Please cut some slack to a newbie if I'm posting in the wrong place as I'm relatively new to all this. I am a low hours flexwing student from the central plain with an insatiable appetite for all things related to aviation. Sometimes I am a bit nervous about this whole flying thing but I try to reason that it is a calculated risk or at least an educated one.
My education includes reading accident reports and this leads to my question.
Why are there gaps in the sequence of reports? Why are some reports not published while those relating to much later incidents are freely available? It concerns me that a high profile accident relating to my chosen type seems to have been pigeon holed. I'm sure that there are valuable lessons to be learned from such an incident.
I sincerely hope that there is a rational explanation and that the report will issue in due course. Failing that, one would have to question the value of an impartial investigation unit who seem to favour the chosen few.
I look forward to some discussion on this or am I just flying a kite on a calm day?
Due to the importance of the findings of this report to our members, we have written to AAIU requesting that the report be published as a matter of urgency.
We are currently awaiting a reply from AAIU on this matter and we'll let you know as soon as we have more information.
All the best
(2) Re gaps in reports. Obviously the reports aren't completed in the same order in which the accidents happen. Some investigations are complex and clearly take a much longer time to do because they may involve laboratory testing etc.
(3) The AAIU is part of the public sector and like the rest of the public sector is subject to the ban on recruitment. If you read the reports published in the last 18 months say, the preamble often says that the Chief Inspector of Air Accidents originally appointed Inspector A to do the investigation but due to retirement of Inspector A, Inspector B is now appointed to complete it. However Inspector A hasn't been replaced. As far as I know, they are short at least 2 inspectors below their established strength. It's inevitable then, that with fewer inspectors to do the same amount of work, it's going to take longer to do.
(4) Vagueness and mystery. I don't think there is anything vague or mysterious about AAIU reports. They are completed to a standard format used internationally. Sometimes the results are inconclusive because it just may not be possible to determine the exact cause. The lack of CVR and FDR in general aviation aircraft might contribute to that to some extent. In most cases it's quite clear what happened.
What should concern people more is what happens in response to AAIU reports. When they issue safety recommendations, especially to the IAA, there is no response. If you examine the SRs (which are on the AAIU website - links at end of reports), you'll see that most of those not responded to are addressed to the IAA.
Another issue is that no prosecutions ever seem to result here in response to clear breaches of aviation regulations, rules of the air, etc which are detailed in the reports. A few years ago, a District Court judge bemoaned the fact that he could disqualify a driver from driving for a year and endorse his driving licence but he had apparently no power to prevent someone from taking the controls of a flying machine. in that case all he could do was have the individual "bound over to the peace" for 6 months or a year on condition that he not take the controls of any flying machine in that period.
It is comforting to know that there are people here to defend the AAIU and by the same token that there are those who disparage it. This shows that there is a balanced reaction to what is alluded.
While I am very sure that some accidents are more mystifying than others surely the blissful presence of surviving witnesses must lead to less bewildered investigators.
Aside from the public service recruitment ban I’m sure the AAIU are reasonably well resourced and seem to produce prompt preliminary reports in many cases.
Most people involved in aviation mishaps will be pleased that the “Authority” has a benevolent outlook in regard to slight misdemeanours and indeed I’m sure the IAA regards many of their own rules as onerous.
To JFH…Thanks for your interest. My own flying career is at an early stage. I have taken some lessons in the UK but I’m afraid that the demise of the Celtic litter has led to a change of tack. I was just getting the hang of it and was able to do some unassisted landings. In the absence of any training facilities in Ireland for this I have decided to buy a cheapish flexwing in the UK and teach myself in my neighbour’s field. There’s loads of room and the field is very flat as it was sown with wheat for a few years. I also have a few flying buddies who will help out. I know it’s less than ideal but needs must when the Devil is driving.
Assuming that you are genuine and not pulling the piss in relation to teaching yourself to fly a flexwing, I have to agree 100% with stovepipe. Whilst your reading accident reports, also check out an accident report from the UK AAIU where a guy tried to teach himself how to to fly a Weightshift with the help of his flying buddies. He killed himself in the process and now his flying buddies are being prosecuted for assisting in his death.
I did a Weightshift Conversion from 3-Axis after logging over 500 hours two years ago and now fly just Weightshift. Weightshift flying is amazing, very affordable even in these times, my current airplane cost me £1,000 and a model helicopter. It took me 9 hours to convert, I am still a low hour Weightshift pilot and often get very nervous about flying it if I have not flown for a while. My main worry is that I will revert back to 3-Axis control under testing conditions although this has not happened.
There are two good flying Schools in Northern Ireland who train the UK syllabus so your hours already logged will carry. Victor Carmichael and William Byrne teach in Tarsan Lane just outside portadown, 80 minutes from Dublin and Gerry Snodden teaches in Newtonards.
If your interested in flying Weightshift and need more information feel free to PM me and I will help in any way I can.
PILOTS are just PLANE people with a special AIR about them
Have to agree with the advice and comments of Stovepipe and Damienair.
You say you have an insatiable appetite for all things aviation and want to educate yourself. You're getting off to a very bad start. You need to realise that aviation is not an activity that you can do on a DIY/self teach basis. I have no experience of microlights but I can say without any doubt that you need proper training. You're going to have to invest in that. Another thing you need to realise is that Safety requires input of resources - mainly Time and Money - although many people who have been involved in GA for years, have still not accepted that idea.
Going back to the reports. Witnesses don't always bring clarity. What people think they saw/heard etc and what they actually saw/heard etc are often very different things. (If you were watching Frontline (RTE 1) on Monday night you'd have heard Brenda Power insist that Pat Rabbit had said that certain people were "gangsters" when in fact he said "chancers" and she was adamant about it. She was completely wrong. And that was only 1 or 2 minutes after the event - imagine how bad her memory would be after days/weeks/months!). There is also the fact that some individuals will seek to put a different slant on what happened (possibly out of some kind of misplaced loyalty to those responsible). That's one of the most important services that the AAIU provides to society - stating the real facts.
