TAA Safety Study - your input requested.

I’ve just sent out an important email regarding the Technically Advanced Aircraft Safety Study to all COPA members. However, we are looking for input from non-members, too - anyone who flies a Cirrus or any other “Technically Advanced Aircraft”. If the airplane you fly has a panel-mounted, IFR-approved moving map GPS system of any type, with an integrated (coupled) autopilot system, please respond.
The full text of the email I sent out is below.
Thank you.

  • Mike.

**As you know, the Cirrus airplanes we fly were designed specifically to address traditional safety problems in general aviation. The wing design, CAPS, and avionics choices all resulted from analyses of accident causes. That Cirrus airplanes have nonetheless been involved in traditional types of accident has been a surprise to some.

In an effort to understand why the excellent safety record expected for the airplane has not yet materialized, a study, led by the Small Aircraft Manufacturers Association’s PAUL FIDUCCIA, is currently underway. It’s called the TAA Safety Study (TAA for “Technically Advanced Aircraft”). The panel comprises experts in a variety of disciplines from SAMA, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, the FAA, Cirrus, Embry-Riddle, UND, and Global and Falcon Insurance. I am participating on behalf of COPA.

Our goal is to understand how the safety benefits of the airplane can be maximized, and what (if any) design changes should be recommended. We are studying technology, procedures, training, and institutional issues that relate to accident causes. Part of this study is a review of other “pathbreaking” airplanes that typically had initially higher accident rates, until the new aspects of operating the airplane were fully understood. These aircraft include the Piper Malibu, Robinson R-22, Beech Bonanza and Cessna Cardinal. Generally, it is determined that the training needs to catch up to the new technology. We are studying the root causes of the Cirrus accidents to see what interventions would be effective in producing a safety rate that the airplane was designed to achieve. Once we have that knowledge, we will issue specific recommendations that we believe will lead to the levels of safety that we and the airplanes deserve.

We expect that many of the recommendations will involve providing more guidance to Cirrus pilots on the proper operation of their airplanes. To best determine what information would be most useful and how to present it, we need data on the Cirrus pilot population.

In order to gather this information, we are requesting that EACH member of COPA responds to the questionnaire at www.cirruspilots.org/taa as soon as possible. If you know of any non-member Cirrus pilots, please send them a copy of this email – their input is equally important.

All the information we request is voluntary, so if you’d prefer not to provide your identity, that’s OK. The more information you provide, the more useful the data we gather, and the better our recommendations will be.

Please don’t delay - this survey should take you only a few minutes, and you’ll be helping yourself and your fellow Cirrus pilots. Click on the link now, and in 10 minutes you’ll have made a significant contribution to GA in general and COPA in particular.


Mike Radomsky

PS - Avoid pressing the ENTER key – doing so will SUBMIT the form prematurely. Instead, use the mouse or TAB key to advance to the next question. It’s OK to resubmit the form if you need to – we’ll detect and remove all but your latest form.