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Pros & cons

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  • Pros & cons

    Sent to the FAA Safety Office June 16, 2016

    What are the PROS & CONs for

    a mandatory FAR requirement

    that pilots and mechanics review all

    applicable accident reports,
    mechanical and equipment failures

    of the aircraft they will fly or

    work on for the first time?

  • #2
    I don't think that you recognize the enormity of the task that you would require. For instance, let's use the Cessna 172, arguably the single most popular and certainly one of the safest aircraft ever made. Its type certificate was issued over 60 years ago, and it's been in production for most of those years--there are an enormous number which have flown and most are still flying. Its sister aircraft on the type certificate of the 175 (the 175, P172D, T41, R172, 172RG, and 172XP, if I'm recalling correctly) have a similar track record. So although there are very few instances of major failures, with so many of these aircraft in existence over the years and many used in training, there have been many, many accidents and mechanical and equipment failures.

    With that in mind, let's imagine the private pilot who goes to his local FBO to check out in a 172 for the first time. Perhaps all of his training was in a 152 or even in a PA 28 variant, so he's never been in a 172. Your proposal would require that he spend literally days, perhaps weeks, reviewing every single accident, every single mechanical and equipment failure, before he could fly the airplane.

    Yet what would be gained? Most pilots review accident reports from various sources, so that they hopefully won't make the same mistakes that other pilots have made. But to require that they review all which have ever occurred before being allowed to fly a particular aircraft would be a nearly impossible task.

    Similarly, imagine the A&P who, fresh out of A&P school, goes to work as a mechanic. Perhaps he was trained on Pipers, so that he's never dug into a Cessna. I think it would be the same result--an enormous, nearly impossible task, to review every single accident, every single mechanical and equipment failure, before he could work on the airplane.

    Again, what would be gained? Mechanics are required to use specific techniques and approved methods, and undoubtedly some fail to do so. But would all that review cause them to be better mechanics?

    No disrespect intended, but I cannot see a single good reason to make any such requirement.