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Are Diamonds really Safer than Mooneys?


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Reading on the Diamond Marketing Website:

 

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https://www.diamondaircraft.com/en/about-diamond/why-diamond/safety/

Source Aviation Consumer 2012 - so some old data. I assume it is fatalities per 100k hours. But I don't think they make that clear. Could be incidents per 100k hours. 

Below is from Aviation consumer 

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From AOPA - The Mooney comes out slightly better, with about six accidents per 100 registered aircraft versus 7.7 percent for the comparison group.

Looking at accidents that occurred under instrument conditions, we found that the Mooney pilots seem to do a significantly better job. The IMC accident rate per 100,000 hours for the Mooney is just a little over half the accident rate of the other retractables (5.91 versus 10.14). It's even better for instrument-rated Mooney pilots on IFR flight plans, at 1.89 per 100,000 hours versus 4.97 for the comparison group. For this group of airplanes, the record proves the adage that you are definitely safer on an IFR plan. Mooney pilots also hold the advantage at night. This is the period when we typically see the accident numbers per 100,000 hours skyrocket. The group as a whole literally goes off the graph we produced in the book, while the Mooney shows only a small increase over IMC accidents in general. The question is, why?

Thoughts?

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2 hours ago, Mooney Dog said:

I feel like this is the "do rotax engines have a higher failure rate than others" debate. 

 

It still boils down to how experience the pilot is and what the situation has become. 

Does this mean diamond and Cessna pilots are more experienced?

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Mooneys get used often…

other planes….

It isn’t usually the plane that does the unsafe act…

Get trained…

Keep current…

Join conversations about safe flying often…

Stay safe…

Repeat…

PP thoughts only, not a statistician…

Best regards,

-a-

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Of course, I don't think Diamonds are really safety than Mooneys, but it is interesting data. I think it actually refers to incidences per 100 aircraft. In which case, the newer brands should do better than the older ones. But Cessna and Cirrus both do better. My guess is that there really is no correlation with brand and incidence rate over time. But Diamond just liked this data that year and has kept it in the marketing files. 

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These sorts of statistics are based on very small sample sizes and will be meaningfully changed by a handful of mishaps. They also disregard the use case environment (training vs personal/biz etc)

Yes, Diamond Aircraft are safer than Mooney Aircraft during / after the crash. In the DA40:

  1. Seats are an integral part of the airframe and engineered to dissipate energy especially the "up" vector that will break your back.
  2. Seats are fixed in place to keep you away from the panel and maximize flail space
  3. No yoke shaft pointing at your sternum, though an impact with the center stick may change your pitch
  4. No fuel lines enter the cabin
  5. Fuel tanks are nestled between two massive wing spars
  6. Visibility out of the cabin is much better (before the crash)
  7. Stall speed is much lower. (49 vs 55 KIAS DA40-180 vs M20J)

I endeavor to avoid crashing my M20TN, but if I had to put it into the trees, I'd rather be in a DA40.  Or somewhere else :-)

-dan

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3 hours ago, exM20K said:

These sorts of statistics are based on very small sample sizes and will be meaningfully changed by a handful of mishaps. They also disregard the use case environment (training vs personal/biz etc)

Yes, Diamond Aircraft are safer than Mooney Aircraft during / after the crash. In the DA40:

  1. Seats are an integral part of the airframe and engineered to dissipate energy especially the "up" vector that will break your back.
  2. Seats are fixed in place to keep you away from the panel and maximize flail space
  3. No yoke shaft pointing at your sternum, though an impact with the center stick may change your pitch
  4. No fuel lines enter the cabin
  5. Fuel tanks are nestled between two massive wing spars
  6. Visibility out of the cabin is much better (before the crash)
  7. Stall speed is much lower. (49 vs 55 KIAS DA40-180 vs M20J)

I endeavor to avoid crashing my M20TN, but if I had to put it into the trees, I'd rather be in a DA40.  Or somewhere else :-)

-dan

Having learned to fly in a DA40, I agree with all these comments. The seats are part of the airframe and are supposed to withstand 40G or something like that. And they feel like it too :)  

 

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If not done already…

Adding airbag seatbelts has come a long way somewhat recently….

For the older birds, get the shoulder harness, if not done already….

 

Being conscious helps get out of the wreckage….

 

 

Fire safety would benefit from sealing the cabin from the fuel level float, and fuel line….  Currently, a leaky seal allows fuel to drain into the cabin….

 

with electronic instruments… technically we don’t have fuel or oil lines in the cabin…

But, without a separator… the fuel tanks and fuel lines are not separate enough from the cabin….  Room for improvement…

 

Best regards,

-a-

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Things have changed significantly since 2012.   If I were reviewing Diamond's publication, I'd say they cherry picked the most favorable data that supports their case.

From the FAA Fact Sheet- General Aviation Safety: (https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=21274)

U.S. Accident Rate (per 100,000 flight hours)
2001-05 Baseline:      7.97 accident rate, 1.27 fatal accident rate, 2.36 fatality rate 
2013:                          4.95 accident rate, 1.02 fatal accident rate, 2.10 fatality rate
2014:                          4.26 accident rate, 0.65 fatal accident rate, 1.14 fatality rate
2015:                          3.67 accident rate, 0.52 fatal accident rate, 0.85 fatality rate
2016:                          3.45 accident rate, 0.54 fatal accident rate, 0.93 fatality rate

These data support a significant decrease in accidents over time.

Top causes of accidents (FAA - same fact sheet cited above):

The Top 10 Leading Causes of Fatal General Aviation Accidents 2001-2016:

1.    Loss of Control Inflight
2.    Controlled Flight Into Terrain
3.    System Component Failure – Powerplant
4.    Fuel Related
5.    Unknown or Undetermined
6.    System Component Failure – Non-Powerplant
7.    Unintended Flight In IMC
8.    Midair Collisions
9.    Low-Altitude Operations
10. Other

Pilot related causes and decision making dominate the list.   A fair comparison by Diamond on aircraft factors related to safety/survivability ought to consider accidents that occurred under similar conditions and filter out uncommon factors.  That's the big challenge in terms of aviation safety data analysis. 

I'd like to see an analysis of the safety of Mooney pilots who are active on MS vs. those who are not.  I'd say we probably have a split sample, where one group is considerably more and actively interested in safety/training and continued learning.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I'm sure some folks who have been on MS a while and keep track of the accident reports have an idea if this is true or not.

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Very often…

The first question post accident that arises….  ‘Do we know the pilot?’

The silence that follows is like when the astronauts were on the back side of the moon… some unease….  

Oddly, most don’t have much of a presence on MS…

Our most recent accident was probably Leon’s… He is a relatively new member here… and experienced a major engine destructive failure… early into his ownership…. He did really well with the options he had.

I am very sure having a presence on MS… even if you just read a lot… improves your chance of doing something in the right direction…

Better thinking regarding flying…

Better thinking regarding maintenance…

Better thinking regarding recognition of oncoming issues… of different kinds…

PP thoughts only, not an accident investigator…

Best regards,

-a-

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