The AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) this week released a new and significantly improved version of its online accident database - the only database dedicated exclusively to fixed-wing general aviation aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less. The Foundation has added keyword search capability, additional search criteria, and cross-references to related topics. The end result is a more precise, searchable database.
"The database is one of the most popular locations of the AOPA Online Safety Center," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of ASF. "The enhanced capabilities make it an even more useful resource for pilots, researchers, and others in the aviation industry who use it to conduct basic case study research."
The improved database allows users to search using keywords that ASF has attached to the appropriate accident reports. This means each search will result in a more accurate listing of appropriate accidents. For example, selecting the term "Medical" will only result in accidents for which a medical condition is relevant, not all accident reports in which a medical condition is mentioned.
ASF has also added additional search criteria, such as light conditions and the weather at the time of the accident. "There are always questions about what the conditions were at the time of the accident," said Landsberg. "We now provide that."
As an additional aid to researchers, ASF now offers cross-references on some searches, so the user can see other keywords related to their search. For example, someone who is searching for VFR into IMC accidents will also be referred to spatial disorientation accidents for additional information.
The ASF Accident Database, funded in part by the Emil Buehler Trust, is the only GA-specific accident database in existence. It is composed of NTSB accident reports from 1983 to present, involving fixed-wing aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less. The objective is to encourage a safer aviation future by learning from the past.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is the nation's only private, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to providing continuing pilot education and safety programs for general aviation. It is funded by donations from individual pilots and organizations that support the cause of improved general aviation safety.
September 13, 2005