National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman and Member Earl Weener are attending the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. AirVenture 2011 will draw more than 500,000 pilots and aviation buffs to its week-long jamboree.
Last year, the NTSB investigated more than 1,400 general aviation accidents which resulted in the deaths of some 450 individuals. So far this year, the number of general aviation accidents is on the rise - in June, the NTSB investigated 25 fatal accidents and we have already surpassed that number in July. Last month the NTSB announced that improving general aviation safety had been added to its Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements.
"AirVenture is a perfect opportunity to take our safety message to the largest gathering of sport aviation enthusiasts in the United States and to meet the thousands of GA pilots and industry representatives in attendance," said Chairman Hersman. "We are here to listen and learn as well as share lessons learned from recent NTSB accident investigations and studies with an amazing group of aviators."
Earlier this month, the NTSB announced the launch of a study on experimental amateur-built (E-AB) airplanes. The study is looking at a range of E-AB issue areas including builder assistance programs; transition training for pilot-builders of E-ABs; flight test and certification requirements; maintenance of E-AB aircraft; and the performance and failures of systems, structures, and power plants. During this year's AirVenture, the EAA is seeking input, via a short survey, from E-AB pilots and builders about this fast growing segment of general aviation. The information they gather will be shared with the NTSB for inclusion in our study. We expect the study to be completed in the fall of 2012.
While in Oshkosh, Chairman Hersman and Member Weener will meet with industry officials and exhibitors, discuss general aviation safety and meet with members of the public who visit the NTSB exhibit booth. NTSB investigators will conduct presentations on accident investigations and safety recommendations and will be featured on EAA Radio daily.