GA Accident Numbers At 40-Year Low

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The numbers of accidents and fatal accidents in general aviation in 2006 were the lowest in the 40 years that the NTSB has been keeping records, the Safety Board said on Tuesday. However, the accident rate for GA has been relatively stable since 1990. The overall decline in numbers is mainly due to a decrease in flight activity, which has been on a downward trend. Overall hours flown have dropped about 20 percent since 1990, the NTSB said, while the accident rate has stayed at about 7.5 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. In 2006, there were 1,515 GA accidents, 303 of them fatal, and 698 fatalities. The GA accident rate is the highest for all civil aviation activity, the NTSB said. Major air carriers flying under Part 121 had the lowest accident rates. These carriers had 31 accidents in 2006, down more than 20 percent from 2005. Two of the 31 accidents were fatal, resulting in 50 fatalities. Part 135 operations, including air taxi, air tour and aeromedical operations, had 54 accidents, down almost 20 percent from 2005, with 10 of those accidents resulting in 16 fatalities. Commuter operations, officially described as scheduled Part 135, had only three accidents in 2006, one of them fatal, resulting in two fatalities.