The National Transportation Safety Board today released preliminary aviation accident statistics showing a slight overall increase in U.S. civil aviation accidents for 2011 from the previous year. Marked increases were seen in accidents involving on-demand Part 135 operations. However, for the second year in a row, there were no fatal accidents involving scheduled Part 121 air carriers or scheduled Part 135 commuter operations.
U.S. civil aviation accidents rose from 1,500 in 2010 to 1,550 in 2011. Fatalities also increased, from 469 in 2010 to 485 in 2011. All of the fatalities were in general aviation and on-demand Part 135 operations (charter, air taxi, air tour, and air medical operations). Twenty-eight accidents were recorded for scheduled Part 121 air carriers and four accidents were recorded for scheduled Part 135 commuter operations.
Total accidents involving on-demand Part 135 operations climbed from 31 in 2010 to 50 in 2011, while fatal accidents rose from 6 to 16 and fatalities rose from 17 to 41. The accident rate per 100,000 flight hours for on-demand Part 135 operations experienced the most dramatic rate increase among major U.S. civil aviation segments, rising from 1.00 in 2010 to 1.50 in 2011.
General aviation accidents, which continue to account for the greatest number of civil aviation accidents, reversed their downward trend over the previous two years increasing from 1,439 in 2010 to 1,466 in 2011. However, there were 263 fatal general aviation accidents in 2011, down from 268 in 2010. General aviation fatalities declined from 454 in 2010 to 444 in 2011. While the number of general aviation flight hours increased in 2011, the accident rate per flight hours decreased from 6.63 in 2010 to 6.51 in 2011.
The 2011 statistical tables showing accidents, fatalities, and accident rates for major segments of U.S. civil aviation are found at: http://www.ntsb.gov/data/aviation_stats_2012.html