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AVweb video “Why Light Sport Airplanes Suffer So Many Crashes”

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Someone sent me this, I found it very interesting.  

I would love to read comments and thoughts on this from those people on this forum who know more than I do (which means all of you; I don’t know much yet).  

Best wishes to all.

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I posted this in the other thread where the video was linked, here it is again:

That's a great video, and Mr. Bertorelli nailed it in his discussion of the Flight Design airplanes at the end.  Speed control is the number one issue, too much speed being worse than too little.  As Paul said, "learn to land the damn airplane".  That will take practice, and if you have access to somebody with experience with whatever LSA you plan to fly, use that and get trained up.

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I don't agree at all.

As I go through the various CT crashes in my mind where I can find cause, its never simply speed.  Think Roger the former using the wrong rudder pedal, or the crazy Dan the lawyer using screwy logic leading to stupid technique and decisions. 

Certainly a few cases of  dropping in due to not knowing where the ground is.

Very light aircraft demand more energy management, light stick feel and quick, correct, and even full deflection reactions to conditions.

 

 

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I was speaking specifically about landing incidents/accidents.  Just about every bad landing I've had in a CT were caused by either too much speed into the flare, trying to get the airplane to land before it was ready, or both.

I agree with you on energy management.  But I think that the low wing loading and high power-to-weight ratio of these airplanes magnifies errors of managing energy to the fast side and minimizes errors to the slow side. 

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3 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Just about every bad landing I've had in a CT were caused by either too much speed into the flare, trying to get the airplane to land before it was ready, or both.

I remember one early one that you posted where the issue seemed to be directional control.  Do you have that video handy?  Do you have any going bad where speed was wrong? 

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Directional control on that landing was an issue because I touched down too fast and the airplane was less stable at that speed and I was not used to it.

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Pretty much everything he said is correct, and backs up the notion that a huge significant chunk of accidents are not low time pilots, but high time.

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This data probably has something to do with the FAA's recent openness to raising LSA weights.  The low weight and high wing loading can really make these lighter airplanes a handful in some pretty common circumstances.

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1 hour ago, FlyingMonkey said:

This data probably has something to do with the FAA's recent openness to raising LSA weights.  The low weight and high wing loading can really make these lighter airplanes a handful in some pretty common circumstances.

High wing loading? 

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52 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

10-11lbs I think   Think kite

I would consider that a low wing loading, not high. To me light weight and high wing loading don't go together, unless you have very little wing area to go with the light weight.

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2 hours ago, Tom Baker said:

I would consider that a low wing loading, not high. To me light weight and high wing loading don't go together, unless you have very little wing area to go with the light weight.

I misspoke, I mean low wing loading, low weight.

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As a CT owner for just over 6 months now, my experiences confirm that things can go wrong while forcing a landing without bleeding off excees speed AND due to the NARROW landing gear, it is more difficult to "stick" the landings at higher speeds during a crosswind /slip landing.  The other aircraft that I have owned had almost DOUBLE the gear width and that distance between them made it more difficult for the upwind wing to rise which in turn kept the acft on the ground.

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7 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

I misspoke, I mean low wing loading, low weight.

You mean you misswrote. Is that even a word? Sorry Andy, too many years being precise.

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9 hours ago, Duane Jefts said:

You mean you misswrote. Is that even a word? Sorry Andy, too many years being precise.

Even as I was typing it, I knew somebody here would correct it!  :D

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An interesting report from a man in South Africa who put vg's on his ELSA CT. He said the most significant improvement was in landing, under all flap configurations landings were much more stable and did not drop out from under you. I just put vg's on my cub and found the same thing on landings. If micro aerodynamics ever does the CT I will install them. They will not put them on a CT unless there are a lot more E LSA CT's. There is a lot more than just throwing vg's on a wing and tail so I will wait, even though they said they would work with me on it. I'm not too keen on being an impromptu test pilot.

