The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s (AAIB) 2021 Annual Safety Review found that the five fatal accidents in the country last year all involved non-commercial and non-turbine general aviation (GA) aircraft. According to the report, most of the GA fatal accidents involved loss of control, either at low speed close to the ground or following an inadvertent entry into clouds by pilots with no IMC rating.
“The normal seasonal variations in GA activity were exaggerated somewhat by lockdowns in 2021, but the overall accident statistics and prevalent occurrence types were not unusual,” according to the report.
There were investigations into 17 nonfatal accidents or serious incidents to both GA and commercial air transport (CAT) aircraft, including two turbine business airplanes and two turbine helicopters. “International travel restrictions continued to suppress CAT activity, with a commensurate reduction in CAT occurrences,” the report notes. “A few serious incidents were directly related to the return to flying, some due to aircraft system failures but also some associated with a lack of aircrew recency.”
In this review, the AAIB also provides details of each of the 37 recommendations issued last year, including responses and updates on the progress of the action taken. The final section of the review provides details of 188 actions to enhance safety taken proactively by the industry in 2021 as a direct result of AAIB investigations.