixed wing airplane, is not a transport category, 12,500 lbs or less maximum certificated take-off weight, has piston engine(s), operated under part 91, operated by Sport, Recreational, Private pilot
- Part 27 / 29 ‘Helicopter’ or ‘rotocraft’, operating under Part 91 / 133 / 135, operated by any qualified/rated pilot.
USA Today Aviation Series and Articles – Required Reading
USA Today published a three part series, and some follow up articles discussing aviation safety, dangers, and risks. The coverage was dramatic and sensational, to say the least.
However, the series does reinforce the overall conclusion, that small piston driven airplanes and helicopters do crash and take lives, including lives from non-participants and passengers. It should be obvious, small planes and helicopters are dangerous and should be treated with care, a very simple point that comes across loud and clear. It is very hard to argue with that fact alone.
Please take time to read each of the stories about the many people and how they and their families were impacted. These are real stories about how safety affects communities, schools and families.
Safety last: Lies and cover-ups mask roots of small-plane carnage (Part 1)
Hidden defects linked to small-aircraft crashes over five decades, a USA Today investigation shows.
Unchecked carnage: NTSB probes are skimpy for small-aircraft crashes (Part 2)
Agency’s investigations don’t dive deep when helicopters and small planes are in accidents.
Small and dangerous: FAA rules mean new planes with old technology (Part 3)
Waiting for “More people to be killed before we can do something that makes sense.”
Investigation: Post-crash fires in small planes cost 600 lives (feature article)
Federal regulators held back on fixes because it costs too much!
Celebrity plane crashes draw special scrutiny from the NTSB (feature article)
Investigators scramble when JFK Jr., John Denver or a Senator’s son goes down!
A lot of hard work by the FAA and NTSB has gone into improving safety in some areas. But while safety has improved in some areas, it has not changed much and improvements are flat in others. Again, many include and compare ‘commercial’ activities with that of non-commercial activities.
Even with increased technology etc. the overall assessment is that technology has NOT made things any safer.
Regardless of what’s done to improve safety, accidents will still happen and people, willing or not, will still die, there are no perfect machines.
Comments on the USA Today Series and Articles: appears in this article: General aviation industry pursues safety: Your Say
Some comments included:
- “The problem is that too many in aviation are too focused on the money. They fail to do their jobs and don’t pursue maximum aviation safety.”
- “This report was well-researched and interesting. I investigated accidents for over 32 years as an FAA inspector. Many times, no government investigator looked at the wreckage and took only the information provided by the person involved in the accident, and the NTSB determined the cause.”
- One of the comments further perpetuates the myth of GA safety equating to commercial flying of millions of miles, but another commenter rightly replies “Comparing general aviation safety records with those of airlines is flawed and disingenuous. The rules governing the two are different.”
Safety Features AvailableNow, But at a Price!
Modern technology is available, but it is expensive. Participants should make the voluntary investment to provide safety to themselves and to the community. If you want safer features in an airplanes buy one.
Typical New, 4 Seater, Cirrus SR22 as pictured in the MIT article: Unfriendly skies: Piston engine aircraft pose a significant health threat, has modern technology and features, yet these features do not help crash rate. in the article General Aviation Safety and the Cirrus SR22 the author put the ‘modern technology view’ into perspective. Noting that at the time there were only about 3,400 Cirrus planes ever made. With 26 fatal accidents, that means 1 in approximately every 130 Cirrus planes have crashed killing at least 1 person on board. That’s a pretty sobering statistic. 1 in 130.
Beware the “Safe” Airplane
The original article Beware the “Safe” Airplane was removed recently which is no surprise! Here is a pdf copy of “Beware the “Safe” Airplane” that was found on the internet,which was an editorial for In Flight USA, the author, a pilot, offers a unique perspective and brief history of aviation safety. The presentation has a somewhat dated appearance, but discusses some interesting historical tidbits and the author presents an honest recognition of ‘light plane’ safety. He goes on to finish the article: “There IS a safe light plane. It’s the one on the ground . . .”
