Updated February 20, 2020

How Common Are Aviation Accidents and Injuries?

Although flying is one of the safest means of transportation, aviation accidents happen more often than one would think. While we typically hear more about commercial plane crashes because of their size, recognizable names, and popularity, general aviation accidents actually occur more frequently than commercial aviation accidents.

Commercial aviation aircraft are typically larger, flown by experienced pilots for profit, and carry more passengers. On the other hand, general aviation aircraft are typically smaller and are used recreationally.

Regardless of the type of aviation, during the investigation of an accident, our pilot attorneys often fly the same flight path as the one in question in a similar aircraft to understand the potential causes and develop the strongest case.

What are some Aviation Accident Statistics?

Aviation accidents may involve private, military, and commercial airplanes or helicopters. According to the Federal Aviation Administration:

  • In 2017, 347 people died in 209 general aviation accidents
  • Amateur-built and other experimental aircraft were involved in almost 25% of U.S. fatal general aviation accidents over the past five years and account for an estimated 5% of total general aviation fleet hours

Additionally, the leading causes of fatal aviation accidents between 2001 and 2016 include:

  • Loss of control in-flight
  • Controlled flight into terrain
  • System component failure
  • Fuel-related
  • Unknown or undetermined
  • Unintended flight in IMC (instrument meteorological conditions)
  • Midair collisions
  • Low-altitude operations

What are the Total number of U.S. Accidents?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, accident data is as follows:

  • 2001-05 Baseline: 184 accidents, 29 fatal accidents, 55 fatalities
  • 2013: 146 accidents, 30 fatal accidents, 62 fatalities
  • 2014: 138 accidents, 21 fatal accidents, 37 fatalities
  • 2015: 121 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 28 fatalities
  • 2016: 108 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 29 fatalities

Contact an Aviation Accident Attorney Today

Two of our attorneys at WKW are licensed pilots with a wide range of ratings and experience. Both pilots hold a commercial license, flight engineer certificate, instrument and multi-engine aircraft ratings as well as flight experience in Boeing 727s and many private aircraft.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving any type of aircraft, our legal team and aviation experts can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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