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A look at the statistics on general aviation accidents

As time goes by and the technology gets better and better in the world of aviation, you would think that the frequency of plane crashes would have slowly decreased. And they have, but only in commercial aviation. General aviation accidents have increased dramatically over the last decade, according to data from the National Transportation Safety Board, which looks at 1,500 accidents per year.

The NTSB looked at general aviation data over the last 10 years and compared it to data from commercial aviation. What they found was frightening:

  • By a long shot, crash rates in general aviation are the highest in all of civil aviation.
  • The rates of accidents involving personal flyers have gone up 20 percent in 10 years.
  • At the same time, the rate of fatal accidents has skyrocketed 25 percent.
  • According to the data, over 400 passengers and pilots are killed every year in general aviation.
  • The average works out to 6.8 accidents for every 100,000 hours of flight.
  • To give some perspective, these numbers are 40 times more than transport aviation and six times more than commuter operators.

What are the causes of these crashes? The NTSB theorizes that some of the newer displays that are being manufactured are often too complicated and don't come with proper instruction. They recommend better vetting of pilots and increased training for maintenance crews, which often miss problems like old wiring and faulty circuits.

Of course, for the victims of these crashes, these data come too late. If you feel you've been the victim of pilot error or a manufacturing defect in a plane, an aviation attorney may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries.

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