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pmccarthy
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I just received Sept Sport Pilot and am reading through. The legal story on page 39 said the Appeals court accepted that one in 500 light aircraft flights in 2007 ended in a serious accident. What? If 50 of those flights were mine, and I am typical, then one in ten of our pilot members had a serious accident in 2007. That has to be nonsense. Where did the experts get that figure from?

 

 

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I just received Sept Sport Pilot and am reading through. The legal story on page 39 said the Appeals court accepted that one in 500 light aircraft flights in 2007 ended in a serious accident. What? If 50 of those flights were mine, and I am typical, then one in ten of our pilot members had a serious accident in 2007. That has to be nonsense. Where did the experts get that figure from?

That's 0.2% and you're not typical. I know of a number of write offs and fatalities on first flight.

 

Why not look up the Case record, find the context and facts and let us know.

 

 

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I haven't got the mag yet but that does seem extremely high, I wonder how many flights happen per day? How do they know the number of flights?? I know they get our hours each renewal but do they require to know the amount of flights?

 

 

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It would depend on how you defined a flight. We regard a flight as pretty much anytime the wheels leave the ground, and a circuit would qualify. Also what is a serious accident? Someone would have to sustain an injury of more than a minor nature in my view.. While I accept that things are far from perfect, the stated claim seems excessive. Nev

 

 

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The legal story on page 39 said the Appeals court accepted that one in 500 light aircraft flights in 2007 ended in a serious accident.

Sounds wrong to me. If it was one in 500 aircraft had a serious accident it would be more in the range I would expect. You really need to see the raw figures, number of flights, number of accidents and how they are defined.

 

 

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The RAA site lists 177 accidents/incidents for 2013; that's 88,500 flights worth at 1 in 500

That isn't 177 serious accidents. There is a difference between an accident and an incident and, I would argue, between an accident and a serious accident.

 

RAA list about 5200 registrations - does 88500 flights sound right? About 17 flights per aircraft per year? Not out of the question if you have a lot of aircraft hat are not flown much, but it sounds low.

 

1 in 500 aircraft would be about 10-11 serious accidents per year (i.e. around 1 a month) - which again sounds plausible.

 

 

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Yes I know that's all accidents but until we get some detail from pmccarthy that puts an upper end on the flights and even if we did make a decision on what was a " serious accident", our definition might be different to the one submitted in the court case.

 

Your conclusion sound about in the ballpark related to the number of aircraft if we assume it starts with people hospitalised.

 

 

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OK I have now read the original judgement and the appeal at caselaw.nsw.gov for Campbell v Hay. In the appeal at paragraph 126:

 

Turning to the RAA statistical information in Mr Brandon's article, this is relied upon by Mr Hay as demonstrating that in 2007, on an analysis of fatal accidents involving RAA registered aircraft, there was a fatality involved in 1 out of every 500 light aircraft flights. It was noted that the average annual hours flown by RAA aircraft for the past 15 years, including flying school machines, ranged from 44 to 60 but that in most years was between 50 and 55).

 

This is complete nonsense and I'm afraid His Honour was misled, and this error was repeated in this month's Sport Pilot. If the average flight was one hour in duration (my guess), and the average RAA aircraft flew 50 hours, then one in ten RAA aircraft had a fatal accident in 2007!

 

I should add that the reference is to: an article published in 2012 by Mr John Brandon, an author of a number of tutorials and guides published through RAA, containing statistics concerning the number of sport and recreational aviation aircraft accidents involving fatalities during the period from 1985 to 2011

 

 

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John Brandon's article (it is on RecFly - Resources - John Brandon tutorials - scroll down to RAAus Accident History) or use this link http://www.recreationalflying.com/tutorials/safety/intro2.html#recent

 

 

 

See if you reach the same conclusion as Sport Pilot. Note that this article has been updated in January 2014 - it is updated each year.

