None of the 34 accidents that befell FAR Part 121 scheduled airlines last year resulted in fatalities, according to NTSB preliminary statistics. In 2001 there were some 266 fatalities involving U.S. airlines (excluding another 265 resulting from the 9/11 hijackings). There were 58 air-taxi accidents last year, down from 72 in 2001, resulting in 33 fatalities compared with 60 in 2001.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Business aviation saw a decline in accidents and incidents last year, from 60 in 2006 to 56 in the following year, but fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets and turboprops increased to 18 from 17 the year before, according to an annual summary of accidents and incidents released by Boca Raton, Fla.-based aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates.
From a humanitarian perspective, regional air transport suffered perhaps its most destructive 24-hour stretch in history last month. Three separate fatal accidents, all unrelated but for the category of aircraft they involved, shook the industry at a time it could least afford the negative reaction. Once rescuers finished counting, the death toll totaled 72 in Turkey, 46 in Peru and 21 in the U.S.
The total number of U.S.-registered turbine airplanes involved in serious accidents last year decreased significantly from 2001, a year that saw business aviation accidents increase over 2000. Last year there were 41 nonfatal accidents, 19 fatal accidents and 47 fatalities compared with 44 nonfatal accidents and 24 fatal accidents that killed 80 passengers and crew in 2001, according to safety analyst Robert E.
CESSNA 501, ASHWAUBENON, WIS., APRIL 2, 2001–The NTSB attributed the probable cause of the accident to the pilot’s not maintaining aircraft control while maneuvering after takeoff and his inadequate preflight planning and preparation.
ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES 1124A, TAOS, N.M., NOV. 8, 2002–The only occupants, both airline transport-rated pilots, of the Westwind were killed when the aircraft crashed on approach to Taos Municipal Airport (SKX). The accident occurred at approximately 2:57 p.m. after the Westwind passed the initial approach fix for the VOR/DME-B approach.
The NTSB has called for improvements in the way the Transportation Department collects data, including the FAA’s Accident/Incident Data System (AIDS), the Near Midair Collision System (NMACS) and NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).
The crash of a Piper Navajo Chieftain in Kodiak, Alaska, on Saturday might have been precipitated by the unexpected opening of a nose baggage door just after takeoff from Kodiak Airport, the NTSB said. According to an FAA preliminary report, the pilot and five passengers were killed and four more were injured when the 10-seat piston twin operated by charter firm Servant Air crashed off the end of the runway into the water.
The NTSB is eyeing fatigue as a contributing factor in the October 25 accident that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), members of his family and staff and both pilots. The King Air A100 crashed two miles from the airport during an approach to the Eveleth-Virginia (Minn.) Airport (EVM). Wellstone had chartered the aircraft from St. Paul-based Aviation Charter.
MD-80, Anacapa Island, Calif., Jan. 31, 2000–Both pilots, three cabin crewmembers and 83 passengers on board the Alaska Airlines MD-80 were killed when Flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 2.7 miles north of Anacapa Island at 4:21 p.m. PST.