Fatalities from general aviation aircraft accidents decreased overall last year amid broad pandemic-induced reductions in flight activity, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s release this week of preliminary 2020 U.S. civil aviation accident rates. These statistics include 15 accidents involving U.S.-registered general aviation aircraft that occurred outside of the U.S.
Most accident deaths last year occurred during non-commercial general aviation operations, in which 332 people were killed, compared with 414 in 2019. The fatal GA accident rate fell last year to 1.049 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, down from 1.064 in 2019.
Accidents in on-demand Part 135 operations, including one involving a turboprop, claimed 21 lives last year, down from 32 in 2019. Notably, data shows there were no Part 135 on-demand fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered turbojets or turbofans in 2020 and 2019. However, Part 135 commuter operations suffered one fatal accident—involving a Piper PA32-300 piston single—that claimed five people.
The 2020 statistics include NTSB investigations that are still ongoing because the probable causes for all the accidents and fatalities last year have yet to be determined.