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2004 "Safest" Year Ever For GA

Maybe there's something to all this safety stuff after all. According to stats released by the NTSB, general aviation accidents and the accident rate were at their lowest level since 1938 in 2004 and there's even better news than that. "It's also the lowest number of fatal accidents [and] the second-lowest fatal accident rate -- ever," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of AOPA's Air Safety Foundation. Last year there were 1,614 GA accidents, 127 fewer than in 2003, and fatal accidents dropped from 352 to 312. Only 1999 had a lower fatal accident rate. According to the foundation, that makes 2004 "general aviation's safest year yet." "Clearly, we're doing something right, but when it comes to safety, we can always do it better," Landsberg said. The foundation recently added an Online Safety Center that offers interactive training courses, quizzes and downloadable publications on the full gamut of flight-safety topics. And it would seem like the focus on safety, not to mention better training, equipment, information and flight aids, has made a major difference. According to the foundation, in 1974 there were 4,425 GA accidents compared to the 1,614 last year.