Accidents Up, But Fatalities Down in Latest Safety Report

The most recent AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Joseph T. Nall Report on general aviation safety was released late last week, and the message is mixed. In statistics analyzed from 2007, the report shows that overall accidents increased, despite declining flight hours, but fatalities declined. The rate of fatal accidents was also lower, evidence that pilots are getting better at evading some of general aviation's most dangerous pitfalls. For example, fuel exhaustion accidents have decreased dramatically. The report credits, in part, technologically advanced aircraft with superior fuel-flow instrumentation. Weather continues to be the most dangerous foe, with a reported 82 percent of weather-related accidents resulting in fatalities. The Nall Report also indicates a statistically noticeable increase in accidents involving experimental-category aircraft. The safety group reports it will further investigate the trend and consult with experimental-aircraft experts to further efforts at increasing safety there. For more insight into the Nall Safety Report, click here to read our editor's opinion.