Accidents -- End Of The Downward Trend?

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Accident statistics in 2005 bucked a hopeful trend that developed over the past few years but there are still some bright spots in the totals. In its preliminary report for 2005, the NTSB reported last week that the total number of aircraft accidents went up in 2005 over the previous year but the number of fatalities was significantly less. "The increase in accidents is disappointing," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker, "but the decrease in total fatalities is a hopeful sign. Overall, it is clear that we need to maintain a strong focus on safety in all segments of the aviation community." Fatalities dropped from 636 to 600. There were only three fatal airline accidents and one didn't even involve a flight operation. Last June the driver of a mobile baggage conveyor died when the vehicle collided with an Embraer 170 at Washington Reagan National Airport. In December, a six-year-old boy was killed when the car in which he was riding was crushed by a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 that overran a runway at Midway Airport and 20 people died when a Chalk's Ocean Airways turbine-powered Grumman Goose broke up off the coast of Miami.