Single-pilot operations comprise the largest number of accidents in the business aviation industry, according to a new study by the NBAA Safety Committee’s single operators subcommittee. It found that approximately 2,013 of the 7,457 accidents reviewed were attributable to aircraft with a flight crew of one. “That is huge,” said NBAA Safety Committee member Dan Ramirez.
The study, culled from data obtained from the Breiling Report, ICAO, NTSB, and Assure, indicated many accidents and incidents were misrepresented in the files, Ramirez told about 120 attendees at the NBAA Single-Pilot Safety Standdown held at on the eve of the association's annual convention. “An accident might be classified by the reporting agency as ‘controlled flight into terrain,’” he said, “when in reality, that was the result of loss of control in flight.”
Single-pilot accidents and incidents fall into three main categories: runway excursions, undershoot/overshoot landings, and loss of control in flight. Based on that information, the Safety Committee broke Standdown attendees into small groups, asking for them to recommend best practices in a number of different scenarios.
Outgoing Safety Committee chairman David Ryan suggested that information will eventually be the basis of a best practices list he hopes will be developed by and for single-pilot operators and aimed at curtailing the number of accidents and incidents that occur when only one pilot is in the cockpit.