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Recent publications have shown that general aviation accident rates in the UnitedStates are decreasing, though they remain much higher than other segments of aviation.What is behind this safety improvement? Are all types of accidents decreasing or arecertain types of accidents driving the overall decrease? This study provides thepreliminary results of an in depth analysis of the causes of fatal general aviation accidentsfrom 1992 through 2002. First a database of all fatal Part 91 accidents during thistimeframe was created by examining the NTSB accident report for each accident anddetermining the initial cause of the accident. Forty-four different cause categories wereused and 1305 individual accidents were analyzed. Both the absolute and relative changeof the causes of Part 91 fatal accidents from 1992 through 2002 were considered. Thisstudy provides the findings from four years from this time period (1992, 1997, 1999, and2001) in order to evaluate initial results and trends and to develop some initial hypothesesfor later testing. Preliminary analyses of the data reveal that the distribution of fatalgeneral aviation accidents by flight phase differs from commercial aviation accidents.The data also reveals that while pilot error remains a significant cause of fatal accidents,the rate of pilot error accidents is decreasing and CFIT accidents, which are thought to bea particular area of concern within general aviation, are actually not a significant cause ofaccidents within this sector.

Subject(s): Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies

Research Methods/ Statistical Methods

Issue Date: 2005-03

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 13

Record appears in: Transportation Research Forum > 46th Annual Transportation Research Forum, Washington, D.C., March 6-8, 2005

Autor: Nordyke, Shane


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