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Fatal Experimental Aircraft Accidents Drop Again

Experimental aircraft are only getting safer in the United States as total fatal accidents continue a 15-year decline, even with a rise in flight hours. In the past 12 months, fatal accident totals for the experimental category have fallen five percent, finishing well below the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) not-to-exceed number for the federal fiscal year ending September 30, 2021.Experimental aircraft saw 42 fatal accidents from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, with 33 being in amateur-built aircraft. The FAA's not-to-exceed number for this fiscal year, which was set at 37, has been lowered each year to improve safety metrics. The first goal was set in 2010 to reduce the fatal accident total by 10 percent over the next decade, a target that the industry quickly surpassed."This is continued good news on the safety front, as fatal accident totals in the experimental category have fallen 40 percent in the past decade," said Sean Elliott, EAA's vice president of advocacy and safety. "Fatal accidents in homebuilt aircraft have dropped by one-third over that time as well, reflecting a safety culture that is more widely accepted and followed as an important part of the balance of freedom and responsibility that is such an essential element of flying."Elliott said that while these figures are positive, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will continue to make safety a top priority through programs such as its Flight Test Manual and collaboration program with FAA, the Additional Pilot Program.
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