General aviation accidents and fatalities declined in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year, according to new National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) data.
In total number, the 1,435 GA accidents marked a 20-year low, even as estimated total flight hours began to climb for the first time since the Great Recession began. There were 450 GA accident fatalities in 2010, down from 478 in 2009.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation’s Air Safety Institute is analyzing the data in detail for the upcoming twenty-second edition of the Joseph T. Nall Report, a comprehensive analysis of accidents that has helped to shape pilot training and safety education. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg said 2010 was a record year for outreach—more than 1.9 million safety products and courses were used by AOPA members and non-members alike.
Complacency, according to Landsberg, remains the enemy of safety, and new programs will continue to be developed for 2012 that dig deeper into the causes of accidents. Most accidents result from causes that have plagued aviation for years, and unfortunately, according to Landsberg, little has changed.
In 2010, the Air Safety Institute introduced new products, and pilots responded. The institute’s online ASI Flight Risk Evaluator drew 64,000 visits in 2010, and more than 40,000 pilots attended safety seminars held around the country and available through online webinars. The Air Safety Institute will continue to work in partnership with the NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration, AOPA and other aviation organizations to spread the message that education, including ongoing training for active pilots, saves lives.