Experimental Aircraft Accidents Decline

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Wanttaja

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I generally dislike making statements that one year had more or fewer accidents that the previous one. The number of accidents every year will vary naturally. There's little to be inferred from comparing the numbers between years.

Here's the fatal accident statistics for 1998-2018. I run my analysis on a calendar-year basis (not fiscal year like the FAA).
1605672562182.png
Ron Wanttaja
 

Vigilant1

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COVID certainly reduced E-AB hours over the last 9 months at least, right? There are a lot of folks with less disposable income, a reduction in fly-ins, etc. Seems strange that the article doesn't mention it, as it is certainly the elephant in the room.
 

Vigilant1

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It would hold more value as a statistic if it was in relationship with hours flown?
That "denominator problem" is a nagging issue in all the E-AB stats. Ron has found some clever work-arounds that help, but it is still a problem. There's no hard data on how many hours are flown.
 

Dusan

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I generally dislike making statements that one year had more or fewer accidents that the previous one. The number of accidents every year will vary naturally. There's little to be inferred from comparing the numbers between years.

Here's the fatal accident statistics for 1998-2018. I run my analysis on a calendar-year basis (not fiscal year like the FAA).
View attachment 104271
Ron Wanttaja
There is also a report stating the number of hour flown has declined, I cannot find it right now, so no hard data, but if it's true, the stats for accidents per flight hour might be constant.
 

Wanttaja

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Here's the annual average flying time from the FAA's 2018 General Aviation Survey.
Year
All Fixed Wing​
All Single-Engine Piston​
Amateur-Built​
2012
117.1​
88.8​
45.0​
2013
116.0​
86.1​
44.8​
2014
114.4​
82.5​
44.2​
2015
116.9​
87.7​
47.2​
2016
121.0​
91.5​
43.4​
2017
121.3​
92.8​
46.5​
2018
126.0​
92.9​
41.5​

Ron Wanttaja
 

N804RV

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Here's the annual average flying time from the FAA's 2018 General Aviation Survey.
Year
All Fixed Wing​
All Single-Engine Piston​
Amateur-Built​
2012
117.1​
88.8​
45.0​
2013
116.0​
86.1​
44.8​
2014
114.4​
82.5​
44.2​
2015
116.9​
87.7​
47.2​
2016
121.0​
91.5​
43.4​
2017
121.3​
92.8​
46.5​
2018
126.0​
92.9​
41.5​

Ron Wanttaja
Ron, is that airframe or pilot? If that's airframe hours, I shudder to think what pilot hours are.

80-90hrs a year seem like a good proficiency minimum to me.
 

blane.c

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From my experience based on the time I spent in Alaska most of the general aviation pilot time comes from a few touch and goes in the week or two preceding hunting season followed by a brief flurry of activity (and accidents) during hunting season and that is about it.
 

Wanttaja

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Ron, is that airframe or pilot? If that's airframe hours, I shudder to think what pilot hours are.

80-90hrs a year seem like a good proficiency minimum to me.
Airframe. One can probably assume that all the yearly hours of most EAB are flown by a single pilot, though.

Keep in mind that the "All Fixed Wing" and "Single Engine Piston" columns include a considerable percentage of hours flown commercially. About 60% of the flying is business or commercial operation.

Still, by the FAA survey, the average Cessna 172 owner flies ~90 hours a year, while the average RV-10 owner flies 40. Yes, it doesn't make sense. My rough approximation (based on accident reports) says the RV-10s are closer to 80 hours a year, but who the heck am I....

Ron Wanttaja
 

N804RV

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From my experience based on the time I spent in Alaska most of the general aviation pilot time comes from a few touch and goes in the week or two preceding hunting season followed by a brief flurry of activity (and accidents) during hunting season and that is about it.
Yeah, did some flying up around Anchorage and Talkeetna a couple of years ago. Judging from what I saw up there of what I assume were privately owned GA aircraft, I'd say that sounds about right.
 

blane.c

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If you fly two hours to get a $100 hamburger and two hours back home and weather and family co-operate so you can do it once a month it is about 48 hours a year. For most private pilots that is a lot of commitment.
 

TFF

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Once the kids are teens, it will be hit or miss. Utility is also location. Selling the $100 burger instead of eating local is the secret or for fewer trips dinner and an overnight. My friends wife would make dinner reservations, his job was to fly there. Based in Memphis, they would go to Nashville, StLouis, Little Rock, Birmingham or Gulf Coast. Learn where the free airport cars are. Pop gets to fly, Mom gets special dinner. You have to be a salesman; a wife has no understanding until she learns it can take her different places to spend money. Saw this family once at the fuel pumps. Clearly the guy was building time, but their Mooney was a minivan. Kid seats in the back with pop tart crumbs on the floor and stuffed animals everywhere. They probably flew home to the wife’s parents every other weekend. He got time; she got to go home.
 

robertl

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I have yet to get my wife in the cockpit of my Cessna 150, she said maybe, if I rent a 172. That's ok though, I like flying by myself, and there are my airport buddies that will fly at the drop of a hat.
Bob
 

gtae07

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I’d bet those FAA numbers are an average that include flight school and rental airplanes (which I suspect in “normal times” probably flew at least a couple hundred hours a year).

I wonder what the numbers look like for individual/partnership-owned light aircraft, excluding all the commercial/rental/training/business use ones. Or the hours per person for those flying recreationally/not for hire.

Anecdotally I think the RVs at KFFC (Dad’s home field) probably fly more as a total group than all the other aircraft on the field combined, especially now that the flight school went under. Pretty sure there are at least a few planes on the ramp there that haven’t flown since I was a student pilot 19 years ago.
 

Wanttaja

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I’d bet those FAA numbers are an average that include flight school and rental airplanes (which I suspect in “normal times” probably flew at least a couple hundred hours a year).

I wonder what the numbers look like for individual/partnership-owned light aircraft, excluding all the commercial/rental/training/business use ones. Or the hours per person for those flying recreationally/not for hire.
A song I've been singing for years. A fair comparison of homebuilt accident rates should be to privately-owned aircraft operated for recreation.

Chapter 3 of the 2018 FAA General Aviation Survey has a section which gives the number of active aircraft in a number of operational categories, as well as an estimate of their total hours flown. I've combined them to produce an estimate for annual hours:

Use
Active Aircraft​
Est. Total Hours​
Average Hours/Year​
Total Active
143,040​
13,785,388​
96.4​
Personal
107,726​
5,779,255​
53.6​
Business w/o crew
11,699​
1,154,907​
98.7​
Business w/crew
1,237​
151,967​
122.9​
Instructional
14,221​
5,044,475​
354.7​
Aerial App Ag
760​
100,907​
132.8​
Aerial Obs
2,139​
578,093​
270.3​
Other Work
377​
119,017​
315.7​
Sight See
232​
60,155​
259.3​
Air Med
175​
25,422​
145.3​
Other
2,933​
340,812​
116.2​
On-Demand Air Taxi
1,331​
364,026​
273.5​
On-Demand Air Tours
106​
43,960​
414.7​

Note that "Personal" use comes out at about 53 hours a year....not that far off from the Estimate for EAB in Chapter 2 of the survey (41.6 hours).

(The "On Demand" categories are listed as Part 135 operations...not sure why they're included).

Ron Wanttaja
 

spikews

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Billings, Mo. USA

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