GA Accidents Decreasing; FAA Has Plans To Make It Even Safer

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 -- Aviation accidents have generally decreased over the past decade, but more than 200 fatal accidents happened each year between 1999 and 2011, the Government Accountability Office revealed.

In a report titled, "Strategic Sourcing: Improved and Expanded Use Could Save Billions in Annual Procurement Costs" (Report No. GAO-13-36) the GAO said single-engine airplanes flying personal flights were the most likely to be involved in accidents. Most general aviation accidents were attributed to pilot error and included a loss of the control of the aircraft.

Of those, amateur-built aircraft were involved in 21 percent of the fatal accidents. However, those flights only accounted for 4 percent of all total flight hours. Corporate operations accounted for only percent of fatal accidents but accounted for 14 percent of the flight time.

The Federal Aviation Administration has stated its goal is to reduce fatal general aviation accidents by 10 percent and accomplish that by the year 2018. The FAA has put into place a plan that focuses on risk management and other strategies.

The GAO recommended the FAA require collection of general aviation flight data in ways that minimize the impact on the general aviation community, set safety improvement goals for individual industry segments and develop performance measures. The Department of Transportation agreed to consider the recommendations, but provided no official feedback on the report.

A full copy of the report is available at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/649219.pdf

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Ken Black is a Targeted News Service writer based in Orlando, Fla.

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