In addition to publishing the 29th and 30th editions of its Joseph T. Nall Report, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Institute (ASI) has launched a new platform designed to provide “access to more current accident data in near real-time.” According to AOPA, the new platform will allow accident data to be updated on a rolling 30-day cycle. It will also let users select and compare accident analysis graphs for multiple years from 2008 up through 2020.
“I am excited that this major effort has significantly accelerated the accident analysis process,” said ASI Senior Vice President Richard McSpadden. “This allows us to release the 29th and 30th Joseph T. Nall Reports, which provide a snapshot in time for 2017 and 2018 data, respectively.”
Digging into that data, the 29th Nall report found that the total number of general aviation accidents in 2017 decreased from 1,227 in 2016 to 1,204. The 2017 analysis also saw an improvement on 2016’s overall accident rate of 4.98 accidents per 100,000 hours, coming in at 4.81 per 100,000 hours. The 2017 fatal accident rate also dropped slightly from 0.78 per 100,000 hours the previous year to 0.76 per 100,000 hours. The 30th edition of the report, covering 2018 data, noted an increase in total accidents to 1,224. However, it found a further drop in the total accident rate to 4.56 per 100,000 hours as well as a decrease in the fatal accident rate to 0.74 per 100,000 hours.
Continuing a longstanding trend, personal flights made up to largest percentage of fatal non-commercial fixed-wing accidents in both years—82.7 percent in 2017 and 80.7 percent in 2018. Landing accidents, of which there were 335 in 2016, dropped to 314 in 2017 and rose to 322 in 2018. Weather-related accidents spiked from 23 (12 fatal) in 2016 to 42 (32 fatal) in 2017. 2018 saw a decrease in weather-related crashes to 23 (21 fatal). In all three years, the majority of those accidents involved VFR flight into IMC.
The Nall Report analyzes aviation accident data from years where probable causes have been determined for at least 80 percent of the accidents that occurred. Segments covered include non-commercial and commercial fixed-wing operations, non-commercial and commercial helicopter operations, and sport/experimental operations. The full reports can be viewed here.