Report shows drop in GA accidents

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Institute has released the 24th edition of the Joseph T. Nall Report, general aviation’s (GA) most comprehensive safety review.

The report, which provides an in-depth analysis of accidents that occurred in 2012, shows that there were 17% few GA accidents in 2012 than in 2011.

Other highlights:

  • 75% of the GA fixed-wing accidents were attributed to pilot-related causes, continuing the pattern that has characterized this sector for years;
  • Accidents attributed to fuel management issues (starvation, exhaustion, and contamination) were the cause of 79 accidents, the second-lowest number on record;
  • The report includes ASI’s first-ever analysis of the causes of helicopter accidents.

ASI also prepared a brief statistical analysis of GA accidents in calendar years 2013 and 2014, most of which have preliminary NTSB accident reports.

Highlights from those years include:

  • In 2013, the number of GA fixed-wing accidents decreased by an unprecedented 18% from the year before, falling below 1,000 per year for the first time. This improvement continued in 2014 with 923 total accidents, an all-time low.
  • The number of fatal accidents fell 24% from 2012 to 2013. While this was followed by a 12% increase in 2014, these remain the only two years in the past half-century with fewer than 200 fatal accidents in light airplanes per year.
  •  The GA fatal accident rate dropped below 1.00 per 100,000 flight hours for the first time ever in 2013. FAA estimates of GA flight time confirm that the accident rate improvements in 2013 did not result from decreased activity.


FAA agrees to work with GA on charts

The FAA has agreed to work with officials from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, as well as other GA stakeholders, regarding the future of world aeronautical charts (WACs).

The decision follows an earlier announcement that the agency would stop producing the charts later this year. FAA officials claim publishing the WACs has become cost-prohibitive as more and more pilots move to digital flight planning. [Read more…]

Video: New accident case study released

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The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) Air Safety Institute has released “Final Approach,” the latest in a series of accident case studies.

This episode explores the dangers of flying in low instrument conditions with a dwindling fuel supply.

The January 2013 accident involved a Piper Arrow that struck trees while attempting to make a dead-stick emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. [Read more…]

Congressman unveils plan to separate ATC from FAA


The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has announced that he is working to separate air traffic control (ATC) functions from the FAA as part of the ongoing FAA reauthorization process.

In his June 15 remarks before the Aero Club of Washington, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), proposed creating a not-for-profit, federally chartered corporation to operate and modernize ATC. [Read more…]

AOPA Foundation offers scholarships

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation is offering scholarships from two programs for those who are learning to fly, and those who want to learn someday.

The foundation will award 25 scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $12,000, in 2015. At the same time, the AOPA Foundation’s AV8RS program – comprised of teens ages 13-18 – will offer $15,000 in financial assistance for aviation education. [Read more…]