The Part 91 general aviation (GA) fatal accident rate in 2016 fell below one per 100,000 flight hours for the first time in half a century, although the number of allaccidents—and total fatalities—increased slightly over 2015, according to newly released statistics from the NTSB.
Last year, the GA fatal accident rate was 0.989 per 100,000 flight hours versus 1.098 in 2015. However, the number of all accidents increased from 1,210 in 2015 to 1,266 last year. And while 378 people lost their lives in 230 fatal crashes in 2015, there were 386 fatalities from 213 such crashes last year.
Fatal accidents under Part 135 on-demand air taxis involving both piston and turbine airplanes remained at seven in both 2016 and 2015, but the number of fatalities dropped from 27 in 2015 to 19 last year. Nevertheless, the fatal accident rate increased slightly—from 0.196 in 2015 to 0.200 in 2016, because the annual amount of hours flown in the Part 135 segment decreased in 2016 compared with 2015.
Looking at just Part 91 business jet operations, four died in one accident in 2015 versus eight people in two accidents last year. Part 135 on-demand jets recorded no fatal accidents last year, compared with nine killed in one accident in 2015.
Fourteen were killed in four Part 91 turboprop accidents last year, compared with 19 in nine crashes in 2015. Turboprops operating under Part 135 suffered four accidents involving 12 fatalities last year, versus nine who died in one accident in 2015.