The USA Today report “Safety Last: Lies and coverups mask roots of small-plane carnage” published on 19th June (http://www.usatoday.com/longform/news/nation/2014/06/12/lies-coverups-mask-roots-small-aircraft-carnage-unfit-for-flight-part-1/10405323/) gives the impression that many thousands of lives lost in general aviation incidents and crashes by aeroplanes and helicopters have had their causes covered-up by manufacturers and by the USA’s National Transportation Safety Board.
The report has unleashed an immediate storm of scathing, well-researched and considered rebuttals from pilots, aircraft owners and others including trade and professional associations which have done much to reverse any damage caused by the original article.
This rapid, informed and in-depth support for general aviation, in response to the USA Today report shows graphically how well-organised is the US’s aviation community in this regard at all levels.
This cannot be said of the UK, which is not geared up in the same way, especially the rotorcraft community which continues to be a hostage to fortune every time anything goes wrong.
If the CHARTA campaign gets off the ground (www.charta-gb.com) then this situation can be rectified to the common good. Just have a look at some of the well-researched and -presented rebuttals in the USA: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/unfit-for-publication-how_b_5509253.html; http://www.flyingmag.com/news/pilots-aviation-leaders-blast-usa-today-reporting.
How long before manufacturers, operators and pilots in the UK’s general aviation community can feel that they are supported properly in the face of questionable media behavior? This commentator hopes that the answer to that question is “Not long….”.