2016 Was The Safest Year For General Aviation In Half A Century

By Doug Gollan, November 29, 2017

Flying by private jet has never been safer, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)


For the first time in half a century, the 2016 accident rate in general aviation dropped below one fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. General aviation deaths decreased slightly, from 416 in 2015 to 412 in 2016, according to the NTSB. Some 94 percent of the 379 deaths occurred in general aviation accidents. Twenty-five people died in accidents in commuter and on-demand aircraft, including charter, air taxi, air tours, and medical services, operating under Part 135. The General Aviation decrease occurred while other forms of transport — cars, trains, and boats — all showed increases. 


Aviation International News reported:


Fatal accidents under Part 135 on-demand air taxis involving both piston and turbine airplanes remained at seven in both 2016 and 2015, but the number of fatalities dropped from 27 in 2015 to 19 last year. Nevertheless, the fatal accident rate increased slightly—from 0.196 in 2015 to 0.200 in 2016, because the annual amount of hours flown in the Part 135 segment decreased in 2016 compared with 2015.


Looking at just Part 91 business jet operations, four died in one accident in 2015 versus eight people in two accidents last year. Part 135 on-demand jets recorded no fatal accidents last year, compared with nine killed in one accident in 2015.


Fourteen were killed in four Part 91 turboprop accidents last year, compared with 19 in nine crashes in 2015. Turboprops operating under Part 135 suffered four accidents involving 12 fatalities last year, versus nine who died in one accident in 2015.


U.S. commercial aviation has not had a fatal accident in eight years. Last year, there were 37,461 motor vehicle-related deaths in the U.S. In 2016 the U.S. Coast Guard reported 701 deaths as a result of recreational boating accidents.


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