Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

flight training, training safety, NTSB accidents


There were 7,500 safety events in the NTSB data sets from 2013-2018. These events were analyzed using Chi-square, Cramer’s V, and the odds ratio. Major findings in the study determined that while pilots crash aircraft for the same reasons whether they are in a training environment or not, student pilots are typically less likely to be killed, or seriously injured. The aircraft that student pilots fly however, do not share the same relative safety in some event types. Students destroy and substantially damage more aircraft than their non-training counterparts in abnormal runway contact events. The top five causes of safety events for all pilots are loss of control in flight, system component failure of the power plant, abnormal runway contact, fuel related issues, and loss of control on the ground. While the data analyzed in this study cannot explain the causation of these findings, they set the stage for further study of training accidents to determine possible explanations of these differences.

Building on findings in similar studies, this researcher suggests that annual flight reviews for general aviation pilots contain more scenario-based simulation under real flight conditions as is found in the training for part 121 operators. It is theorized that some of the safety found in the training environment may come not just from the supervision of the flight instructor, but also from the repeated practice and attention to safety procedures. General aviation has been plagued with a poor safety record for a long time with little to no progress in reducing safety events, and more importantly, fatalities. It is the hope of this researcher that findings from this study may help others to dig deeper into some of these issues and find areas of focus that may help reduce the risk of injury or death for general aviation pilots.



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