As the latest numbers from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicate, general aviation accident rates for 2005 remain near an historic low, up only slightly from the record set in 2004.
"As stated in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's most recent Nall Report, 2004 was the safest year for general aviation," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the foundation. "However, there is always room for improvement, as indicated by the slight increase in accident rates during 2005."
General aviation accidents increased from 1,617 in 2004 to 1,669 in 2005, a 3.1-percent rise. There were 321 fatal GA accidents in 2005, up seven (2.2 percent) from 2004. A slight increase (0.7 percent) in fatalities, from 558 to 562, was also noted.
The NTSB reported that there were 6.83 total accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2005, compared to a record low of 6.49 in 2004. The fatal accident rate in 2005 was 1.31 per 100,000 flight hours, compared to 1.26 in 2004.
Although total general aviation accidents increased slightly in 2005, the business segment continued its excellent safety record. Preliminary NTSB numbers show that total business flying accidents were down 15 percent as compared to 2004, and corporate/executive flying accidents were down 14 percent.
To help the accident rates go down in 2006, pilots are encouraged to check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Online Safety Center, www.aopa.org/asf/. Interactive safety courses, downloadable publications, and interactive quizzes are available free of charge to all pilots.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation, the world's largest nonprofit GA safety organization, was founded in 1950 solely to help general aviation pilots improve flight safety. Since that time, the GA total accident rate has dropped by nearly 90 percent despite a large increase in GA flight hours. ASF produces live seminars, online interactive courses, training DVDs, written Safety Advisors, and other aviation safety materials for free distribution to all GA pilots.
March 20, 2006