Since early 2015, a total of 1,546 general aviation accidents in the United States has left 466 dead and 384 injured, according to data from the National Transportation Safety Board through May 17, 2016. Here are the details of those accidents, many which involved small aircraft, including planes and helicopters. Blue icons on the map indicate fatal accidents, with the number of fatalities marked on the icon. Zoom into or out of the map to change the view. Click the icons for details. Read more about the recent spate of airplane crashes on Long Island. This database was posted on May 21, 2016.
Here is a map of FATAL “general aviation” GA crashes in Michigan thru 2013:
Map of Michigan fatal plane crashes | PlaneCrashMap.com
Remember, this is only the “FATAL” plane crashes up to 2013! This map does NOT include non-FATAL accidents or other serious or even non-serious incidents with injuries. It also does not include any incidents regarding plane safety, compliance, maintenance or other failures of processes or procedures. There are many times more and of a far greater frequency of these incidents than the general public realizes. You can also view other states on this page as well.
See Timeline Section for a list of 1d2 related, crashes, accidents, and incidents.
A Whole Family Completely Wiped Out
Many small aircraft pilots do NOT and will NOT fly over the Great Lakes or the Rocky Mountains because they do NOT trust their life with the capabilities and features of the small plane they’re flying. Many were made aware of this same danger recently, but with a larger, much more capable business jet, but with an inexperienced pilot. The results were disastrous and fatal for a whole family, and their friends.
Fleming, 46, his wife, Suzanne, their two sons, Jack, 15, and Andrew, 14, and neighbors Brian Casey, 50, and Megan Casey, 19, had attended a Cleveland Cavaliers game before the December 29, 2016 fatal crash killed all six, wiping out the family.
It is sad enough, but what makes it really tragic is that pilot was certified just 21 days before the fatal crash into Lake Erie for that type of aircraft, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s report CEN17FA072. By January 17, 2017 the search of Lake Erie for human remains from plane crash ended. A whole family needlessly, and sadly wiped out!
2016 Fatalities / Accidents
A series of fatal accidents involving U.S. general aviation airplanes occurred at the end of 2016 closed out a year in which early, unofficial statistics will not show substantial safety improvements when compared to the year before. Final data for 2016 won’t be available for several months, but late December’s 11 fatal crashes and accidents in one single week aren’t likely to improve the annual numbers.
AIN Summary Page [running total of accidents and fatalities]
1d2 crashes have been going on for many years and are more common and frequent than people realize. Here are documents that contain some, but certainly not all crash info. See Timeline section for more detail.
- 1d2-crash-fatals, save file for better viewing.
- 1d2-crashes-newspapers newspaper clippings, save file for better viewing.
Close 1d2 now! The densely populated areas of Canton, Plymouth and surrounding communities have outgrown 1d2 as it presents unacceptable safety and health risks.
References and Further Reading
REAL FOOTAGE: Fatal plane Crash into Home in Riverside, California | Feb 27, 2017 – YouTube- taken just minutes after the fatal crash
One of the initial reports of the fatal plane crash directly into a home from CBSLA.com
New Details About Riverside Plane Crash That Leaves 3 Dead, 2 Critically Injured https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym6vIbm6VEA
Facebook post of surveillance video of actual crash into homes in a densely populated neighborhood of Riverside, much like Canton, Plymouth and surrounding communities!
Dramatic video shows a plane crashing Monday in a Riverside neighborhood, igniting a fire. Authorities said three people were killed and at least two people were hurt in the crash. More: http://bit.ly/2m08UjU
Posted by Fox 11 Los Angeles on Monday, February 27, 2017
Same surveillance Video on YouTube shows fatal plane crash into homes
Instagram video minutes after fatal crash:
Stephanie Nielson’s Story: After Tragic Crash, Mom of Four Nearly Lost It All – ABC News
After a small plane crash that killed her husband Stephanie Nielson’s burns were so widespread that family members said they could only recognize her feet. This is the touching story of a mother reuniting with her children.
