GAO calls for GA to report flight hours, as well as data on recurrent training

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is calling for the FAA to start collecting flight hours for all general aviation aircraft, collect data on recurrent training, and set “specific safety improvement goals for individual industry segments using a data driven, risk management approach.”

While the U.S. aviation system is one of the safest in the world, hundreds of fatalities occur each year in general aviation, GAO officials noted in a new report, pointing to NTSB data that shows that 92% of 2011 accidents occurred in GA. This was one reason GAO officials were asked to examine the characteristics and trends in GA, as well as recent actions taken by the FAA to improve safety.

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NTSB studies how to improve general aviation safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In spite of improvements to commercial and corporate aviation safety records, the general aviation accident rate has been stubbornly resistant to safety initiatives, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said as she opened a two-day gathering to evaluate the current state of GA safety and consider if something should be done to improve it.

Deborah A.P. Hersman also told the gathering that general aviation pilots are “not learning from the mistakes of others,” noting general aviation accounts for 51% of flight time, but 97% of aviation fatalities.

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ASRS marks 1 million reports

NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting Service (ASRS) marked a significant milestone earlier this year: Its 1 millionth report. “In 1 million reports in 36 years, we’ve never violated the confidentiality of any person reporting,” said NASA ASRS Program Director Linda Connell in a report at “We’re hearing from every aspect of aviation.” Read the full report here, which also includes a link to a podcast with Connell.