comparing planes for safety

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CharlieTango
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Re: Light Sport Safety Stats

Postby CharlieTango » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:02 pm

artp wrote:The Corvair was a car built by GM with a rear engine that had a nasty tendency to lose control in curves. When it happened it was driver error (they went faster than was safe in the car). But what killed the car was that so many "driver errors" occurred that people questioned whether the car required a level of skill higher than required by other vehicles and if a car requiring that level of skill was safe.


aircraft and cars simply are not analogous in this case. an example would be a newly certificated private pilot with all of his time to date in a cessna 152. at this point he is only safe in a 152 and needs a check out or additional training and an endorsement (maybe even a new rating) to fly anything but a 152. also the corvair was in fact a flawed design, the fact that a ctsw requires training doesn't mean the design is flawed.


artp wrote:If you look at the accident reports many of the pilots were CFIs. While you can argue that they should have had more training specific to the CT before attempting to fly it, the FAA says they should be able to fly any single engine airplane based upon there certificates. They can fly Cessnas, Pipers, even Cirrus but they don't have enough skill to fly a CT?

recently i went flying with a cfi to get him 5 hours in my ct so he could instruct my girlfriend. this guy i have known and flown with since the 1980's and i know him to be a good pilot and a good instructor. he lasted less than 1 hour in the ct and was likely to damage it if he continued on the same tract. the problem was that he either already knew how to land the ct or he wouldn't even try. it wasn't a matter of skill, this guy is highly skilled. it is a matter of some adjustments though. if you are going to approach at idle with 30 degrees of flaps you will likely be presented with a sight picture you have never seen before. no cowling for reference, this require adjustment in how you perceive your pitch attitude. the ct was design with short/rough field capabilities as a requirement while coupled with best speed for the category. one of the results is the ability to approach steeply. in this configuration the ct requires a higher skill level and requires a finer perception of distance from the ground as well as deck angle as well as the current energy state.

any time you maximize performance more skill is required, like banking 60 degrees vs 30 degrees in a level turn. ultimately we have a hi-performance slsa that reacts quickly to input and conditions. the extra capability brings extra safety as well.

artp wrote:
Anicdotes about how many landings you did are not very informative. It is like smokers saying they smoked for years and don't have health problems so that proves there is nothing wrong with smoking. If someone is concerned about the safety of an aircraft they should be looking an the number of accidents not at some individual who didn't have an accident.


if all the accidents have a similar profile he should look at that fact. i believe in all 12 we have new students and or new ( to the ctsw ) general aviation cfi's realizing landing incidents before they are proficient.

you can avoid this scenario with adequate training. simply looking at numbers doesn't paint as useful of a picture.

artp wrote:

Finally in you one of your posts you talked about training being important and you also state that pilots routinely fly the CT in winds greater than 30 knots. Yet the CT POH states "After practice the airplane can be taxied in crosswinds up to 17 knots." and "In gusty wind or wind speed more than 21 knots flight operations should be stopped." Does this training you speak of teach pilots to ignore the POH?


i don't believe POH is the correct term in SLSA and as you pointed out multiple times in the past the SLSA Aircraft's Operating Instructions tend to be deficient by comparison.

we did a landing in 30+ kts it is true. however i have had experience at significantly higher wind speeds and have demonstrated that my personal minimums in this case to be more real world than the SLSA documentation. we were in a part of the country with very few airports and had a couple of issues that made landing important. rfane had demonstrated good judgment and good skills over the prior few days, i landed first and reported to rfane who did a fine job. we talked about taxiing as well and we were well within the capabilities of the design and if we were not we would have used wing walkers to insure a successful taxi.

the training i speak of teaches pilots to maintain a good energy state unless they are inches from the runway and to make necessary adjustments to maintain control. it can be a big deal for some who have lost the habit of using their feet or that are unable to adjust to a different sight picture, coordination or control sensitivity.

artp
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Re: Light Sport Safety Stats

Postby artp » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:21 pm

CharlieTango wrote:i don't believe POH is the correct term in SLSA and as you pointed out multiple times in the past the SLSA Aircraft's Operating Instructions tend to be deficient by comparison.


