Jump to Content
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development logo

Monograph 7 – Benchmarking general aviation fatal accidents in Australia

Summary

General aviation broadly comprises all civil aviation activity other than scheduled airline operations and is a major component of total aviation activity in Australia. This monograph provides an analysis of fatal accident trends in Australia and compares these with similar trends for the USA and Canada.

Benchmarking measures

The analysis focuses on fatal accidents and fatalities rather than all accidents as benchmarking measures. This is because the definition of general aviation accidents and the frequency of reporting varies substantially from country to country. In order to benchmark Australia’s general aviation safety record it is necessary to find a common definition of accidents across countries.

Currently fatal accidents are the only type of accidents that have a common definition and are equally reported in Australia, the US and Canada. Reported fatal accidents and fatalities are therefore used as a measure of overall general aviation safety.

Main points

  • Australia’s general aviation fatal accident rate has declined from 1.41 fatal accidents per 100 000 flight hours in 1990 to 1.00 fatal accidents per 100 000 flight hours in 2000
  • Australia’s general aviation fatal accident rate per 100 000 flight hours for the year 2000 was the lowest of the three countries reported.
  • Australia’s general aviation fatal accident rate per 100 000 flight hours has been below the Canadian and US rate for all years except for 1994 and 1998.
  • Australia’s general aviation fatality rate per 100 000 flight hours has been below the Canadian and US rate for all years except for 1990 and 1999.
  • In recent years the Canadian and US rates have improved and are closer to Australia’s rates.

Table 1:

Reported general aviation fatal accidents per 100 000 flight hours, 1990 to 2000.

Calendar year Australia Canada USA
1990 1.41 1.87 1.55
1991 1.20 2.79 1.56
1992 1.51 1.99 1.80
1993 1.29 2.01 1.75
1994 1.47 1.28 1.81
1995 1.25 2.19 1.65
1996 1.28 1.64 1.45
1997 0.92 1.55 1.38
1998 1.22 1.21 1.45
1999 1.14 1.18 1.16
2000 1.00 1.29 1.11

Table 2:

Reported general aviation fatalities per 100 000 flight hours, 1990 to 2000

Calendar year Australia Canada USA
1990 3.00 3.73 2.69
1991 2.57 4.63 2.84
1992 2.97 3.15 3.46
1993 2.70 3.98 3.23
1994 2.99 3.01 3.26
1995 2.10 4.13 2.95
1996 2.39 2.61 2.54
1997 1.52 3.22 2.52
1998 2.45 2.96 2.49
1999 2.17 2.32 2.14
2000 1.81 2.15 1.92

Data Sources

Australia: Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)
USA: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Canada: Transportation Safety Board (TSB)

Note

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board estimated Canadian hours flown data for the years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. The ATSB estimated Australian hours flown data for the year 2000.

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Sub Type: ATSB Monograph
Publication Date: 01/05/01

Bookmark and Share

Print

Last Updated: 6 May, 2013