AOPA met with the FAA and general aviation industry representatives from around the world this week to discuss ways to keep GA safe and affordable. The FAA's Small Airplane Directorate hosted public meetings in Kansas City, Missouri, to study GA aging aircraft issues.
"The average GA aircraft is 35 years old, according to the FAA. But GA aircraft, regardless of age, are safe. Take, for example, the popular Cessna 172. It recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and is still safely flying," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "AOPA is working to make sure that maintenance practices continue to be aimed at meeting our current high standard of safety."
AOPA believes that the best way to increase GA safety and improve the maintenance of older aircraft is to educate pilots and aircraft owners. Imposing additional costly regulations is not the answer.
During the meetings, Gutierrez presented statistics that show the rate of accidents due to mechanical causes has remained stable over the past 20 years. And participants discussed developing an industry-wide effort to address maintenance and airworthiness issues.
"Right now, there is a general consensus that more maintenance data needs to be made available to aircraft owners and A&Ps to ensure that aircraft are properly maintained," Gutierrez said.
March 23, 2006