Avionics News December 2014 - 18
percent) were related to pilot attitude to risk, and
the remaining 25 percent were related to skill. In
the nonfatal accidents, 75 percent were related to
skill, and 25 percent were related to attitude to risk.
Continued from page 17
2014 EASA General
Aviation Safety Conference
by Franz Redak, AEA European Regulatory Consultant
Rome was the place selected by the European Aviation
Safety Agency for a recent workshop on general aviation
safety. The workshop was designed to discuss the future
of general aviation within Europe, and what the EASA has
done and can do in the future to promote the industry and
allow it to prosper more than it has in the past 10 years.
Patrick Ky, EASA executive director, opened the
workshop by highlighting some of the new initiatives that
have been put in place since he succeeded Patrick Goudou
in September 2013. The first of the discussion rounds
addressed the topic of general aviation in Europe and how
it may head toward simpler, lighter and better rules.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration revealed
an impressive figure during one of the sessions when
it mentioned that the GA community contributes
approximately $150 billion USD to the U.S. gross
domestic product. Similar figures for Europe were not
directly presented but were assumed to be about only twothirds of that amount. Furthermore, the European general
aviation community represents only about 41 percent of
the pilot population of the U.S. GA community, and the
European GA fleet is only 18 percent of that in the U.S.
This discussion led to the need for proportionate rules
for general aviation, recognizing the momentum of change
toward simplifying the regulatory framework and the
work already underway toward this direction.
In one of the panels, GA safety was addressed and raised
a critical question: Is general aviation in Europe, as it
currently stands, safe enough for the purpose of the activity,
and should this be continued unchanged into the next
decade? Should further safety improvements be pursued?
A few facts were presented:
During the last five-year period, the U.S. and
European GA industry has lost 1,117 people in
accidents. During the same period of time, both in
the U.S. and Europe, fatal accidents have dropped
by roughly 20 percent.
The current fatal accident rate is about one fatal
loss in 1 million flight hours. Two identified
studies revealed that most fatal accidents (75
During a follow-up presentation, the International
Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association claimed that the
safety of GA did not decline and essentially stayed the
same since the middle of the 1980s. The question that
could not be satisfactorily answered was, why? With this
in mind, a few conclusions were drawn:
Aircraft are only safe with wise pilots.
Pilots should have IFR rating to improve safety.
Tailored education, training and practice are
Modern safety concepts can reduce accidents rates
As part of the EASA GA Road Map, the agency has
launched a GA project team with oversight of the progress
achieved and guidance to future actions toward simpler,
lighter and better rules for general aviation.
Another point highlighted by the GA aircraft
manufacturers, and similarly noted by the Light Aircraft
Manufacturers Association, identified the price of an
aircraft as compared to a luxury car has tripled during
a 45-year period, indicating the economic burden
manufacturers face by the complexity, certification and
insurance implications. The EASA has triggered some
initiatives in the field of certification with a downsized
CS 23 and with CS-STAN recently applicable to postproduction changes to aircrafts.
The LAMA further identified the average cost of
certification not including the development cost as €
80.000 for an ultra light aircraft.
The certification cost of an EASA light sport aircraft
was identified at € 250.000 and more, plus the cost
to establish a DOA and POA for development and
production. The total cost for such a project adds up to
about € 350.000 to 510.000 for a restricted type certificate
of an LSA. This hardly compares with a price tag of about
€ 100.000 for a U.S. LSA. This might also be the reason
there are only four EASA restricted type certificates for
LSA airplanes today.
This comparison of cost with effectively an unchanged
safety factor led the organization to phrase some requests
to the EASA. These proposed principles are:
The manufacturer is responsible for initial