You also mention that "most people involved in aviation mishaps will be pleased that the "Authority" has a benevolent outlook in regard to slight misdemeanours...". I think you're forgetting that there are often more people than just the pilots or whoever else might have caused the accident, involved. There could be people on the ground, passengers and other aviators (e.g. if more than one aircraft involved). Those who suffer serious injuries or who lose a close family member through the negligence or stupidity of someone else will not see it as just a misdemeanour and won't appreciate that "benevolence" on the part of the authorities. Another contributor on this thread previously and quite rightly referred to the problem we have in Ireland with the "lovable rogues" - e.g. un-reported accidents etc.
Some of these "misdemeanours" are actually very serious as Stovepipe pointed out. Breaches of regulations such as not having a current rating/licence, flying aircraft on CAA Permits To Fly, in Ireland without the permission of the IAA etc, operating aircraft with an expired C of A or invalid C of A are all things that have featured in reports. These are all things that would invalidate your insurance (assuming you have it in the first place!). The individual who does that might not value his/her own life and may think that if they are a fatality in any accident then it won't be a problem that they'll have to deal with or face. However it could have serious consequences for that individual's family or dependents. Other parties may end up having to sue that individuals estate when the insurers repudiate your policy etc. So not only would your wife & children etc not get any death benefit paid out to them, they could lose their home in order to pay compensation to third parties (passengers, general public etc). Think about that before you go teaching yourself to fly.
I have read a bit about the NMAI and I think they must be something like the BMAA in the UK. Why aren’t there NMAI instructors in Ireland like there are BMAA ones in the UK? Does the NMAI train people to fly? Are the lads in the north NMAI approved instructors? Do they give a commission for recommendations as I know a few more lads who are interested in learning to fly like I did?
Damien the plane you got seems like a great bargain. Do you know where there are any more like it? I thought you would have to give at least 3,500 pounds sterling for anything of the good. Is your one tested? If it is and if you’re interested in selling it let me know as I could come up with that kind of money very handy. I have been trying to put away a few quid for my flying as I have been truly bitten by the flying bug. I hope to get going this summer, if we get any summer that is. The way the weather has been for the last couple of years would put anyone off.
I think it’s mighty that there are so many helpful and concerned people to advise a newcomer to the sport.
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welcome to microlighting !
I want to echo the sentiments voiced by quite a few other contributors on this thread.
Learning yourself could lead to a big accident, or even death !... dont do it.
Give Gerry Snodden or Victor Carmichael or Willie Bryne a call.... they all teach up north and you will have a good grounding and your ability to fly will not be in doubt. There is no substitute for proper training in such matters, my instructor from years ago once told me "It's good to know when a plane is flying OK.... it's more important to know when it isn't" .....a very true statement.
I have just bought a flexwing, didn't ever dream of flying it without a conversion .... and that's from someone who has 1000+ hours in microlights.
If your looking for a nice little flex, then we have a nice little XL here, fully permitted and legal and all yours for 2K .... but get the old ticket first !
As for the AIIU, well we had a serious accident here at the end of last year and all I have is praise for the guys from the AIIU, professional, courteous and here to establish just what happened. Dont write those people off, they perform a valuable task in sometimes demanding and tragic circumstances and I am sure the report you are referring to will be published in due course.
As for the IAA, I've had less than harmonious relationships with them and now keep all my flying related business firmly on a GB ticket..... just so much simpler and efficient to deal with. I believe the problem with the IAA is that they have absolutely no idea about microlights and tend to adopt a "make it up as we go along" attitude... something less than ideal. Touch base with the NMAI to find out anything microlighting related, they are the guys with the experience and the know-how.
Good luck with your flying, do the training properly and hopefully we all can get together for a beer after a fly-in this year and chew the fat. PM any of us here on the forum, any of us will only be too glad to assist if we can.
The fact that Lynn thinks he (or is it she?) will be safe enough flying slowly is proof of what we have been trying to warn about. Does Lynn know what an aerodynamic stall is all about? Does Lynn understand how the stall speed increases in a turn? A sure fire way to write yourself off is to fly too slowly (or more correctly exceed the critical angle of attack) while close to the ground in the landing configuration. Also the talk of only flying when it's calm. As we all know, wind is critical and zero wind conditions can be tricky especially when operating into or out of the kind of marginal strips that microlights seem to delight in using.
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Very much the appeal of them !!! ......... 300 metres is an international airport.StrikeCommand wrote:especially when operating into or out of the kind of marginal strips that microlights seem to delight in using.
But your point taken in context ....... the understanding and ability is critical.
More recently, they have decided not to talk whatsoever with the NMAI and have refused to even reply to any correspondence since November 2011.
The end result is that for Lynn and many others, there is currently nowhere to train for, or to validate their licences within the State. The NMAI believe that there is illegal training taking place in the country and believe that it needs to be stopped immediately.
The NMAI do NOT condone illegal or unsafe training or flying practices in any shape or form but can understand the frustration of potential pilots when they consistently run into brick wall after brick wall when all they want to do is train properly.
We sincerely hope that the IAA will reengage with the NMAI and that common sense will prevail over personalities.
In the meantime Lynn, may I strongly suggest that you contact whichever school you started your training with and seriously consider finishing it there. Once you're trained safely and properly there are always places on the committee of the NMAI providing you with the perfect platform to vent any frustration you may have in a controlled and educated manner.
Contact us if you require any information http://www.nmai.ie" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
All the best
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