The National Transportation Safety Board has released preliminary aviation accident statistics for 2004 showing a decrease in several civil aviation categories, including scheduled airliners, air taxis and general aviation operations.
The total number of U.S. civil aviation accidents decreased from 1,864 in 2003 to 1,715 in 2004. Total fatalities also showed a decrease from 695 to 635. The majority of these fatalities occurred in general aviation and air taxi operations.
General aviation accidents decreased from 1,741 in 2003 to 1,614 in 2004. There were 312 fatal general aviation accidents, down from 352 the year before. The accident rate decreased from 6.77 per 100,000 flight hours in 2003 to 6.22 in 2004. The fatal accident rate decreased from 1.37 to 1.20.
Last year, one fatal accident occurred involving Part 121 airline service. A Jetstream 32 twin-engine airplane operated by corporate airlines, doing business as American Connection, crashed on instrument approach to Kirksville Regional Airport, Kirksville, MO. The accident resulted in 13 fatalities.
Air taxi operations reported 68 accidents in 2004, a decrease from 75 in 2003. The accident rate also decreased from 2.56 per 100,000 flight hours in 2003 to 2.21 in 2004. However, fatalities increased from 42 in 2003 to 65 in 2004.
Tables 1-12 providing additional statistics are available at: www.ntsb.gov/aviation/stats.htm