Aviation Accidents Decline in '04

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If flying in 2004 "felt" safer to you, there was a reason, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Just-released NTSB figures show that fewer accidents in air taxi, general aviation and scheduled airliner categories helped lower the number of fatalities, which fell from 695 in 2003 to 635 in 2004. Overall good news, yes, but the majority of the fatalities still occurred in general aviation and air taxi operations. In fact, though air taxi operators reported a decrease in accidents from 75 to 68, they saw an increase in fatalities from 42 in 2003 to 65 in 2004. On the GA side, the accident rate dropped, as did the number of fatalities. One accident in Kirksville, Mo., was responsible for all the fatalities involving Part 121 airline service. An American Connection Jetstream 32 crashed on an instrument approach into the Kirksville Regional Airport, killing 13 on board.