Experimental Aviation Gets Bigger, Safer

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Decreasing numbers aren't always bad news. EAA says the number of experimental aircraft accidents dropped 25 percent in the one-year period ending September 2003 over the previous 12 months and fatalities were down by 36 percent. The better safety record came as new experimental registrations hit record levels and the number of homebuilts on the registry topped 25,000. EAA says its various safety programs and the overall attitude of its members and chapters were a big factor but we'll wager that better designs, better kits, better materials and simpler processes also played a part. EAA President Tom Poberezny said there's a wealth of experience and help waiting for anyone who wants to build an airplane. He said groups like EAA's Homebuilt Aircraft Council, a volunteer committee of experienced homebuilders, have shaped programs available to anyone who's taken on the challenge of building and flying their own airplane. "EAA members, chapters and staff will keep working to enhance this year's good news even further," Poberezny said.