Accidents down last year, due to less flying

General aviation accidents decreased in 2009, while on-demand 135 operations had the lowest number of accidents and fatal accidents in the last 20 years, according to data released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

General aviation accidents decreased from 1,566 in 2008 to 1,474 in 2009. Fatal accidents dropped from 275 last year to 272. The rate per 100,000 flight hours increased to 7.20 from 6.86 in 2008. The fatal accident rate also increased from 1.21 to 1.33. Although there were fewer accidents, the rate increased because there was less flying.

On-demand operations reported 47 accidents in 2009, down from 58 in 2008. The rate for 135 operators decreased from 1.81 per 100,000 flight hours in 2008 to 1.63 last year.

Scheduled airlines reported only one fatal accident, the crash near Buffalo, New York of a Colgan Air Bombardier DHC-8-400.

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