RV-10 vs SR 22 accident history

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BBerson

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How does the accident history of a popular Homebuilt such as the RV-10 compare with a similar four seat FAA Type Certificated airplane such as the Cirrus SR 22?



I want to know if any modern Kitplane has a close or better safety record than a similar sized Type Certificated airplane.
I think since most homebuilts are either one or two seat, the percentage of Homebuilt accidents is logically greater for that reason. There are less ( by percentage) one seat and two seat Certificated airplanes.
 

BBerson

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I think each every one will come up. I did a lot of research a few years back on the DB and think I read every RV-10 and SR-22 accident.
OK, I searched for RV-10 and found 9 accidents on the NTSB site..
But I don't know what the RV-10 fatal accidents per hour is. Or how it compares to the Cirrus.
 

rv6ejguy

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In both cases, it doesn't have much to do with the aircraft. All the usual causes are near the top of the list- CFIT, stalls. I can recall most of the bad RV10 accidents and I can't think of one that was due to an airframe issue.
 

Wanttaja

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The FAA doesn't assess flight hours the same, between production-type aircraft and homebuilts. So it's hard to do a comparison.

My 1998-2012 database has nine RV-10 accidents. Three of those accidents were fatal.

Here are the Probable Causes:

Separation of the passenger cabin door during cruise flight for undetermined reasons.

The pilot/builder's improper installation of the electrical system.

The pilot's loss of control for undetermined reasons.

The pilot-in-command's in-flight loss of control due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident were the weather conditions and the pilot-in-command's lack of flight experience in the accident airplane.

An explosion and fire of unknown origin during taxi from landing. Contributing to the accident was the builder's noncompliance with the manufacturer's suggested designed fuel system.

A loose fuel line fitting, which caused a fuel leak and subsequent in-flight fire.

The pilot's improper preflight planning, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

On the two remaining accidents, there has not been a Probable Cause released. One is related to an engine failure (loud bang, windshield covered in oil) and the other lost elevator control after the loss of a bolt.

Ron Wanttaja
 

rv6ejguy

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There have been multiple door separations on RV10s and this has been discussed to death on VAF. It has spawned some aftermarket latch designs.

The probable cause of those cases seems to fall into two areas- failing to latch them properly and verify by pushing on the door and not having the warning light setup adjusted properly. Vans has come out with improved kits and instructions for the warning light system but in the end, people are just not really checking that the latches are engaged properly before takeoff or that the pins extend far enough into the door jamb during construction.

Like any other aircraft whether it is a Cub or an F104, you need to fly it by the numbers and not do any stupid things like fly into weather, the ground, stall it or run out of fuel and of course, build it right.

The Cirrus has a poor safety record but it has little to do with the aircraft. Most accidents have been caused by simple piloting and airmanship mistakes. You can't fix errors in judgement as history proves.

I've flown both and they both handle and fly very nicely.
 
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TFF

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I think most crashes of these types of planes are poor airmanship. Bonanza, Saratoga, SR22, RV10 al have the same general ownership. Locally there was a guy who bent 3 Bonanza wings flying in thunderstorms. He is not around anymore on the 4 th airplane vs t-storm. Most people who fly for business seem to be "get er done" and hobbiest seem to be more interested in the art. Most pilots have some cross over, but the pure "get er done" ones seem to get in the dirt. Maintenance wise, the hobbiest sometimes have the rookie mistakes that bring the airplane down. The better built homebuilts are way better than certified, but I have seen many that you could not stand far enough away. The attempt of Vans to standardize everything make a love hate relationship. Most just want an airplane so they love how snap together it is. The haters hate the cookie cutter; but forget when the RV3 and 4 came out and they were plans only, they were the new grail taking over the Pitts Special as most wanted plans built planes.
 

David C

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Most of the RV-10 accidents I am aware of were the result of pilot error or a result from deviation from Van's plans/design. The -10 that had a fire was a GM LSI auto conversion that had a bizarre and complicated fuel delivery octopus in the tunnel inside the cabin that developed a leak. The flap motor is also located in the tunnel and the fumes exploded when the flaps were used on landing. There have been lots of door departures in flight due to pilot error in not verifying that both forward and aft latching pins were fully engaged prior to take off. Another RV-10 based at my field lost one of his doors. There are a couple fixes for this but the bottom line was pilot error. My hanger neighbor had an SR 20 that he just sold and upgraded to the SR 22. I'll take my -10 any day. I'm in Phase 1 and we had a break in the weather Tuesday so I went up to do some stall testing. Power off stalls with pilot and 40# ballast in the baggage compartment and 40 gallons of fuel were pretty benign: I finally hit the stall at 43 knots. No wing drop, just a buffeting in the elevator and a slow sink rate. My C-152 stalled at 43 knots but always had a nasty wing drop. The -10 is a real pussy cat to fly that offers exceptional performance and value compared to the SR-22.
 