Whether you call it a POH or anything else, the FAA has made clear that it is binding on the pilots.

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rfane
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Re: Light Sport Safety Stats

Postby rfane » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:02 pm

artp wrote:If you look at the accident reports many of the pilots were CFIs. While you can argue that they should have had more training specific to the CT before attempting to fly it, the FAA says they should be able to fly any single engine airplane based upon there certificates. They can fly Cessnas, Pipers, even Cirrus but they don't have enough skill to fly a CT?


Art, I've read many accident reports of high time Commercial and ATP rated pilots, who fly the world in big jets, who have screwed the pooch in a Cessna or Piper on a local flight. Just because the person has the ratings, doesn't mean their current skills and mindset are up to the task. The CFI who first checked me out in a rental CT, said I was landing it better than he could. This was after at most three hours of instruction in the plane, and 12-15 landings. Back in May that same CFI was giving instruction in a Zlin Savage Cub (LSA) to a guy, and they ended up tearing the gear off of it. He's a fairly long term CFI who mainly instructs in tailwheel and acrobatic aircraft. Shouldn't have happened according to you, but it did.

artp wrote:Finally in you one of your posts you talked about training being important and you also state that pilots routinely fly the CT in winds greater than 30 knots. Yet the CT POH states "After practice the airplane can be taxied in crosswinds up to 17 knots." and "In gusty wind or wind speed more than 21 knots flight operations should be stopped." Does this training you speak of teach pilots to ignore the POH?


artp wrote:Whether you call it a POH or anything else, the FAA has made clear that it is binding on the pilots.


Art, I think the key word in the POH about winds over 21 knots, is should be stopped. Not must be stopped. It is up to the PIC to decide what is safe. Those 30 knot winds were pretty much down the runway, and if it was too much for me to handle, it would have been my decision to go and land elsewhere. I still had 3 hours of fuel on board. I don't normally land in those conditions. It was challenging, but I safely got the aircraft on the ground.

CharlieTango flys out of an airport in the high Sierra, in conditions that you would not want to. He hasn't said that every CT pilot routinely flys in high winds. Most don't, and shouldn't, as they don't have the necessary skills to do so. Every pilot needs to set his own limits, and CharlieTango knows what his are. Too many pilots bust airplanes and themselves because they don't.

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Who are you really?

Postby Roger » Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:44 pm

Art

Some have suggested in the private forums that you really aren't who you say you are....I don't know for sure but when I looked up in the registry for Pileggi I found one plane in CA and one in OR - neither were a CT. I can't find a CT registered in MD. Maybe your's is to new to have hit the registry yet.

Just curious - would you be willing to divulge your N number so we could be sure you don't own something else!

Roger H

artp
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Re: Who are you really?

Postby artp » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:26 pm

Roger wrote:Just curious - would you be willing to divulge your N number so we could be sure you don't own something else!


N476CT.

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Postby Chuckhhill » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:05 am

I was curious enough to do a little follow up on the accident statistics.

The CT, with about 216 aircraft registered with the FAA has had 13 accidents (none fatal), seven in 2007. I was curious if the change to the vertical surface had effected the accident rate, but it does not appear to have made any difference. Of the 13 aircraft, one was German registry, so I could not determine its year of manufacture, but of the other 12 there were one 2004, six 2005, six 2006, and one 2007. It might even be possible to make a case that the older planes were safer, since they have had more time to have accidents.

The CT was the second aircraft to be certified under Light Sport rules, being just behind the Evektor Sport Star. Number three was the Fantasy Air Allegro. The Sport Star with 74 registered, has had 3 accidents including two killed in one accident, the number of accidents does not look statistically different. The Allegro, with only 47 aircraft registered, has had one none fatal accident.

