General aviation fatalities continue downward

General aviation continued its downward trend of accidents and fatalities in 2010 while flying more hours than in 2009, according to statistics released by the National Transportation Safety Board. The 447 fatalities last year compared to 469 in 2009 and were almost half the number of 864 that occurred in 1992.

Hours flown in 2010 were estimated by the FAA as 20,900,000, 38,000 more than in 2009. There were 267 fatal accidents in 2010. The rate per 100,000 hours flown was 1.27.

Total accidents of on-demand operators (charter, air taxi, air tour, and air medical operations) decreased from 47 in 2009 to 31 in 2010, although the number of hours flown increased from 2,901,000 to 2,960,000. Fatal accidents in this category increased from two in 2009 to six in 2010 but the number of fatalities each year was 17.

Scheduled part 121 airlines had 26 accidents last year and the part 135 commuters had six, all were non-fatal.

The number of hours flown by part 121 airlines dropped 430,000 hours from 2009. Airlines flew 319,000 fewer hours last year than did general aviation.

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