Many Small Plane Crashes Preventable – YouTube [ABC News]
NTSB Summaries & Annual Reviews – Aviation Statistics
NTSB General Aviation Safety
Why Private Planes Are Nearly as Deadly as Cars
Surviving the Crash: The Need to Improve Lifesaving Measures at Our Nation’s Airports
United States Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics,
National Transportation Statistics, Table 2-14: U.S. General Aviation(a) Safety Data
United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Report to Congressional Requesters, GENERAL AVIATION SAFETY: Additional FAA Efforts Could Help Identify and Mitigate Safety Risks, report # GAO-13-36
United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Report to Congressional Requesters, GENERAL AVIATION: Observations Related to Liability Insurance Requirements and Coverage for Aircraft Owners, report # GAO-15-740
Small plane crash lands in Detroit injuring pilot, bystander [Part 1]
Report: [Detroit] Pilot ran out of fuel before June fatal crash [killed bystander][Part 2]
Teen pilot in fatal banner-towing crash had troubled history UPDATE [Part 3]
Are helicopters safer than cars?
Mid-Air Collision | The Weather Channel [Must Watch]
Why Planes Crash: Mid-air Collision between a small plane and a helicopter over New York harbor. 1d2 fatal mid-air collision that killed three people in Plymouth are covered in NTSB reports, CHI90FA190A and CHI90FA190B. See Timeline for more details.
Accident statistics – Causes of Fatal Accidents by Decade
Safety vs Driving
Injury Epidemiology: Fourth Edition, Leon S. Robertson, Ph.D., September 12, 2015
Aviation Safety Magazine
Front Page – Flight Safety Foundation
AIN Summary Page [running total of accidents/fatalities]
10 Plane Crashes That Changed Aviation
Weather Channel [Must Watch]
Air Crash Why Planes Crash: Brush with Death – YouTube
Mayday / Air Crash Investigation | Facebook
Mayday (TV series) – Wikipedia
Akron plane crash that killed 9 ‘infested with sloppiness’ [crashes into home]
Authorities confirm 9 dead in Ohio plane crash [crashes into home]
American Lung Association – Energy Policy Development:
Transportation Background Document
Aviation-Related Injury Morbidity and Mortality:
Data from U.S. Health Information Systems
Comparison of Pilot Fatalities and Number of Pilot Medical Examinations
Most aviation accidents examined in this study were ruled pilot error by the NTSB but no reason was given for the pilot error. This research identified a small number of AMEs (254, 3.5%) with an atypically high pilot fatality rate per exam. Although this is a small number of AMEs the group accounted for 1,077 fatalities (37.7%) with 690 of these fatalities exceeding the 387 projected fatalities for this group over the 10 year study.
Visualizing the FAA Aviation Accident Database
Pilot error is main cause of accidents in general aviation. Year-by year pilot error as the cause of accidents is in the 70 percentile range. But what are the events and factors underlying these and other aviation accidents? Accidents are rarely the result of one factor, they are almost always caused by an unfortunate chain of events . Analyzing these multiple chains of events to isolate common causes is a challenge.
The Effect of Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance Safety
There are several factors that play into the cause of aircraft accidents and some of these factors are known as human factors. The study of how humans can most efficiently interact with technology is known as human factors. According to Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, human error accounts for 70% of commercial airplane accidents. In order to decrease the number of accidents caused by maintenance-related human factors, awareness and training in the field of human factors is critical.
Crash Risk in General Aviation
US National Institute of Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology
Toxicological findings in fatally injured pilots of 979 amateur-built aircraft accidents. – PubMed – NCBI (reference)
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Transportation Research Board (TRB)
Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-Built Aircraft Accidents (reference)
Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-B…: Ingenta Connect
Available in PDF or HTML format.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-Built Aircraft Accidents – AM11-21.pdf
Here is a local copy of the article Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-Built Aircraft Accidents – AM11-21 in pdf format if other sites are not responding.
Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-Built Aircraft Accidents
very unpredictable site based up/down times, but has many other useful reports when the site is available . . .
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hunt Library
List of all FAA Aviation/Aerospace Medicine Reports (1961 – 2017)
FAA Aviation/Aerospace Medicine Reports | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Hunt Library
Other aviation reports related to the article”Toxicological Findings in Fatally Injured Pilots of 979 Amateur-Built Aircraft Accidents” reports by Arvind K Chaturvedi
Aviation Accident Reports
Predicting Accident Rates From General Aviation Pilot Total Flight Hours