So this probably doesn't prove anything, but thought it was interesting.
Chuck

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CharlieTango
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Postby CharlieTango » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:50 pm

ArtP wrote:
Anicdotes about how many landings you did are not very informative. It is like smokers saying they smoked for years and don't have health problems so that proves there is nothing wrong with smoking. If someone is concerned about the safety of an aircraft they should be looking an the number of accidents not at some individual who didn't have an accident.


my purpose in stating that i have over 600 landings in a challenging environment was for the purpose of demonstrating that i have a basis to say that the ctsw is an honest airplane.

ArtP wrote:Finally in you one of your posts you talked about training being important and you also state that pilots routinely fly the CT in winds greater than 30 knots. Yet the CT POH states "After practice the airplane can be taxied in crosswinds up to 17 knots." and "In gusty wind or wind speed more than 21 knots flight operations should be stopped." Does this training you speak of teach pilots to ignore the POH?


feels like you are implying that i am not responsible or guilty of an infraction. try not to put words in my mouth and then attack me for having said them.

what i said was that we did well flying with winds aloft at 40-70 kts and the ctsw was comfortable even in the mountains and resulting turbulence. i also stated that we did a landing at > 30kts, all things considered this landing was a better option than not landing. no one has suggested that a pilot ignore the operator's manual and i think you only ask this question to suggest something negative.

do i recommend training that teach pilots to ignore the POH? do you really even expect an answer to a question like this?

funny how you have been negative on this design for a long time, long before your aircraft even arrived. your basis for being negative is mostly what you have read from ctsw owners that are basically happy. clearly the most experienced ctsw pilots are in a better position to report on their experiences then you are by reading their reports and injecting your negative spin.

now that you have 6ct or at least access to a ctsw for training why not report on your big issues from your personal experience?

have you learned to manage fuel adequately? was it hard or easy for you to achieve?

are your landings working out well? do you find the ctsw to be honest or quirky?

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ArtP is right!

Postby Super Cub » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:20 pm

Hey Art,
I think Roger and Ed have ganged up on you! First off, I have looked at your CT on the ramp where it is parked and have no reason to think that it does not belong to you. And, I agree with you, that FLIGHT DESIGN needs to go to work and fix two problems that they have with the CT.
The uneven fuel use could easily be solved with a selector valve,and for the pilots who like to be worried about where the ball is, they can put the valve on BOTH. For myself, I'll select the fullest tank on take-off and landings just like I was taught 32 years ago.
The other problem is the weak landing gear. This can be easily fixed with the use of better steel. The steel being used is "at the lower end of the range of strength possible for steel" according to NTSB: DEN07FA068.
Thirteen accidents are listed on the NTBS Query page for Flight Design, but I am aware of three more that are not listed. They are 15GS, 245CT and 542LL. One out of gas and two landing gear failures.
These 16 accidents involved CFIs (left, right and both seats), PP, SP and students. Some had hundreds and even thousands of hours.
Personally I don't want to ruin a new airplane because of problems "baked in the cake" long before I came along!

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CharlieTango
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Re: ArtP is right!

Postby CharlieTango » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:45 pm

Super Cub wrote:...The uneven fuel use could easily be solved with a selector valve,


the selector valve used to exist. i'm aware of one accident in uk where the cause was approaching with the empty tank selected. ultimately flight design opted for the simple on/off and maintains that the incident rate is reduced as a result.

no design can supply fuel when one tank is run dry and the other is low with the fuel sloshed outboard and away from the port.



Super Cub wrote: The other problem is the weak landing gear. This can be easily fixed with the use of better steel.


the gear legs are aluminum. i'm not convinced there is a weak landing gear problem, other slsa, lsa and gc aircraft have gear failures resulting from abnormal landings. do they all need better steel?

