December 23, 2011
By Jim Moore
General aviation accidents and fatalities declined in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year, according to National Transportation Safety Board data released this month.
In total number, the 1,435 GA accidents marked a 20-year low, even as estimated total flight hours began to climb for the first time since the Great Recession began. There were 450 GA accident fatalities in 2010, down from 478 in 2009.
The Air Safety Institute is analyzing the data in detail for the upcoming twenty-second edition of the Joseph T. Nall Report, a comprehensive analysis of accidents that has helped to shape pilot training and safety education. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg said 2010 was a record year for outreach—more than 1.9 million safety products and courses were used by AOPA members and nonmembers alike.
“Complacency remains the enemy of safety, and we continue to develop new programs for 2012 that dig deeper into the causes of accidents,” Landsberg said. “Most accidents result from causes that have plagued aviation for years. That story, unfortunately, is little changed.”
In 2010, the Air Safety Institute introduced a variety of new products, and pilots responded. The Air Safety Institute’s online ASI Flight Risk Evaluator drew 64,000 visits in 2010, and more than 40,000 pilots attended safety seminars held around the country and online Webinars. Preliminary data shows that participating pilots are less likely to be involved in an accident, and the Air Safety Institute will continue to work in partnership with the NTSB, FAA, AOPA, and other aviation organizations to spread the message that education, including ongoing training for active pilots, saves lives.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Pilots and aircraft owners have volunteered to transport hundreds of sea turtles rescued in Massachusetts to facilities equipped to care for them.
The FAA is working to automate a contingency plan developed on the fly when Chicago Center was taken out by arson from within Sept. 26.
AOPA has urged College Park, Maryland, to make approval of a hotel construction project near the city airport conditional on reducing the building’s height.
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