What the New FAA Numbers on General Aviation Fatalities Mean for Pilots

A few weeks ago, the National Transportation Safety Board released its numbers on general aviation safety, and the news was good—almost too good.


For every 100,000 hours flown in general aviation last year, the accident rate was 5.85, while the fatal accident rate was a mind-boggling 1.05, the lowest number ever recorded. Out of the 221 fatal GA crashes, 387 people were killed; this is the lowest number of GA fatalities since World War II.


Many naysayers have argued that the reported number of hours flown are too high, citing quieter skies and emptier ramps as proof that flight hours are decreasing. While it is no surprise that the number of both pilots and aircraft is decreasing steadily, Flying Magazine’s Robert Goyer makes an interesting point—more pilots are using their planes to travel (as opposed to using them for flight training), which has contributes significantly to the number of flight hours being logged.


Other contributing factors to improving safety are the pilots, themselves. With easy access to better equipment that can accurately depict weather, terrain, and other traffic, each flight has the potential to be safer than the last—especially with appropriate training. The improvements to scenario-based flight training that teaches pilots how to handle common, real-world problems in the cockpit has also contributed to the rise in safety, says Goyer.


While general aviation is getting safer, Arizona is still seeing a fair share of crashes. If you or a loved one have been injured in an Arizona aviation accident, call Curry, Pearson & Wooten at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case with an experienced aviation attorney today.

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