Safety is the number one consideration before you go flying.
There are two main aspects to safety - the safety already built in to the aircraft (or ‘passive' safety), and the steps you can take to ensure you fly safely (or ‘active' safety). Specific items such as maintenance, training and safety bulletins are covered in this part of the website.
Passive safety begins with the design of the airframe. All Evektor aircraft have all-metal airframes.
Modern aluminium alloys are the most-used material in aviation today and are well-known for outstanding strength and fatigue characteristics, structural stability, durability and a very long service life - it is no co-incidence that commercial jetliners and most military aircraft are made from aluminium.
Modern aluminium alloy is also extremely corrosion-resistant (whatever composite airframe fans tell you!). An anodized coating, backed up by further anti-corrosion primer and paint on Evektor aircraft help keep your investment in top condition, impervious to the weather - sun, UV radiation and humidity.
The accident safety advantages of an all-metal airframe bring significant value for the crew. Most aircraft accidents occur during two critical phases of flight: during or immediately after take-off or during landing manoeuvers, when the best ballistic parachute system cannot protect the crew. Evektor has paid the highest attention to the construction of the cabin and the result is a structure which can absorb crash energy and protect the occupants.
An all-metal airframe has good impact characteristics, thanks to energy absorption by gradual bending and breaking of the metal structure, where composite materials can break or fragment dangerously.
Another aspect of passive safety is the flying/handling characteristics of the aircraft. When buying an aircraft, it cannot be emphasized enough: fly every contender on your list for at least an hour before buying! Some aircraft are much nicer to fly than others. Some just ‘feel' nice to fly and you can't define quite why. And by any standards, some really are better to fly - they have reasonably light controls which aren't too light and skittish; they have benign stalling characteristics (very important when you are near the ground); they are comfortable to sit in; they are easy to look out of (no ducking and diving to see out); and so-on.
In particular, the SportStar is a very pleasant aircraft to fly because:
- at low speeds, the controls are light and effective
- at higher speeds they firm up, making long distance cruising a relaxed affair
- there is a panoramic view from the cabin, particularly attractive to instructors & students, and wonderful for sightseeing
- stall characteristics are extremely safe, with little or no tendency for wing-drop
A final aspect of passive safety is often overlooked - how easy is it to get into and out of the aircraft? This may seem relatively unimportant at first. But if it is difficult to get out.....this is not a good thing if you need to exit in a hurry. Like in an emergency. Think about it.
The SportStar is as easy aircraft to enter and exit, a key safety aspect. The Harmony also offers the option of a step at the rear of the wing - a boon to those of us whose joints are not quite as flexible as they used to be!
The very first element of active safety is based on thoroughly checking your aircraft before each flight - or at the very least before each day's flying. Every new Evektor aircraft is delivered with comprehensive check lists for both pre-flight and pre-start actions. These should be followed rigorously.
The second element of active safety is being able to fly the aircraft in a variety of circumstances and the best way to ensure you are capable is through training and experience.
Finally, you should keep your flying experience current - ie regularly fly your aircraft. If you haven't flown for several months, (a) it is illegal to fly without a check flight with a qualified pilot and (b) you'll risk your own life and that of any passenger you take.
A word about take-off distances
The effect of terrain, height and temperature must always be taken into account. Here are some general rules of thumb for an aircraft taking-off in still air:
- for short-grass strips, add 10% to the take-off distance on bitumen
- for long-grass strips add 40% to the take off distance on bitumen
- for every 5º Celsius in temperature over 15º add 5% to the take-off roll
- for every 100 feet above sea level, add 1% to the take-off roll
|‘Normal' take-off distance on bitumen||150 metres|
|For long grass add||60 metres|
|For a temperature of 30º C add||25 metres|
|For 1,000 feet above sea level add||15 metres|
|Total take-off distance
Finally, don't forget other factors like humidity, runway slope, head/tail wind, crosswind, take-off weight, engine and propeller condition, and so on, all of which affect take-off (and landing) distance.