GA Spoils Europe’s Positive Trend in 2010 Accidents
General aviation as a whole was a stain on an otherwise excellent year for aviation safety in Europe, according to 2010 accident figures released today by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). For all GA operations including both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters weighing more than 2,250 kg (4,960 pounds) involved in private, business and aerial work activity, the total number of accidents increased from 19 in 2009 to 31 last year. However, the number of fatal accidents fell from nine to six over the same period. In the business aviation category alone, there were a total of 14 accidents in 2010 and only one of these involved an aircraft registered in Europe. The GA accident total for 2010 was above the average of 20 recorded between 1999 and 2008. Helicopters accounted for 14 of last year’s GA accidents and three of these involved fatalities, all of them in the aerial work category. The EASA concluded that loss of control in flight was the most frequent cause of general aviation accidents last year, representing a significantly bigger factor than technical issues with the aircraft involved. Between 2001 and 2010, fixed-wing business aviation operations accounted for 15 percent of all fatal aircraft accidents in Europe, while helicopters accounted for 18 percent. EASA’s report on 2010 accidents can be found here.