Honorable Deborah Hersman, NTSB Board Member

Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman
Closing Statement
Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft Safety
May 22, 2012
(As Prepared for Delivery)


I want to thank my fellow Board members for their participation today. I also want to thank the NTSB staff from the Office of Research and Engineering, and the Office of Aviation Safety, who produced this outstanding study, in particular, co-managers Vern Ellingstad and Loren Groff, Division Chief Bob Dodd, writer Mike Diavolikis, and our AS regional investigators who collected the supplemental accident data. This study was truly a collaborative effort within the NTSB, along with the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Through our work at the NTSB, time and again, we see the strength of community. Of all the segments of aviation, the community of homebuilders has among the strongest ties and connections. We support the great safety work being accomplished through EAA, through type clubs, through FAA's safety outreach, and especially through those personal relationships, just like Paul Poberezny had in his garage half a century ago.

The recommendations we issue today are all intended to improve safety while maintaining the excitement and adventure of this vibrant segment of aviation. As Otto Lilienthal, whose work greatly influenced the Wright Brothers, wrote: "To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything."

Yes, flying for this community is everything, but ultimately, we all share the same goal: flying safely.

We stand adjourned.