A Few Words on Safety...
Aviation is a dream that we all live and share. The fact that we have the ability to spend years building an aircraft and then flying it ourselves is truly amazing when you consider that a little over a hundred years ago it had never been done before. And now we can all do it - riding on the backs of those who have done it before us. And riding on all the lessons learned and the trials and errors made by others before us. An amazing pursuit and also one with some risks. Of course we can never eliminate the risks of aviation, but we can do our best to mitigate them. And a big part of that is learning from the mistakes of others and trying not to repeat those mistakes. Because, many before us have sacrificed a lot in the pursuit of this dream, but we don’t have to if we try hard to avoid it.
As an avionics producer, MGL Avionics is often one of the last suppliers a homebuilder will contact, since avionics are normally one of the final steps in an aircraft build. So, in this fairly unique position, we would like to offer a few useful reads to our audience. We have seen all too often a rush to get an airplane into the air in the very exciting final stages, and taking pause before the first flights to make sure all systems are operating correctly (including powerplant and fuel delivery system), and coming up with a good flight test plan, would prevent a lot of mishaps.
- Learn the hard lessons by reading about them - not by experiencing them...
Read the 2012 NTSB Report on The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft to see the issues others have encountered and try to make sure it doesn’t happen to you (a lot of the mishaps happen in the first flights of a new aircraft and could be avoided by more complete testing of the powerplant and fuel delivery systems):
NTSB Report on the Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft
- Come up with a good systems verification and flight test plan...
Read FAA AC 90-89B to see FAA recommendations on coming up with a good flight test plan for a newly built Experimental aircraft. No need to reinvent the wheel - they put a handbook together for that:
AC 90-89B Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook
- Make sure you have a good plan to get familiar with the performance and handling of your aircraft...
Read FAA AC 90-109 to see FAA guidance on transitioning to an Experimental or unfamiliar airplane:
AC 90-109 Airmen Transition to Experimental or Unfamiliar Airplanes
Go to www.eaa.org for many more resources regarding first flights in a newly built Experimental aircraft