‘the Other Half of Safety’ – from LOBO US


Sometimes it’s good not to ‘reinvent the wheel’, so coming across an article on ‘the Other Half of Safety’ on LOBO (US) makes the job of writing this post an easy one.

You may be someone building a Lancair from scratch, or you have purchased a completed project. Or you may even be taking over a build started by someone else. In all cases, consider the following comment from Chris Zavatson:

For many, the kit and the assembly instructions as supplied were by no means optimal for individual purposes, but they provide a baseline that is known to work. 

What makes the experimental plane different from a production aircraft is the ability of the owner/builder to make changes along the way from this baseline. Ideally, these modifications are to enhance the final design and operation of the aircraft.

However, as Chris points out, you need to consider also that, at times, a kit may pass through several hands during the build process:

A new owner might assume the aircraft was built per original plans, and will almost certainly be unable to recognize alterations. In some cases the ‘alterations’ were not even an intentional redesign, but a misalignment, a missing part, or an incorrect bolt. Whatever the cause, deviations have caused damage and loss of life.

In his article, Chris (with considerable experience in inspecting Lancair 320/360s) outlines some of the issues he has uncovered on flying aircraft. He provides an extensive list which you might like to run through, noting items which would be clearly visible on inspection, and others, not so. Ideally, this will highlight some areas you might need to check yourself, or seek advice from someone more expert in the area, even as part of routine maintenance.

Two clear things Chris emphasises are:

  1. the danger and costs of putting things off – i.e. ignoring warning signs
  2. the benefit of education and good maintenance practices.

Keeping both of these in mind, we would also emphasise the need to ask for help and search for information from those more experienced – and again LOBO (US) membership provides great support and knowledge, as we at LOBO OZ aim to do on a local level.

(Access to Chris’ article is open, but there are further members-only areas of support through the LOBO (US) website.)

Newsletter 2 – Test flying, managing threats & safety

One of the founding principles of LOBO OZ is an emphasis on safety – to enhance the joy of flying. All of those involved in setting up LOBO OZ thoroughly enjoy the experience of flight, but within the management of all those factors which the general public see as risky (and other factors of which the general public may be unaware).

It is hoped that by sharing experiences, we can all learn something from the experience of others, and contribute to the (sometimes) steep learning curve pilots may face moving into an ‘Experimental’ category aircraft – especially if it is an owner/builder project.

All in all, we have invested much time and money in making our aircraft as safe as possible. Indeed, the majority of our Lancairs make certified aircraft look obsolete in finish, avionics and performance.

Thus, we also need to take this safety-oriented thinking & apply it to our flying.

This is an excerpt from the latest newsletter, which continues an article from Gary Burns, discussing the test flying of his Lancair IV, and threat and error management. Available here.

Contributions to future newletters/ articles or blog posts are welcome from members. Send to contributions – we would love to feature members’ projects and photos of finished aircraft. So please get in touch!

Type clubs save lives

Aircraft type clubs are General Aviation’s best-kept secret weapon. While there are more than a hundred of them, they fly stealthily below the radar of most pilots, who seem to be blissfully unaware of their existence and benefits. Only a fraction of pilots belong to any of them, yet they offer the best value proposition in aviation: they’re cheap and they could save your life. – Max Trescott, Join An Aircraft Type Club and Save Your Life (Click on the link for the rest of the article)

So begins an article on LOBO (US) discussing ways to promote safe operations. Max Trescott goes on to explain how statistically, pilots who are actively involved in an organisation which have a strong emphasis on pilot training and safety, are less likely to be involved in serious accidents.  Such organisations involve their members in events which promote the discussion of type-specific operations, and can share a wealth of experience as the group expands.

This is one of the aims of LOBO OZ.

As people join both LOBO OZ and LOBO (US)  it is becoming clear that there are many of you out there, with great experience to share, along with a few precautionary tales that others could benefit from. We hope to give that shape and form here as our numbers grow.


Wayne Bourke’s Lancair IV

As stated in Trescott’s article, it is a great move to:

Join the type club for the aircraft you fly most frequently. But don’t just write a check; become an active participant. Whether you own or rent, you’re bound to learn more about the intricacies of that aircraft model. And if your family is lucky, what you learn as a type club member may someday save your life…and possibly their lives too.

We know of several Lancair owners who have joined LOBO (US) – don’t forget your new local chapter in OZ!

And if you are still thinking about it, why not sign up to LOBO OZ now? We want to build local knowledge and showcase our great ‘Lancairs Downunder’!

# Please log your details on the Join LOBO OZ tab so that we can contact you as a member.

Newsletter – Issue 1 2014!!

LOBO_AustraliaLogoOur first newsletter is complete and a mail-out has been sent to known Lancair owners. It is a ‘Welcome’ newsletter – an introduction to LOBO OZ. It also encourages you to connect with LOBO (US).

Within it is the first of many articles and ideas which we aim to include in the newsletter (and this blog) – in an effort to educate, communicate and connect. Gary Burns leads off, discussing his early investigations to have his Lancair IV certified in Australia, as well as a call to consider safety as a number 1 priority.

If you didn’t receive the newsletter, you can find it here (or click on the Newsletters tab). The tags below indicate some of the items discussed in Issue 1.

Don’t forget to to register your interest at LOBO OZ as a member to gain the latest information on its goals and activities. Of course, once again, for the serious Lancair owner/ builder/ enthusiast, we highly recommend membership of both LOBO OZ and LOBO (US).

Hope to make contact soon!!