August 16, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Recent accidents involving Cirrus Aircraft have led the company and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association to ask all owners to take recurrent training. A special curriculum was created for the training flight, which should take less than two hours.
“The recent spate of accidents have not been shown to have a consistent cause, but made us feel that energy management during approach and landing contributed to problems,” said COPA official Rick Beach.
The training is available at any Cirrus pilot training center.
The safety alert letter was a collaboration among the leadership of both COPA and Cirrus Aircraft and followed a successful model from 2007 when Mike Radomsky of COPA and Alan Klapmeier of Cirrus Aircraft sent out a similar safety letter about icing.
A recent fatal accident involved a touchdown with a prop strike and subsequent loss of control. AOPA’s Air Safety Foundation has found that Cirrus aircraft generally fare better in pilot-related takeoff, approach, and maneuvering accidents, but worse in go-arounds.
The safety alert also asked pilots to review operating procedures.
“First, we are asking each of you to review the basic information on how to manage your aircraft in all phases of flight. Please re-read your Pilot’s Operating Handbook, Section 2, Limitations, Section 3 Emergency Procedures, and Section 4, Normal Procedures. Also, review Section 3, Standard Operating Procedures, of the Flight Operations Manual. Look for expanded guidance on normal operating procedures with special attention to approach stability, traffic patterns, landing procedures and go-around.”
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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