2014 maintained the previous year’s improvement in the rate of non-commercial fixed-wing accidents, which remained at a record-low level of 5.8 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. This sector saw fewer than 1,000 total and fewer than 200 fatal accidents for the second year in a row. However, a higher proportion were fatal than in 2013, and the fatal accident rate returned to 2010-2012 levels. The rates of accidents on commercial fixed-wing and both commercial and non-commercial helicopter flights also declined while overall flight activity actually increased, primarily in the commercial fixed-wing and non-commercial helicopter sectors. While the number of fatal accidents increased from 2013, the number of individual deaths actually declined by three percent. Details of all of these developments can be found in the 26th Joseph T. Nall Report.
The rates of non-commercial accidents in both airplanes and helicopters continued to decline in 2015. A five-percent increase in fixed-wing activity produced only a one-percent increase in the number of accidents, while the number of helicopter accidents dropped 17 percent. 2016 saw a second consecutive 17-percent decrease in non-commercial helicopter accidents; the number of fixed-wing accidents increased by 30, but the number that were fatal fell below 160 for the first time. 2016 marked the fourth consecutive year with fewer than 1,000 non-commercial fixed-wing accidents with fewer than 200 fatal. Relative stability prevailed in the commercial helicopter sector, while a spike in commercial fixed-wing accidents was followed by both a sharp overall reduction and an increase in the number with fatalities. The total number of GA fatalities, however, continued its recent decline, reaching a new low of 355 in 2016. Details can be found in the 2015-2016 GA Accident Scorecard.