The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is, for the first time, making its database of general aviation (GA) accidents available to the public. All of the information is drawn from public government sources but is organized and collated in such a way that should make it especially easy to find the data sought.
The database, available online, includes accidents involving light to medium GA aircraft (less than 12,500 pounds). The search can be as specific as a tail number or as broad as a date range. The information can be sorted in a variety of ways: by type of aircraft (factory built, homebuilt, ultralight), by make, by model, by type of flight (personal, business, aerial application, air race, etc.), by state, by injury index (none, minor, serious, fatal), or any combination.
"This is the information we use to compile the annual Nall Report on GA safety," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. "Making it available online and in this format should help both pilots and researchers to better understand the cause of accidents and to spot trends."
The ASF database standardizes aircraft designations, which can vary significantly in other reporting databases, making accurate searches more difficult.
Once a search is complete, it presents the date of accident, tail number, make, model, location, level of injury, and type of flight all on a single page. Also included is the NTSB report number. Selecting an individual report pulls up basic information, including lighting conditions, weather conditions, phase of flight (takeoff, cruise, landing, etc.), and any available NTSB narrative of the accident. While the database is open to all pilots, AOPA members can also access AOPA's Airport Directory Online from a particular accident report to look at airport diagrams and instrument approaches if the accident is associated with an airport.
Chartered in 1950 by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Air Safety Foundation is the largest private, nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to general aviation safety research, continuing pilot education, and training. The foundation is funded largely by tax-deductible contributions from individual pilots. This database initiative was funded by ASF Hat in the Ring member Mike Lazar.