Fatal General Aviation Crashes Drop To All-Time Low

By every measure, last year was safest ever.

GA Accident Rate Cessna 172

GA Accident Rate Cessna 172

General aviation accidents showed a welcome decline in 2013, falling from 1,471 crashes in 2012 to 1,222 last year, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

In fact, by every measure GA flying was safer last year than the year before.

The accident rate per 100,000 flight hours dipped to 5.85, continuing a steady historic decline. In all last year, 221 fatal GA crashes killed 387 people. That is the lowest number of people killed in GA accidents since World War II.

The general aviation fatal accident rate per 100,000 flight hours of 1.05, meanwhile, was the lowest ever recorded.

The FAA had set a safety goal for 2013 of a rate of 1.06. The goal for 2014 is 1.05, and so far this year the agency says GA is on target to beat that figure. By 2018 the FAA's goal is a GA fatal accident rate of under one per 100,000 flight hours.

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