Aviation Occurrence Statistics 2006 to 2015

Why have we done this report

Thousands of safety occurrences involving Australian-registered and foreign aircraft are reported to the ATSB every year by individuals and organisations in Australia’s aviation industry, and by the public. The aim of the ATSB’s statistical report series is to give information back to pilots, operators, regulators, and other aviation industry participants on what accidents and incidents have happened, how often they are happening, and what we can learn from them.

What the ATSB found

In 2015, Australia had 31 fatalities and 32 serious injuries – 28 aircraft were involved in fatal accidents and a further 28 in an accident resulting in serious injuries. There was a total of 227 aircraft involved in accidents, and 185 involved in serious incidents (indicating an accident nearly occurred).

  • Commercial air transport had one fatality from nine accidents.
  • General aviation had 12 fatalities from 130 accidents.
  • Recreational aviation had 18 fatalities from 76 accidents.

For commercial air transport, 2015 had the lowest number of accidents in the study period (2006–2015). Seventeen of the 19 fatalities (2006–2015) involved aircraft conducting charter operations.

The majority of fatalities, in the 10‑year period, occurred within general aviation. Around 20 per cent of fatal accidents resulted from a loss of control.

Growth in recreational (non‑VH) flying and improving awareness of reporting requirements, led to more than a tenfold increase in the number of recreational safety incidents reported to the ATSB between 2006–2015.

The number of remotely piloted aircraft accidents and incidents increased significantly – from 14 occurrences within eight years (2006–2013) to 37 within the last two years (2014–2015) of the study period.

From 2006 to 2014 (activity data was not available for 2015), recreational aircraft, search and rescue, private/business and sports aviation, and aerial agriculture operation types had the highest fatal accident rates (per hours flown). For all accidents, the highest accident rates occurred with recreational aeroplanes, followed by aerial agriculture, private/business and sport aviation, and recreational gyrocopters.

  • Around 40 per cent of all recreational gyrocopter accidents resulted in fatalities and almost one‑quarter of weight shift aircraft accidents were fatal.
  • The highest general aviation accident rate in the study period was in 2014. However, that year also had the lowest fatal accident rate.
  • In 2014, the flying training accident rate was more than double that of any year in the previous eight.


Activity data

Occurrences by operation type

Occurrences by aircraft type

Occurrence types: what happened

Data sources and submissions



Type: Statistical Publication
Investigation number: AR-2016-122
Publication date: 11 January 2017
Publication number: AR-2016-122
Last update 26 June 2017
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