AOPA Nall Report: GA Accident Rates Continue Downward

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General aviation accidents have continued to drop since 2013, according to AOPA’s 25th Joseph T. Nall Report. FAA data show that overall accident rates examined from 2004 to 2013 for non-commercial fixed-wing flights fell to 5.77 per 100,000 hours, while the fatal accident rate was 0.99 per 100,000 hours, Thursday’s report found. The trends could continue if GA makes enhancements to pilot training and speeds up its adaptation of technology, such as angle-of-attack indicators and other safety tools, said George Perry, senior vice president of AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. Positive response to the FAA’s recent effortsto ease the installation rules fornon-required safety-enhancing equipment (NORSEE)is one example, he said. “If we can come up with cost-effective, safety-enhancing technologies, pilots will buy and equip,” he said.

Non-commercial airplanes continue to make up the majority of GA accidents, according to the Nall report. These operations made up 81 percent of all accidents, including fatal accidents, in 2013. Non-commercial fixed-wing aircraft accidents in 2015 totaled 912, versus 944 in 2014 and 958 in 2013. Fatal accidents were level with 187 in 2015 and 189 in 2014. AOPA’s analysis of the report notes that accidents fell overall by 3 percent from 2015 and 2014 in this category.Perry said accident reductions in recent years can be attributed in part to more unity in promoting safety training from GA organizations and the FAA, as well as better focus on safety for makes and model such as Cirrus, which recently was named the first recipient of ASI’s Joseph T. Nall Safety Award.“Whether it’s regulatory reform with the long-awaited FAR Part 23 rewrite, programs like NORSEE that allow safety innovations into the cockpit, or the FAA’s updated compliance philosophy, I can’t recall a time where industry, government, and associations have been so well aligned to help improve general aviation safety.”

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