NTSB Reports Substantial Drop In GA Fatalities

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General aviation fatalities decreased 30 percent last year compared to the year before, the NTSB reported on Wednesday, down from 703 to 491. It was the lowest annual total in more than 40 years. "The U.S. aviation industry has produced an admirable safety record in recent years," said NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker. "However, we must not become complacent. We must continue to take the lessons learned from our investigations and use them to create even safer skies for all aircraft operators and their passengers." The overall number of GA accidents was up, rising from 1,518 in 2006 to 1,631 in 2007. Estimated flight hours were down slightly, and the overall accident rate per 100,000 flight hours showed a slight increase.

This year's fatal accident rate of 1.19 per 100,000 hours is the lowest since 1999. The statistics, which are posted online, are preliminary, the NTSB said.