Oct. 2, 2019 Dave Santos
Open Letter: AWEurope's inadequate Mishap Reporting Standard
Dear Joep, Roland, Fort, Richard, and Udo,
AWEurope should be publicly demanding both Kitepower and Makani meet the highest traditional standard of Aviation Mishap Reporting, but this has not happened. AWE mishap reporting must maximize future industry safety, not appease hype-driven investment.
Makani seems intent on no public mishap reporting, crash-after-crash. The initial Kitepower Mishap Report obviously contains huge gaps in data and analysis. Much more careful final reporting is required for the sake of public safety going forward. Any high-consequence lesson omited could cost lives in the practice of other ventures, and be a permanent moral and legal liability on AWEurope, Makani, and Kitepower, for willful failure to fully and publicly report known risks.
For example, where is diligent Kitepower review of Grounded Tether Risk Factors? This is no risk factor for Dutch Aviation Authorities to suddenly figure out, but core AWE domain expertise. Kitepower reporting should review major historical tether dragging mishaps during the Golden Age of Kites (covered in AWES Forum), and how an UHMW tether dropped or dragged across moving traffic and pedestrians has grave tragic potential. An aerial map of the Kitepower incident, with the tether dragging trajectory and final tether and kite distribution, should be provided. Textual analysis should be sharp and exhaustive.
Given Google's essentially unlimited capital, there is no small VC reason public Makani Mishap Reporting should be withheld. The greater ethical and legal liability is to neglect safety due diligence, and have future victim lawsuits and recriminations circle back. Ampyx is imminently facing the same high-risk AWES architecture crash statistics.
TIA to Makani and Kitepower for eventually completing public Mishap Reports to cited aviation and aerospace standards,*
* R&D Mishap Report Case: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/ResearchUpdate/Helios/