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2009 highlights


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January 22, 2010: 2009 highlights


Also see the 'Benchmark events in Australian Recreational Aviation' page.


The year was very disappointing in terms of our primary goal — safe flying. It started very well; there were no fatal accidents in the first seven months and it looked like the human factors training programs were starting to produce the required results.


Then there were five fatal accidents between August and December. Three of the accidents involved trikes, one of which was an unregistered aircraft. A passenger also died in one of the trike accidents. In addition, there was a sixth accident where an RA-Aus three-axis Pilot Certificate holder died in a trike registered with HGFA.


So, a year that started with a lot of promise — following the gains made in 2008 — ended very badly. In effect, maintaining the historical average annual number of 4.5 fatal accidents.


Past history shows that 87% of RA-Aus accidents involve, or are directly attributed to, critical decisional errors or human factor related events. The elimination of such events must be regarded as the last frontier to be conquered by the members of this association in our quest for fatality-free operations.


The only statistic that the membership must be striving for is zero — no fatal accidents and no bad injuries.


Growth in numbers


Although there was no evident growth in safety effectiveness; throughout 2009 there was very healthy growth in membership, flight training facilities and Recreational Aviation clubs. There are now 9186 ordinary members; reflecting an increase in numbers of 746. A similar increase occurring during 2010 would bring the voting membership close to 10 000.


The number of RA-Aus approved and independently operating flight training facilities increased by 15 (10%) during 2009, totalling 154 at December 31. That total excludes eight satellite FTFs currently operating under the control of a parent FTF.


The number of known clubs associated with Recreational Aviation now totals around 106; again, a healthy increase during 2009.


Economic conditions seem to have affected the number of new aircraft registrations and the number of registration cancellations. The number of aircraft on the RA-Aus register at the end of 2009 was 2955; an increase of only 2%. See the January 14, 2010 notice.


Regulatory environment


The continuing non-promulgation of CASR Part 103 and CASR Part 149 remains a major disappointment. This was exacerbated by CASA's October decision not to proceed with Project CS 06/01 'Proposed MTOW increase for aircraft operating under CAO 95.55'.


In 2008 CASA established Project OS 08/13 'Early implementation of certain proposed CASR Part 103 standards via CAO'. See the April 6, 2009 notice Changes to CAOs 95.10, 95.32 and 95.55. Promulgation seems to have stalled except that, in July, the Director of Aviation Safety, Mr. John McCormick, decided to maintain the current policy of entry into Controlled Airspace requiring a CASA Licence.


... JB



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Past history shows that 87% of RA-Aus accidents involve, or are directly attributed to, critical decisional errors

Are the decisional errors generally spur of the moment decisions made when there is no time to think things through, or things like choosing to fly in bad weather, not carrying enough fuel or going beyond skill levels.


087_sorry.gif.8f9ce404ad3aa941b2729edb25b7c714.gif I know it is a question requiring some serious generalizing to come up with an answer but I hope you can understand the conclusion I'm trying to get to.


Regards Bill



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