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Aviation Safety Improves In 2009

by John M. White |

Back on April 15th I wrote a post called "Business Aviation Safety Off To A Poor Start This Year" in which I opined that in order to get the proper perspective the reported data needed to be related to the number of hours flown, not just raw numbers. National Transportation Safety Board Logo The National Transportation Safety Board released a report that aircraft charter accidents had fallen sharply in 2009. In this report they showed an overall decrease in accidents for general aviation and on-demand Part 135 charter operations. According to the NTSB 2009 had the fewest number of accidents than any other time over the previous 20 years. In this case the NTSB did take into consideration the level of flight hours flown in its comparison, and despite the lower flight hours the Part 135 accident rate dropped from 1.81 per 100,000 hours flown to 1.63 per 100,000 hours flown, a 10% reduction from the previous reporting period. Despite the number of general aviation accidents falling from 1,566 in 2008 to 1,474 in 2009, the rate per 100,000 hours flown rose from 6.86 to 7.20 per 100,000 hours flown in 2009. Compare these numbers to the fact that in 2009 there was only 1 fatal Part 121 airline accident, and a major accident rate of .833 per 1,000,000 hours flown! These numbers show that general aviation has a long way to go to reach the safety level of Part 121 airlines. All of us in aviation need to work to improve safety, both through better training (initial and recurrent) and the use of more safety devices like the AmSafe Airbag Seatbelt system. Be sure and check out their videos. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 If there were no risks it probably would not be worth doing. I certainly believe an airplane is capable of killing you, and in that sense I respect it. — Steve Ishmael, NASA Test Pilot. ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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