Fixed and rotary-wing aircraft accidents involving private operations


This study provides an overview of accidents involving private aircraft operations between 2001and 2005. With approximately 400,000 flying hours conducted annually, private flying accounts for around a quarter of general aviation activity. Within private operations, rotary-wing activitynow contributes about 10 per cent of all hours flown.

The accident rate in private aviation activities generally declined over the five-year study period, but the fatal accident rate for fixed-wing aircraft remained generally stable. There was an apparent increase in the rotary-wing fatal accident rate.

The pattern of accident types showed similarities for both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. Most accidents can be classified against a small number of accident types: collisions, loss of aircraft control, airframe, and powerplant issues. Additionally, collision accidents and those involving a loss of aircraft control account for most of the fatal accidents.

Differences between fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft occurrences are more apparent when accidents are examined by phase of flight. More than half of all fixed-wing accidents occur in the landing phase of flight, but manoeuvring and cruise are among the most common phases of flight for accidents involving rotary-wing aircraft. These phases of flight are also associated with fatal accidents.

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Author(s): ATSB
Publication date: 28 June 2007
Related: General Aviation
Last update 07 April 2014
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