Senator Calls for Investigation into Small Plane Crashes

After a rash of crashes in the New York area, Senator Charles Schumer is urging the NTSB to investigate small plane safety.

Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Charles Schumer is urging the NTSB to investigate small plane safety after recent crashes in New York.Wikimedia Commons/John J. Meola

New York Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the National Transportation Safety Board to launch a study into a spate of small plane crashes around New York City.

“We’re only a few months into 2017 and already we’ve seen two small plane crashes here in the New York metro area,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference in Manhattan on Sunday, referring to two accidents involving airplanes from Long Island last month.

In a letter to NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart, Schumer, the Senate minority leader, requested that the agency study New York’s small plane accidents over the past year to determine whether there are preventable patterns or trends. He also asked the agency to determine why there have been a number of small plane crashes, including 18 in New York last year, and how to prevent them.

Despite a steadily improving safety picture for general aviation over the last five years, so far this year there have been 30 fatal crashes in the United States involving small planes and helicopters, according to NTSB statistics. That compares with 20 fatal crashes through the first two months of 2016.