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 I would very much like to put the VG’s on the CTLS  and will do so whatever I can. As you can see in the video take offs are with 30° flaps in gusts conditions.   Approach to landing has the AOA at the beginnings of the red and  Dynon complains about SPD in my ears.   You can get in about 500 feet of grass in these conditions not using any brakes.   Departure is approximately the same performance level   

 I have VG ‘s installed on the  Superstol J 30 And my son just put them on his Cessna  172 SP.  it’s not a lot of difference just makes you a little more comfortable on the low-speed approaches in gusts conditions.

 Hurricane Lane went from a category five to a tropical storm in 24 hours and we are all planning a celebration here at the farm    it was on a collision course headed to my office   

 

Farmer

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FD's rebuttal in Sept issue in "Aviation Consumer",    Makes sense.

Letters From Readers: September 2018

Flight Design On Safety

 

2 FLighgt Design cockpit shot

 

Paul Bertorelli’s article on LSA accidents in the August 2018 Aviation Consumer was a fair and balanced look at the relative safety of S-LSA models compared to non-LSA ones in similar use. While this report separates nonsense from truth, I have several comments.

The time period used to examine the fleet safety was appropriate as it was the most recent, but by coincidence put Flight Design at a statistical disadvantage due to the fickle finger of fate. We went for a decade without a fatal accident in our then largest S-LSA fleet—something we never talked about publicly, as it was too precious and too fortunate to risk avarice by promoting the fact.

The fatal accidents we have had fall into two categories: typical accidents and rather unusual and unexplained ones. I have participated in almost every one of these NTSB investigations, gaining 30 years of experience with these airplanes, including a time when the company was manufacturing kits. The time period between 2014 and 2017 was rough for Flight Design and 2016 in particular was a witching hour for the whole S-LSA industry, with almost three times the statistical average of the years before and after. As was said, the fleet numbers, particularly by type, are so small that there is a lot of uncertainly in the ability to predict much from the raw data.

Regarding the overall accident rate: We have had more than our fair share of incidents and Paul’s research and analysis is correct.

In our defense (which he mentioned), our planes were adopted as trainers early on and took the arrows of the learning curve of the sport plane business in the U.S. As a result of the early experience with the CTSW, Flight Design developed the CTLS to fit the needs of American pilots and flight schools. We had a good thing going with the Flight Design Flight Centers, with 24 operating at the height of LSA enthusiasm.

For all of the incidents listed, the injuries are very low. A carbon fiber egg is a good dwelling for occupant crashworthiness. From the leadership in Germany to the dealer level, we have tried to equip our planes with the most advanced safety equipment available.

A rigid carbon fiber cockpit, a standard BRS parachute system, the early use of electronic flight instruments, plus our attention to COSM (Continuous Operational Safety Monitoring) and participation in the ASTM F37 process. The list is long.

I’ve always said that it takes between five to 10 hours for a current pilot to properly transition to such an aerodynamically clean, low-mass aircraft. Many experienced pilots scoffed, telling me how many hours they had and what they’ve flown, but it’s really much like a tailwheel transition. I know few pilots who’d hop into a Piper Pacer without transition training. For many Flight Design buyers, it’s usually their first time with an integrated glass cockpit, operating a Rotax engine and also using a control stick.

After our discussion of this article, the new management of Flight Design general aviation are working on a plan to offer free transition training worldwide to all Flight Design owners, new or pre-owned, if done through an approved transition training instructor and done to our published syllabus requirement.

We will make it as convenient as possible to qualify those instructors consistent with the demonstrated ability through a short qualification process.

Last, early on our Florida dealer and current consultant John Hurst rang the alarm bell and created a Flight Design transition training syllabus, which we have strongly recommended pilots use to demonstrate competence, even after passing a checkride.

The training syllabus can be found at tinyurl.com/ya6lcbe9.

Tom Peghiny
President, Flight Design USA

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I have taken the Flight Design check flights with John Hurst and I must say he is a very capable instructor.

He was a tremendous help to me.

Thanks John

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