 

 

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  • "Mr Hay submits that these figures are indicative of the level of activity of ultralight and other recreational light aircraft flying (which, by virtue of the number of members of the RAA and the number of aircraft, is very small compared to the rest of the aviation industry). Mr Hay submits that, on its own, the statistical information that indicates on average 1 fatal accident per 500 light aircraft flights, having regard to the average hours per aircraft of around 50 hours per year, demonstrates that there is a significant measure of risk proportional to usage and the length of the activity (as compared with the ATSB information per 100,000 hours flown in other categories of aviation).
     
     

 

 

 

 

 

  • Not sure where figures for departures have come from but certainly GA departure figures are not recorded for all the smaller categories, only the RPT types.
     
     

 

 

 

Table 2 records thousands of hours flown by operation type3 for Australian (VH-) registered aircraft. At the time of publication, hours flown data was only available to the end of 2011 for most operation types, but was available to 2012 for high and low capacity RPT.

 

The full report is at http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/4355945/ar-2013-067_final.pdf

 

Well worth reading but note the inclusion of para glider and gyrocopter in the recreational stats.

 

Kaz

 

 

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So aircraft hull insurance is from memory circa 3% of value and presumably some of that is commissions and profit.

 

If the average is 50 hrs per year then statistically your due an accident each 10 years, yet the insurance company at that stage has only recovered 1/3rd the hull costs from you.

 

The statistic must be wrong, or insurance company's are choosing to prop up aviation......

 

Andy

 

 

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Referring to Mr Brandon's report:

 

I calculated for 2007 2900 aircraft multiplied by 52.5 average hours divide by 8 fatal accidents at 1 fatal accident per 19,000 hours flown by the fleet.

 

If you assume an average of one hour for each flight that's 1 fatal accident every 19,000 flights

 

Alternatively 2900 divided by 8 = 1 fatal accident per 362.5 aircraft.

 

So I don't know how 1 in 500 can be extracted from the Brandon report.

 

The Appellant's legal team had the opportunity to make a correction, but I'd suggest if the full Brandon report was quoted it would only confirm in a much more empirical way that flying these aircraft is a dangerous recreational activity.

 

For that reason it would not have changed the outcome of the case or appeal, which is probably why no one raised it as an issue.

 

In any case I don't look at usage statistics such as fatals per 100,000 Nm, or thousands of hours - I look at how many of us are engaged in the activity and how many will not make it to New Year's Day, and in 2007 it was eight pilots and five passengers, which give me something to classify on, and analyse on in accurate detail.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been flying at Gawler since 1968, during which time I estimate there has been about 270,000 flights without a fatality or even a single serious injury, in flights at Gawler.

 

According to the 1 in 500 figure, there "should" have been 540 fatalities and according to the 1 in 19,000 figure there should have been 14 fatalities.

 

As I have said in other threads, the risk of flying is about half of the risk of being as little as 5kg overweight and only about 10% of all risks. I reckon the risk is worth the fun.

 

 

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I think we've already debunked the 1 in 500 figure.

 

Zero fatalities at Gawler over 46 years probably means that Gawler has an excellent safety culture.

 

Similarly Nong was chewing my ear off a few days ago about 58 fatality - free years at Wagga Wagga and in spite of his lurid rejection of current society. you'd probably get a good cuff behind the ear if you strayed anywhere near a live prop or didn't connect the earth before refuelling.

 

According to the John Brandon report, we did manage to kill 14 people last year.

 

The problem is that there is an equal or greater number of airfields where the culture is just setting people up to fail, and if you look back through the reports you'll see airfields with multiple and regular fatalities, you'll see instructors with multiple fatalities down the line of their students, and you'll read the disdain for safety on social media.

 

So it sort of balances out.

 

I've mentioned previously that with recreational pursuits with such a small participant base, I just like to focus on those who didn't come home and see if we can avoid the same thing happening again.

 

With just 14 people to focus on you can drill down quite accurately on what took each one of them out, and you then can look at any aspects which could make the whole sport safer.

 

As far as comparing the fatality rate of participants in recreational flying with the general public, you are quite correct.

 

Medical negligence now kills about the same number of people as our road toll

 

Heart attacks kill a huge number more than medical negligence and so on

 

 

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