Civil Aviation Safety Even Better in 2006: NTSB

NTSB said yesterday that U.S. civil aviation safety continued to improve in 2006, with the number of accidents in all segments declining from 2005's totals. General aviation recorded fewer accidents and fatal accidents than in any other year in the 40 years of NTSB recordkeeping. "This is very good news," said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker, "but it is no reason to let down our guard. We need to build on this improving record with a continued emphasis on safety in all phases of aviation."

Major commercial air carriers continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. They carried 750 million passengers more than 8 billion miles while logging more than 19 million flight hours in 2006 and were involved in 31 total accidents, down more than 20 percent from 2005. Two of those 31 accidents were fatal, resulting in 50 deaths.

Major air carriers experienced in 2006, on average, only one accident every 266 million miles, 630,000 hours flown, or 368,000 departures. Fatal accidents occurred at a rate of .01 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. The 2006 statistical tables are available at www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Stats.htm.

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