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Overall Accident Data

The release of the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s 29th and 30th Joseph T. Nall Reports offers several enhancements and brings data into the 21st century, presenting users with near real-time accident analysis updated on a rolling 30-day cycle. Using the drop-down menu below, you can view data from 2008 to the current year. Next to the drop-down menu are two links, one for the 29th Joseph T. Nall Report and one for the 30th. Please note that the NTSB takes approximately two years to issue a probable cause statement, so only preliminary data is available for later years.

Break data down by year:

Nall Report Archive:

The release of the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s 30th Joseph T. Nall Report offers several enhancements and brings data into the 21st century, presenting users with near real-time accident analysis updated on a rolling 30-day cycle. Using the drop-down menu below, you can view data from 2008 to the current year. Next to the drop-down menu are two links, one for the 29th Joseph T. Nall Report and one for the 30th. Please note that the NTSB takes approximately two years to issue a probable cause statement, so only preliminary data is available for later years.

General

The year 2018 saw an increase in total accidents (1,224), of which 199 were fatal. The overall total and fatal accident rates for 2018 continued its downward trend finishing with a total accident rate of 4.56 per 100,000 hours and a fatal accident rate of 0.74 per 100,000 hours.

Non-Commercial Fixed-Wing

Non-commercial fixed-wing aircraft had 1,033 total accidents, of which 166 were fatal (figure 1.1). With overall accidents (1,033) trending upward, the increase in flight activity tempered the accident rate (5.48) (figures 1.2 and 1.3). Non-commercial fixed-wing showed a slight increase in fatal accidents (166), with the fatal accident rate (0.88) remaining relatively flat due to increased flight activity (figures 1.2 and 1.3). For the first time in several years, the percentage of pilot-related accidents fell below 70 percent (figure 1.4). However, this trend is most likely superficial due to incomplete NTSB reports at the time this Nall Report was released.

Pilot-related accidents consisted of 675 total, of which 89 accidents were fatal. Landing accidents still accounted for the largest number (322), but thankfully suffered few fatal accidents (figure 1.11). Loss of control (177) continued to dominate as the leading cause of landing accidents (figure 1.1.2). Accidents that could not be classified into a meaningful phase of flight, but were reasonably inferred based on preliminary data, fell into the other and unclassified accident category. As more NTSB accidents are classified this category will shrink, and those accidents will be placed in their respective areas. Takeoff and climb accidents (111) declined from the previous year (figure 1.3.1). The largest number of accidents (42) were loss of control (figure 1.3.2), followed by stalled or settled on take-off (31). Fuel management (56) rose slightly from the previous year (figure 1.4.1), with flight planning accounting for the largest total number of accidents (33) (figure 1.4.2). Maneuvering accidents declined in both total (23) and fatal (11) from the previous year (figure 1.5.1). Wires/structures/terrain had 15 accidents, of which six were fatal (figure 1.5.2). Descent and approach accidents increased (58)—setting a 10-year high—while fatal accidents (18) spiked from the previous year marking a six-year high (figure 1.6.1). Collisions (21) and stalls/spins (20) tied for total accidents with stalls/spins leading in fatal accidents (9) (figure 1.6.2). Weather accidents experienced a decline in both total (23) and fatal (21) accidents (figure 1.7.1). VFR into IMC led the cause category with 14 accidents, of which 13 were fatal (figure 1.7.2).

Mechanical rose slightly in total accidents (186) and had a small decrease in fatal accidents (11) from the previous year (figure 1.8.1). Powerplant issues (117) continued its lead, followed by gear and brakes (39), and fuel systems (16), which accounted for the majority of mechanical accidents (figure 1.8.2).

Commercial Fixed-Wing

Commercial fixed-wing accidents comprised 63 accidents, 10 of which were fatal (figure 2.1). The overall accident rates saw a decrease in total accidents (1.75) and fatal accidents (0.28) from the previous year (figure 2.3). More than 60 percent of commercial fixed-wing accidents were pilot-related, and 70 percent of all fatal accidents within this category were also pilot-related (figure 2.4). Part 137 surpassed Part 135 accidents by 17 total accidents and two fatal accidents.

Non-Commercial Helicopter

Non-commercial helicopter had 94 accidents, 17 of which were fatal (figure 3.1). More than 64 percent of all accidents were pilot-related, and 82 percent within this category were fatal. Mechanical accounted for 8 percent with other/unknown accounting for the remaining 26 percent (figure 3.2). Total accidents increased for the second year in a row to 94, and 17 were fatal (figure 3.3). The fatal accident rate, helped mainly by an increase in flight activity, declined to 0.58, while the total accident rate decreased to 3.22 (figure 3.4). Accidents still awaiting a final cause, not yet assigned, made up the largest category (25) (figure 3.9).