In a discussion with Oliver Reinhardt, the Technical director of Flight Design he stated: “It is the law of physics that every load bearing structure has a weak point. It is just how it has to be. No way around that there is one part that will be the first to fail in any design. Therefore, it is not surprising that, if the landing gear is loaded in the same manner, it fails in the same area. There is no reason to be surprised by this. If this were not the case it would be surprising; because this would mean that the production processes lead to varying results, which explicitly by regulations must be shown to be avoided and is not the case.”

the original specification CT gear system has been tested and passed the British B-CAR chapter S airworthiness standard, the German BFU and LTF standard and the ASTM F2245 standard. The current production specification (CTsw 2006) exceeds those requirements significantly. The testing performed by Flight Design has been independently audited by those authorities as well as the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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"ganging up"

Postby Roger » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:57 am

Super Cub,

I don't think we're ganging up. Just not letting a very small minority opinion turn into a large one. Again - there are hundreds of CT's flying around the world with a very small minority complaining about fuel problems.

In reality the fuel system in the CT is great. No gauges to fail, no switches to fail or remember to change. And what I really appreciate is the ability to actually see our remaining fuel. If you need to move some fuel from one tank to the other a little slip will do the trick.

Can you imagine a Air Force of a rather large world country picking an airplane to set an around the world record in with the faults some accuse the CT of having? I think not.

We're saying don't be fooled by a one or two percent minority on the internet. All Ed and I are trying to do is point this out with information backed by the majority of owner/flyer's and facts - Nothing more!

Please come to our second annual fly-in next May in McMinnville, Or. You will see and have a better understanding of the CT, it's pilots and it's capabilities.

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Re: "ganging up"

Postby artp » Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 am

Roger wrote:We're saying don't be fooled by a one or two percent minority on the internet. All Ed and I are trying to do is point this out with information backed by the majority of owner/flyer's and facts - Nothing more!


A majority of smokers don't die from cancer but I don't recommend you ignore the minority who do. I would recommend you read some of the posts on the CT forum (www.ctflyer.com). But don't wait too long since the site administrator has made it clear that only positive reports should be posted. In any case this thread was about safety and the fuel system is only one of the CT issues. The biggest one, in my mind, being the number of runway accidents as reported by the NTSB. Owner's opinions of how great a product is are at best subjective. To evaluate a product you need to look at it failures and determine if those failures are compatible with your risk tolerance.

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Re: "ganging up"

Postby CharlieTango » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:06 am

artp wrote:A majority of smokers don't die from cancer but...


art, time to give up on the smokers analogy. this thread is about product safety and tobacco is an un-safe product. there is no distinction between tobacco safety vs. smoker's error. the fault is always the product in this case. unless you want to fault the smoker for using a known unsafe product than all smokers are at fault.

surprisingly aircraft are different. all aircraft are unsafe to fly without adequate training. if i was to fly your bonanza or your cirrus and didn't bring it back because i collapsed the gear would you be mad at me or the aircraft? ( we know the answer ) now if i flew your ctsw and the gear collapsed what would you do, pat me on the back and say it was the aircraft's fault?

you keep pointing at the incident reports as the only useful place to look regarding product safety but you can't bring yourself to agree with the ntsb reports that you use as a basis for your opinions. the reports indicate pilot error.

you point out that cfi's are involved and that cfi's are qualified to fly many aircraft including cirrus. a cfi that has never flown a cirrus still needs to be checked out. most cfi's are less than safe in a cirrus without any training. cfi is not a difficult rating to get, many "kids" have the rating and often get it soon after ppl to provide them with a job as a pilot.


artp wrote:I would recommend you read some of the posts on the CT forum (www.ctflyer.com). But don't wait too long since the site administrator has made it clear that only positive reports should be posted.


that is not fair art. roger asked you to stop bashing a long time ago and recently asked that a section to report mishaps not be used to hash out disputes between customers and a dealer. there is no aspect positive or negative that isn't discussed.

in fact it was the "un-even fuel flow" thread that you used as your sole reason to sell your yet to be delivered $130,000 CTSW for a loss.


