February 29, 2008
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is partnering with USAIG (United States Aircraft Insurance Group) to produce and distribute four new Safety Highlights on specific general aviation aircraft in 2000. The booklets provide an analysis of accident causes and offer operating and safety tips for each model.
In February, Cessna 172 Skyhawk Safety Highlights (the first in the series) was mailed—free of charge—to over 27,000 Cessna 172 owners and operators in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Three other Safety Highlights will follow this year, with type-specific information on the Piper PA-28 series, the Cessna 182, and another aircraft to be determined. The series of four is sponsored by a grant from the United States Aircraft Insurance Group.
USAIG Chairman and CEO Harold Clark said, "We are delighted to sponsor this project because it gets valuable safety information directly into the hands of the people who operate these aircraft."
Cessna 172 Safety Highlights points out that the Skyhawk has a lower serious accident rate than a comparison group of single-engine aircraft including the Beech Musketeer series, the fixed-gear Cessna Cardinal, the Gulfstream American AA5 Traveler, the Piper Cherokee, and the Aerospatiale TB-10 Tobago. However, the proportion of serious accidents during low-level maneuvering flight is higher for pilots of Cessna 172s.
About 80 percent of landing accidents in all the aircraft studied were related to wind conditions, but the Cessna 172 report debunks some old hangar flying tales.
"Traditional wisdom held that low-wing aircraft handle wind better," said Landsberg. "But the Cessna 172 and comparison low-wing aircraft have comparable crosswind landing accident rates."
With each edition of Safety Highlights comes sample test questions (with answers) on that aircraft type, plus a training course outline that emphasizes procedures and operational areas most likely to cause accidents in that model.
"Broad categories of accidents tend to stay the same, but each aircraft has its own personality," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. "Wouldn't you like to know what types of accidents were most common with the aircraft you fly? These Safety Highlights will tell you exactly that."
Each edition of Safety Highlights will be available free on the AOPA Web site and the USAIG Web site.
Single printed copies of ASF publications may be requested from the Air Safety Foundation, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701, or ordered online.
Celebrating its fiftieth year, the Air Safety Foundation is the nation's largest nonprofit organization providing aviation safety education and training to the general aviation community. Last year, free ASF safety seminars reached some 32,000 pilots.
USAIG, founded in 1928, provides insurance for physical damage to private, corporate, and airline aircraft, as well as liability insurance for owners, operators, and maintainers of aircraft worldwide.
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