Commercial Helicopter

Commercial helicopter had a total of 34 accidents, of which seven were fatal (figure 4.1). The vast majority (76 percent) were pilot-related followed by other/unknown (20 percent), and mechanical (3 percent) (figure 4.2). The fatal accident rate increased for its second straight year to 0.48, however the total accident rate (2.31) decreased from the previous year (figure 4.4). Part 133 had ten accidents (four were fatal), Part 135 had 14 accidents (two were fatal), and Part 137 had 10 accidents, of which one was fatal (figure 4.5).

The release of the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s 29th Joseph T. Nall Report offers several enhancements and brings data into the 21st century, presenting users with near real-time accident analysis updated on a rolling 30-day cycle. Using the drop-down menu below, you can view data from 2008 to the current year. Next to the drop-down menu are two links, one for the 29th Joseph T. Nall Report and one for the 30th. Please note that the NTSB takes approximately two years to issue a probable cause statement, so only preliminary data is available for later years.

General

The year 2017 saw a decrease in total accidents from 2016—1,204 and 1,227, respectively. The overall total and fatal accident rates for 2017 continued its downward trend finishing with a total accident rate of 4.81 per 100,000 hours and a fatal accident rate of 0.76 per 100,000 hours.

Non-Commercial Fixed-Wing

Non-commercial fixed-wing aircraft had 1,002 total accidents, of which 162 were fatal (figure 1.1). With overall accidents trending downward, non-commercial fixed-wing showed a spike in fatal accidents (162) and the fatal accident rate (0.90) (figures 1.2 and 1.3). As with successive years, 70 percent of accidents were pilot-related with mechanical representing approximately 18 percent (figure 1.4).

Pilot-related accidents consisted of 709 total accidents, of which 128 were fatal. Landing accidents still accounted for the largest number (314), but thankfully suffered few fatal events (3) (figure 1.11). However, loss of control (170) continued to dominate as the leading cause of landing accidents (figure 1.1.2). Accidents that could not be classified into a meaningful phase of flight, but were reasonably inferred based on preliminary data, fell into the other and unclassified accident category. The majority (60) were power loss (figure 1.2.1), 12 of which were fatal. Takeoff and climb accidents (113) declined from the previous year’s spike (figure 1.3.1). The bulk of accidents were loss of control (51) (figure 1.3.2). Fuel management (53) fell sharply for its second year in a row (figure 1.4.1), with systems operation accounting for the largest total (28) and fatal (3) number of accidents (figure 1.4.2). Maneuvering accidents declined in total (38) but rose in fatal (28) from the previous year (figure 1.5.1). Stall/loss of control and wires/structures/terrain both had 15 accidents, whereas stall/loss of control saw more fatal (12) than wires/structures/terrain (8) accidents (figure 1.5.2). Descent and approach accidents increased (44) from the previous year while fatal (11) remained flat (figure 1.6.1). Collisions (17) consisted of the majority of accidents with stalls/spins (5) having the highest fatal accidents. Weather accidents and maneuvering accidents switched place from last year in terms of lethality, with weather accidents overtaking maneuvering accidents (76 and 73 percent, respectively). Weather accidents experienced a sharp increase in both total (42) and fatal (32) accidents (figure 1.7.1). VFR into IMC dominated the cause category with 28 accidents and 22 were fatal (figure 1.7.2).

Mechanical saw a slight decrease (177) in total accidents and a slight decrease (13) in fatal accidents (figure 1.8.1). Powerplant issues (75) continued to lead, followed by gear and brakes (39), and fuel systems (39), which accounted for the majority of mechanical accidents (figure 1.8.2)

Commercial Fixed-Wing

Commercial fixed-wing comprised 76 accidents, 11 of which were fatal (figure 2.1). The overall rates saw an increase in total accidents (2.09) but a decrease in fatal accidents (0.30) (figure 2.3). Roughly 60 percent of commercial fixed-wing accidents were pilot-related, and 72 percent of all fatal accidents were also pilot-related (figure 2.4). Part 137 surpassed Part 135 accidents by four total accidents and one fatal accident.

Non-Commercial Helicopter

Non-commercial helicopter had 88 accidents, 13 of which were fatal (figure 3.1). More than 80 percent of all accidents were pilot-related, fatal accidents were only pilot-related. Mechanical accounted for 13 percent with other/unknown accounting for the remaining percentage (figure 3.2). Total accidents increased for the first time in four years to 88 following an increase in fatal accidents to 13 (figure 3.3). The fatal accident rate remained flat (0.70), while the total accident rate increased to 4.72 (figure 3.4). Rotorcraft aerodynamics was the largest cause of accidents (29) and tied with maneuvering for having the most fatal accidents (4) (figure 3.9).

Commercial Helicopter

Commercial helicopter had a total of 38 accidents, five being fatal (figure 4.1). The majority (73 percent) were pilot-related followed by other/unknown (15 percent), and mechanical (10 percent) (figure 4.2). The fatal accident rate increased (0.34) along with the total accident rate (2.61) from the previous year (figure 4.4). Part 133 had four accidents (two were fatal), Part 135 had 12 accidents (three were fatal), and Part 137 had 22 accidents, of which zero were fatal (figure 4.5).