Fatal accident rate in US GA rises after three years of decline

PUBLISHED: 15:05 12 December 2019

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The number of deaths related to US civil aviation accidents increased to 393 in 2018 from 347 the previous year, according to preliminary statistics released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

The board also reported a fatal accident rate in general aviation of 1.029 accidents per 100,000 flight hours for the year compared to 0.935 per 100,000 flight hours in 2017.

Of the 393 deaths, 381 people were killed in GA operations.

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"It is disappointing to see the fatal general aviation accident rate increase after two years with the rate below 1.0 per 100,000 flight hours," said NTSB Chairman Robert L Sumwalt.

"Aviators in both the general aviation and Part 135 communities need to renew their emphasis on building and sustaining a safety culture, and recipients of our safety recommendations in this area need to implement those life-saving recommendations."

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2018 included the nation's first airline passenger fatality since 2009, when Southwest flight 1380 suffered an uncontained engine failure.

The preliminary statistics do not cover probable cause or potential reasons for the increase in fatalities.

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