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Number Of Fatal Airplane Accidents Increased In 2014

An aviation accident is one aboard a non-commercial, non-commuter aircraft.

The number of fatal aviation accidents in the United States increased from 222 in 2013 to 253 in 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Aug. 6.

The NTSB defines a general aviation accident as one which took place aboard a non-commercial, non-commuter aircraft.

“A pilot proficiency requirements are much less rigorous than those of airline pilots,” the NTSB wrote in reference to general aviation (GA) flight. “GA pilots are much more likely to have longer intervals between training sessions and longer intervals between flights.”

The increase in the numbers of deaths by general aviation accident doesn’t necessarily match a trend in the overall number of general aviation accidents, though: that number decreased slightly between the years 2013 and 2014, going from 1,224 to 1,221. Additionally, the accident rate for general aviation aircraft actually increased despite people reporting fewer accidents. The rate was 6.26 per 100,000 flight hours in 2013 and 6.74 in 2014.

There were 28 accidents in total involving commercial air transport, the report said. Accidents involving commuter aircraft went down during the examination period, from seven in 2013 to four in 2014.

On-demand operations, such as air taxis, air tour, and air medical flights, also saw accidents decline, from 44 in 2014 to 35 in 2014. The accident rate among this category of aircraft decreased as well, from 1.3 per 100,000 flight hours in 2013 to 1.02 in 2014.

The NTSB includes plane crashes due to suicide or illegal activity, such as sabotage or terrorism, in their totals when tracking accidents and fatalities, but does not include them when computing accident rates.

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