NTSB: GA Fatalities Drop In 2015


General aviation accident rates dropped in 2015 amid a rise in flight hours, according to figuresreported by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday.The preliminary data reported for GA operations added up to 1,209 accidents last year, 229 of those involving 376 fatalities, including three people on the ground.The GA accident rate last year was 5.85 per 100,000 flight hours, with a rate of 1.09 for fatal accidents. That’s down from 6.23 accidents per 100,000 hours a year prior, with a fatality rate of 1.31 per 100,000 hours in 2014.

The board and the FAA have focused on educating pilots on loss-of-control safety and use of technology in recent years, emphasizing LOC as the ongoing top cause of GA crashes. Stick-and-rudder skills have gained renewed attention and the FAA also is promoting the use of new tools such as angle-of-attack indicators in GA aircraft. “Even though the fatality rate in 2015 was the lowest it has been in many years, 376 people still lost their lives, which is why improving general aviation safety is on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “While lower, these numbers are still too high.” Flights under Part 135, including commuter and on-demand operations, saw five total accidents in 2015 with one fatality, resulting in an accident rate of 1.458 per 100,000 hours flown – nearly level with 2014, when four accidents and no fatalities were reported. Meanwhile, U.S. air carriers saw no fatalities in 2015 or 2014.

(Clarification: GA accidents for 2015 added up to 1,209 total with 229 of those involving fatalities.)