February 21, 2019

February 2019 Safety Corner

According to the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Safety Institute, general aviation has AGAIN had a record setting year seeing a decrease in the overall and fatal accident rates – based on the 27th annual Nall Safety Report. Interestingly, the overall number of accidents increased the past year but the accident rate – based on 100,000 hours flown, actually decreased. The reason is there was an increase in flight activity to 24 million flight hours, which is another positive statistic for general aviation. Consequently, fatal accidents decreased by 4 percent.

Simply put . . . . we were flying more and having fewer fatalities.

The 27th Nall Report included the trends of pilot-related accidents from 2006 to 2015. Obviously most mechanical related accidents are not included as pilot-related but are also reported on. Unfortunately, pilot related accidents account for approximately 74% of all accidents and ALL fatal accidents. Over 90% of all general aviation accidents were personal trips (78%) or instructional (13%).

The Nall Report can be viewed online by clicking here.

The number of pilot-related accidents have steadily decreased during that time and it’s easy to attributed much of that to increased learning, knowledge and instruction. The increased use of technology has improved safety, especially in weather-related situations. The Nall Report showed accident trends in fuel management, weather accidents, takeoff and climb, maneuvering, descent/approach, landing, and other pilot-related or unusual accidents.

The following attachments will give you a better view of the trends taking place in accidents and accident rates. Pretty interesting stuff to look over. I think it shows the importance of ‘continuing education’ for all pilots. With additional knowledge and experience, flying can be a very safe activity for all general aviation pilots. Commercial pilots are required to do ‘continuing education’ through re-current training and checkrides with professional organizations and/or the FAA.


Kevin Broderick, ATP, CFII, Skyhawk Safety Officer


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