An Informal Look at Accident Statistics

It's hard to imagine a less scientific look, but my regular review of FAA preliminary accident reports has shown an apparent trend. Numbers of accidents seem to be down significantly over the past several months; and fatal accidents have also seemed to be significantly on the wane. Over the past two weeks, the Monday reports (which cover the busier weekends) have been the only ones including fatalities. And the four fatal accidents reported this Monday include the Indian airline catastrophe (FAA reports include some accidents involving foreign-registered aircraft — perhaps those that involve U.S.-built aircraft). This could be due to less flying in general. But the spring usually brings an increase in flying hours, and unfortunately a corresponding increase in accidents. One departure from history: I recall in years past an influx of hand-propping accidents in springtime. So far this year, not so much.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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