Aero: European GA Accident Rates Remain Elusive

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While the NTSB and FAA do what most of us consider a diligent job in tracking accidents and reporting rates, it’s just the reverse in Europe, according to GAMA. The association is trying to remedy this by surveying GA pilots to determine the all-important hours flown necessary to calculate risk.

At a briefing at the Aero exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Wednesday, two staffers from GAMA and IAOPA reported that accident tracking varies widely from country to country and there’s no common basis for collecting the data. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces missing, ” said Michael Erb, a senior VP for IAOPA in Europe. “If you cannot measure it, you cannot control it,” he added.

GAMA and IAOPA cooperated on a survey sent to 5800 pilots and owners in 32 countries asking how many hours they flew, what kind of flying they did and what their costs were. The survey responses came mostly from France, Germany and the U.K. Not surprisingly, average hourly costs of flying in Europe would curl the toes of most U.S. pilots. The largest percentage reported costs between €140 and €180, or about $160 to $200 in direct costs. Erb and Kyle Martin, who handles European regulatory affairs for GAMA, said the data will be used to develop more accurate accident rate models so strategies to reduce accidents can be developed. “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going,” Martin said. He urged individual pilots, owners and operators to participate in the survey.