The accident rate in general aviation dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours in 2016, for the first time in 50 years, the NTSB reported on Tuesday. Overall, aviation deaths decreased slightly, from 416 in 2015 to 412 in 2016. Nearly 94 percent of those fatalities, a total of 379, occurred in general aviation accidents. Twenty-five people died in accidents in commuter and on-demand aircraft, including charter, air taxi, air tours, and medical services, operating under Part 135. The GA decrease occurred while other forms of transport — cars, trains, and boats — all showed increases.
Overall, general aviation accidents totaled 1,266 in 2016, the NTSB says, and 213 of those accidents resulted in fatalities. Based on an estimated 21.3 million flight hours, the preliminary fatal accident rate for GA in 2016 is 0.989 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. The total number of fatalities in GA was up slightly from 2015, according to Bloomberg News, but the lower rate reflects an increase in the number of hours that GA aircraft flew. There have been no fatalities for U.S. airlines since 2009.