Top Five General Aviation Fatal Accident Causes In Europe And The U.S.


With all the hazards I described in the main body of this article, you might expect that GA operations on Europe are less safe than in the U.S. Im not sure how they fully stack up side by side, since exposure data for European GA flying is even sketchier than in the U.S. In addition, I found that EASA categorizes accidents somewhat differently than in the U.S. However, we can make some rough comparisons using published analyses. For this purpose I used the EASA Annual Safety Review for 2013, covering data from 2009-2013. I also reviewed data from the U.S. General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC), a joint FAA/industry team, for the period 2001-2010.

Comparing numbers for these two disparate systems would not be meaningful, even if they were available for comparable parameters. Instead, I elected to compare the top five leading fatal accident causes for GA aircraft in both the U.S. and Europe. Here is what I found.

This simple analysis, although crude, probably indicates that what Ive learned before about risk management probably applies to GA in Europe as well as in the U.S. That is, these surface causes describing the final smoking hole in the ground do not describe the actual root cause of the accident, which is likely poor risk management for a large percentage of these accidents.


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