...Guides AOPA Air Safety Foundation Outreach Efforts
The 2006 Joseph T. Nall Report, just
published by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air
Safety Foundation, offers the first detailed analysis of general
aviation (GA) accidents from 2005. The study helps safety advocates
target areas of concern.
“The Nall Report helps us identify problems and trends,
and develop educational programs to address those issues,”
said Bruce Landsberg (pictured below), executive director of the
Air Safety Foundation. “Based on the findings this year, in
2007 we will focus on trouble areas such as maneuvering flight and
The annual Nall Report is the first comprehensive look at the
previous year’s accident numbers, compiled from statistics
released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The total accident rate for 2005 is up (7.2 accidents per
100,000 flight hours in 2005 compared to 6.5 in 2004), and the
fatal accident rate is slightly up (1.4 vs. 1.3). Fatal weather
accidents declined relative to 2004. The majority of GA accidents
in 2005 – nearly 75 percent – were pilot-related, as
they have always been.
“While the sky certainly isn’t falling, the record that
we chalked up in 2005 could stand some improvement,” said
In 2004, there was a spike in the number of thunderstorm-related
accidents. As a result, the Air Safety Foundation produced its
popular Weather Wise: Thunderstorms and ATC Web-based seminar. In
2007, the Air Safety Foundation will continue its Weather Wise
“Although the total
number of weather-related accidents was down in 2005, the numbers
remain too high,” said Landsberg.
Takeoff and landing accidents, while usually not fatal, continue
to show up in the Nall Report in high numbers. In 2002, the Air
Safety Foundation focused on that area by producing a live seminar,
Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings, as well as a DVD based on
A significant finding of the 2006 Nall Report was the increase
in fatal maneuvering accidents; in 2005 there were 80 such
accidents versus 52 in 2004. Because maneuvering flight is
consistently one of the leading causes of fatal accidents, the Air
Safety Foundation created a seminar several years ago to educate
the pilot population about the risks associated with maneuvering
flight. An online version of the seminar will be added to the Air
Safety Foundation’s Web site in 2007.
Since many of these accidents involved poor pilot
decision-making, not lack of skill, the Air Safety Foundation will
continue sending a free DVD about decision-making to all
newly-rated private and instrument pilots in 2007. This marks the
8th year that the Air Safety Foundation has distributed free
courses to new pilots. The total outreach now exceeds 260,000
The most valuable aspect of the Nall Report is the opportunity
to learn from the mistakes of others. A new product from the Air
Safety Foundation in 2007 will allow pilots to do just that.
Accident case studies will be offered online to allow pilots to
dissect the events of individual accidents and explore what should
have been done differently.
Pilot education is helping to reduce the number of GA accidents.
According to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, 2006 may have the
best numbers yet. She told attendees at AOPA Expo in November that
this year is on track to be the safest year since record-keeping
began in 1939. She also presented AOPA Air Safety Foundation with
the first ever Thomas H. Wardleigh award for continuing leadership
and advocacy to improve aviation safety.