BBerson

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Thanks for the comments. Here is a related article:RV Builder's Hotline: A Look at RV accident information

No doubt pilot training and other pilot issues is a large accident cause, but I want to focus on the airplanes. As an ASTM member promoting relaxed certification burdens, I am looking for hard data regarding the value of certification, if any.
FAA certification could have a negative effect because of cost and difficulty of introducing modern safety ideas.
If anyone has more good data please post it here.
 

bmcj

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There have been multiple door separations on RV10s and this has been discussed to death on VAF. It has spawned some aftermarket latch designs.
Two questions...
1 - Does a door unlatch usually result in a door separation?
2 - Does a door separation commonly result in a loss of controllability?
 

TFF

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Within many respects, Vans uses FARs design limits. They pretty much put out a certified airplane in kit form if you dont deviate. They have service bulletins like certified airplanes and they are serious about conforming. My question on how to rate a Vans vs certified when Vans tries to quantify same quality in design?
 

rv6ejguy

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Two questions...
1 - Does a door unlatch usually result in a door separation?
2 - Does a door separation commonly result in a loss of controllability?
Yes, a door unlatch on the RV10 usually results in separation. Some have hit the tail and caused extensive damage there as well.

I am not aware of any controllability issues in most of these events (one that hit the tail did) but it's a big scare I am sure and not a lot of fun to fix.

All the RVs I've flown are very docile and it takes no more skill to fly them than a Cherokee. They just have a lot nicer handling and better performance.
 

BBerson

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Within many respects, Vans uses FARs design limits. They pretty much put out a certified airplane in kit form if you dont deviate. They have service bulletins like certified airplanes and they are serious about conforming. My question on how to rate a Vans vs certified when Vans tries to quantify same quality in design?
So if Van could sell factory completed RV-10’s without a Type Certificate, the quality would be the same as if they had a Type Certificate?
 

TFF

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If you have ever seen their quick build kits the answer is yes. The question with certification is not if you can, but if you will. What keeps one guy from cheeping out over the one who wants perfection; that is what rules do. The question is what are the minimum needed, which, of course, is what you are after.
 

rv6ejguy

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So if Van could sell factory completed RV-10’s without a Type Certificate, the quality would be the same as if they had a Type Certificate?
Vans quality is very factory like but I doubt if they will ever sell completed RV10s due to US liability concerns. Why would they want to get involved? They are very successful already being the #1 kit plane producer in the world. Under current rules, they have no market for completed RV10s as people couldn't legally fly them unless they either built 51% or the design was certified.
 

autoreply

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Thanks for the comments. Here is a related article:RV Builder's Hotline: A Look at RV accident information

No doubt pilot training and other pilot issues is a large accident cause, but I want to focus on the airplanes. As an ASTM member promoting relaxed certification burdens, I am looking for hard data regarding the value of certification, if any.
FAA certification could have a negative effect because of cost and difficulty of introducing modern safety ideas.
If anyone has more good data please post it here.
I would argue that point. Certification DOES have a negative effect.
Some recent examples:
*I want a better major safety system. An uncertified one from one of the biggest players is lighter, cheaper, more reliable and far better documented/tested as well. Can't use it, since it's not certified.
*Certified seat belts are far weaker as stock car seat belts. Did I mention that they're also about 50 TIMES more expensive?
*Safety improvements can't be implemented because they'd need to be re-certified. This yields planes that could be far safer and CANNOT be made safer with very simple changes that don't have drawbacks.


Punishing unsafety doesn't work. One of my best lessons learned was a screw up. A friend offered to pay all the beer if I gave a public analysis of what happened and what I had done wrong/learned.

Same for safety. Why not assemble a big group of amateur builders and get Van's to do a "safety compliant check". Pay them a few hundred dollars and receive a validation that at least the safety-critical parts have been built as designed. Then get that big group to an insurance company and get a hefty discount...
 

BBerson

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Vans quality is very factory like but I doubt if they will ever sell completed RV10s due to US liability concerns. Why would they want to get involved? They are very successful already being the #1 kit plane producer in the world. Under current rules, they have no market for completed RV10s as people couldn't legally fly them unless they either built 51% or the design was certified.
I am suggesting that Van's should be allowed to sell 100% ready to fly RV-10’s without a Type Certificate.
They are selling 100% RV-12 without a Type Certificate and with no problem (through an affiliated company).
Liability is the second stumbling block burdening small aviation, but that's another discussion.
 

Hot Wings

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Vans quality is very factory like but I doubt if they will ever sell completed RV10s due to US liability concerns.
I would argue that point. Certification DOES have a negative effect.

I think where BBerson is going with this is that IF Vans chose to (and legally could) simply start producing finished RV-10's they would be just as safe as any other similar aircraft produced, and cheaper too, because the FAA oversight and documentation requirements adds practically zero to the actual safety.

We need to get the FAA, and every other CAA, out of the design and "certification" loop and restrict them to an oversight roll for these simple and well understood aircraft, like F37/LSA was before the FAA decided they needed to start pre-production "audits". The ARC ASTM process was originally intended to do this but much like "black aluminum think" tends to waste carbon "FAA / EASA think" has taken over the ASTM process.
 
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