Crash Statistics, From The Associated Press
According to the AP's research, pilots older than 50 were involved in 55.8 percent of accidents over a five-year period even though they constitute only 36.8 percent of certificated pilots. And, apparently, the older a pilot gets, the greater the risk. Pilots between the ages of 50 and 59 had 26.4 percent of accidents, marginally higher than their percentage of the pilot population, which is about 22.1 percent, but those 60 and older had 23.6 percent of accidents even though they make up only 14.7 percent of certificated pilots. The research also determined that those under 50 consistently had proportionately fewer accidents throughout the five-year sample period. To its credit, the AP asked experts if its findings had any sort of real-world merit. According to the experts they consulted, the methodology was "simple but sound." However, it should be pointed out that any number of factors, including pilot experience (complacency?), history (old, bold pilots?) and aircraft type (higher income equals higher performance, equals higher impact speed?) were not factored into the research and may have influenced the results.