Overall Aviation Accident Fatalities Decrease in 2007

The National Transportation Safety Board yesterday released preliminary aviation accident statistics for 2007 that show an overall decrease in fatalities of 30 percent, the lowest in more than 40 years.

"The U.S. aviation industry has produced an admirable safety record in recent years," said Mark V. Rosenker, NTSB chairman. "However, we must not become complacent. We must continue to take the lessons learned from our investigations and use them to create even safer skies for all aircraft operators and their passengers."

While the overall number of general aviation accidents rose from 1,518 in 2006 to 1,631 in 2007, the number of fatalities in 2007 was down from 703 to 491.

NTSB's statistics show that in 2007, there were 24 nonfatal accidents involving Part 121 airlines--aircraft with 10 or more seats--and one fatality involving a nonscheduled Part 121 aircraft, in which a mechanic was fatally injured while working on a Boeing 737 in Tunica, Miss.

No fatalities occurred among Part 135 commuter operators--fewer than 10 seats. However, on-demand--charters, air taxis, air tours, and medical services when a patient is on board--Part 135 operations reported 43 fatalities, 62 accidents, and 14 fatal accidents, up from the 16 fatalities that occurred in 2006.

Foreign registered aircraft accounted for 11 accidents in the United States in 2007, with three fatalities from a single fatal accident. Of the 14 accidents involving unregistered aircraft, six were fatal and resulted in seven fatalities.

The 2007 statistical tables can be found at www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Stats.htm.

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