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.
Transportation safety in the United States
The number of accidents in all segments of civil aviation last year was less than in 2005, according to the NTSB, with general aviation having the lowest number of accidents in 40 years of record keeping. Major airlines continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. Last year, on-demand Part 135 operators had 54 accidents, down almost 20 percent from 2005, with 10 of those accidents resulting in 16 fatalities.
Total business aviation accidents were down slightly in 2006, thanks mainly to a decrease of more than 17 percent in turboprop accidents, according to aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. Total business aviation-related fatal accidents, on the other hand, were up in 2006 with 19.
The NTSB Friday released preliminary statistics for last year showing an increase in aviation accidents for airline and general aviation operations, and a decline for on-demand air taxis. According to the Safety Board, there were 1,669 accidents in 2005 involving recip and turbine GA aircraft versus 1,617 in 2004. The 562 fatalities involved in GA accidents were four more than in 2004. The NTSB also reported fewer GA flight hours.
With accidents decreasing by 8.7 percent and fatal accidents dropping by 11.6 percent, last year was the safest year for U.S. general aviation since the end of World War II.
NTSB preliminary statistics for last year show an increase in aviation accidents for airline and general aviation operations and a decline for on-demand air taxis. The NTSB said there were 1,669 accidents last year involving GA aircraft compared with 1,617 in 2004. The 562 fatalities involved in GA accidents were four more than during the previous year. The NTSB also reported higher GA rates (accidents per 100,000 flight hours).
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