"THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN OLD ACCIDENT, ONLY
NEW PILOTS HAVING OLD ONES"
There are many great people dedicated to flight safety and I was fortunate to get to know some of them. Aviation is fascination. Each and every individual I have met is keen to contribute to what we call "hazard identification" and "risk reduction". Together, we are succesful. In fact it is amazing how safe flying is, considering the inherent threats and hazards we face on each and every flight. According to IATA statistics, the chance of getting involved in a (commercial) aviation accident is less than 0,7 per one million departures.
Nevertheless, we cannot just enjoy a good statistics and lean back. A troublesome number of runway excursions enters the statistics year after year. Pilot are losing control over their airplanes year after year. The high number of close calls that were recovered just in time remains hidden in the dark.
In an effort to better understand risks IFS has so far organised
- the "Third European Flight Test Safety Workshop" in 2009 ("FIRST FLIGHT")
- the "5th European Flight Test Safety Workshop in 2011 ("DEMONSTRATING PROTOTYPE AIRCRAFT - RISKS AND PREPARATION" and
- the 6th European Flight Test Safety Workshop in 2012 ("LOSS-OF-CONTROL - HOW DO WE TACKLE AVIATION´s NUMBER ONE KILLER")
These workshops areaheld in cooperation with the renown Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP), the Society of Flight Test Engineers and the Flight Test Safety Committee (FTSC).
First Flights are always a challenge - the reason why more than 80 flight test pilots and engineers from all over the world met in Vienna. The span ranged from 777 first flight to war birds to solar aircraft.
Demonstration flying has killed many excellent pilots. Read Des Barker´s book "ZERO ERROR MARGIN" and you will find out about the traps and challenges that even most experienced pilots face in the unforgiving display environment. Demonstrating aircraft which are not yet certified is a particular challenge.
Loss-of-Control Accidents. Loss of Control-Inflight has killed more than 5000 people in commercial aviation over the last decade. General aviation is equally affected, with the number of stall and spin accidents continuing to be high. Despite of sophisticated technology, such as fly-by-wire, soft or hard envelope protection, this type of accident continues to cause fatalities. What is wrong with pilots? Is this a training issue? Do we have to do more research on human motion perception and motion cueing? Are simulators used in today´s training good enough? The goal is to bring together researchers, flight test pilots, certification staff, regulatory bodies and pilots with a variety of backgrounds to help shape the future. There are solutions to the issue – we need to agree on certain steps and implement change. Are we ready for the change? Discuss this at the workshop - the 6th European Flight Test Safety Workshop.
Visit www.flighttestsafety.org for more detailed information on previous flight test safety workshops. This website has most presentations available for download.
I thank my friends from all over and the many contributors, including sponsors - without their dedication and help such symposia would simply not be possible!