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Report on fatal flight training accidents released

The AOPA Air Safety Institute and the Liberty University School of Aeronautics has released its Fatal Flight Training Accident Report 2000-2015—a comprehensive 16-year study on accidents during flight training.

The report categorizes fatal flight training accidents according to the Commercial Aviation Safety Team and International Civil Aviation Organization Common Taxonomy Team and calculates the accident rate using FAA survey data.

The analysis of 240 fatal instructional accidents in piston-engine airplanes from the year 2000 through 2015 concludes that the greatest risks in flight training are loss of control  during flight (54 percent) and midair collisions (10 percent). However, the overall accident rate has decreased 35 percent from 2000 through 2015, and along with general aviation overall, flight training is gradually becoming safer.

“The study sheds light on fatal flight training accident causes. But it also confirms a reduction in accidents over a 16-year time period,” said AOPA Air Safety Institute Executive Director Richard McSpadden. “The best way we can continue that positive trend and decrease these types of accidents, and all accidents, is through training, implementation of new technology, and continued education.” 

McSpadden also elaborated on the partnership between the Air Safety Institute and Liberty University, explaining that, “The collaborative effort between ASI and Liberty University not only provides an opportunity to share this information with a broader audience, but also gives the flight training industry an all-encompassing report in order to raise awareness and improve safety throughout the industry.”

General aviation continues to get safer, and McSpadden noted that we must also “acknowledge the tremendous accomplishments of the flight training industry in reducing the fatal accident rate below the overall GA rate.”

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