artp wrote:In any case this thread was about safety and the fuel system is only one of the CT issues.


not fair again art, the fuel system on the ct isn't a safety issue. it is "gravity fed" and you cannot select an empty tank. you cannot close the fuel valve in flight and you cannot start the engine without opening the fuel valve. the ctsw will continue to fly upon a fuel pump failure. fuel is store in the wings, not the fuselage. arguably this is the most safe system out there. any design will realize fuel starvation with fuel on board if you run one wing tank dry and slosh the remaining fuel outboard in the other wing. granted a design without wing tanks is different but at the cost of fire safety.

artp wrote:The biggest one, in my mind, being the number of runway accidents as reported by the NTSB. Owner's opinions of how great a product is are at best subjective. To evaluate a product you need to look at it failures and determine if those failures are compatible with your risk tolerance.


again the NTSB reports that these accidents are pilot error and you continue to use this as the only valid determination of product safety.

back to cirrus, when you read these ntsb reports you find about 30 fatalities and real product safety issues like the turbos coming apart in flight. this isn't a pilot error issue, but it does cause crashes and even fatalities.

you keep asking the readers here to consider the ntsb reports on the ctsw incidents and ignore the pilot error determination and instead call it a product failure.

Chuckhhill wrote:I was curious enough to do a little follow up on the accident statistics...

The second aircraft to be certified under Light Sport rules, being just behind the Evektor Sport Star. Number three was the Fantasy Air Allegro. The Sport Star with 74 registered, has had 3 accidents including two killed in one accident, the number of accidents does not look statistically different. The Allegro, with only 47 aircraft registered, has had one none fatal accident...

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Re: "ganging up"

Postby rfane » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:19 am

artp wrote: In any case this thread was about safety and the fuel system is only one of the CT issues. The biggest one, in my mind, being the number of runway accidents as reported by the NTSB. Owner's opinions of how great a product is are at best subjective. To evaluate a product you need to look at it failures and determine if those failures are compatible with your risk tolerance.


Art,

How is pilot error in any way failure of the product?

The fuel system is simple and works great if you fly the plane coordinated. If you don't fly coordinated, or you were on a sloped ramp, you might need to fly in a slight slip to adjust for the fuel imbalance between the tanks. That's all there is to say on that issue.

Most reports from the NTSB are runway accidents. They happen every day in all types of airplanes. Are all of them product failure? Certainly not, but by your arguements, we should ground all of GA.

I've found your posts prior to the last 6-8 weeks to be worth reading, on this forum, CT Flyer, and AOPA as well. Now, I'm looking for the Ignore User commands, as you refuse to listen to reason, and I don't want to waste more of my time.

Had any offers on your airplane? Let me know if you want to sell it for $100K. It will get there soon enough if you keep up the negative rant against the product, and fail to open your mind to what's been passed on to you.

Roger Fane - No Regrets on CTFlyer and AOPA.

artp
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Re: "ganging up"

Postby artp » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:34 am

rfane wrote:How is pilot error in any way failure of the product?


I would maintain that if a product has a higher than normal rate of user errors, than prehaps the product needs to be more user friendly.

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CharlieTango
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Re: "ganging up"

Postby CharlieTango » Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:28 am

artp wrote:I would maintain that if a product has a higher than normal rate of user errors, than prehaps the product needs to be more user friendly.


so we should get rid of the composite, increase drag, reduce flap range, eliminate the flaperons, lengthen the wings, lengthen the fuselage and tame this beast into a pussycat? that way you can keep yours but i will sell mine :)

wouldn't all the retractable be more user friendly is we welded their gear?

wouldn't my sportscar be more user friendly if we lost some power and responsive handling?

if all houses had only one floor we could no longer fall on the stairs!

why did they stop building ercoupes? time to re-invent the "safety airplane"?

if you can't spin it or stall it, wait better yet, what if you couldn't fly it?


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