NTSB reports increase in aviation accidents
No fatal accident involving Part 121 or 135 scheduled carriers occurred in 2002, versus three last year in which 24 people died, according to NTSB data. The crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900 in Charlotte, N.C., accounted for 21 of those fatalities. More serious crashes by air-taxi operations raised their total and fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours from 2.03 to 2.61, and 0.62 to 0.64, respectively, in 2002 and 2003. The Safety Board’s general aviation category–which combines all Part 91 business, personal, sight-seeing and training flights–also worsened, with the total number of accidents per 100,000 flight hours increasing slightly from 6.69 in 2002 to 6.71 last year, and the fatal rate rising from 1.33 to 1.36. Part 91 corporate jet operations posted the best safety record last year: the segment experienced no fatal accidents, compared with two in 2002.