General aviation has never been safer, and accident statistics for 2004 prove it. Last year saw the fewest GA accidents since record keeping began in 1938 and the lowest number of fatal accidents since 1945, according to preliminary data from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The total number of GA accidents dropped 8.4 percent compared to 2003, while the number of fatal accidents declined 11.4 percent. The numbers also improved for instructional flying, with total accidents down 11.7 percent and fatal instructional accidents down 50 percent. (There are very few fatal instructional accidents in any year. Last year there were 17.)
"These preliminary numbers show that safety improvement continues in general aviation," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. "Since 1970 alone, the accident rate has decreased almost three fold."
February 23, 2005