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Federal Aviation Administration Examines the Top Causes of Deadly General Aviation Accidents

July 31, 2019

UNITED STATES – According to an online news report from, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a report of the top causes of deadly accidents in general aviation from 2001 to 2015.  Loss of control tops the list.*

A loss of control can occur because an airplane goes at a speed that is outside of its normal flight envelope, which can cause a spin danger or a stall of the engine.  Per the FAA, there is one deadly accident that involves a loss of control every 5 and a ½ days.  An example of accidents involving a loss of control includes a deHavilland DHC-3T that crashed on June 25, 2015 close to Ketchikan, Alaska while on a sightseeing tour.  This accident resulted in several deaths, including the pilot. There are no further details on this accident.  It remains under investigation.

Notwithstanding, from 2008 to 2017, deadly plane crashes due to controlled flight into terrain, another major cause of general aviation crashes, were reduced by hal.

A reason behind why the numbers are lower is that the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, in addition to the Fly Safe outreach campaign, has sought to educate pilots on dangerous loss of control incidents.  The programs appear to be working given the reduction in loss of control accidents. For the first time in many years, preventing loss of control accidents was not on the list of the 2019 Most Wanted List by the National Transportation Safety Board.  

Overall, causes of aircraft accidents include the following:

  • Loss of control
  • Inclement weather
  • Controlled flight into terrain
  • Mechanical failures such as the engine
  • Lack of fuel
  • System component failure not related to the engine
  • Mid-air crashes
  • Low altitude conditions
  • Unintended flight into instrument meteorological conditions
  • Pilot error
  • Pilot health condition

Accident News is a driver safety and education initiative from Montlick & Associates, designed to help people better understand and thereby avoid common accident causes.  To learn more about our injury prevention programs, including - click here. We hope you are never in an accident, but if you or family member are injured, call Montlick & Associates 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or use our live chat at


* This blog is intended to provide the public with news concerning serious automobile accidents and related stories. Although we are receiving this information from news organizations, initial reports may be different from conclusions reached by law enforcement personnel and other organizations, upon further investigation. Therefore, the accuracy of the content is not guaranteed. The information published here is based on information that has already been reported by a news organization, or other sources, and we cannot and do not assume responsibility for its accuracy. The source that we utilized at the time is provided above. If this posting pertains to you or your family and you do not wish for it to be on our website, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to remove it, but when doing so, please include a link to the the article that you wish to be taken down.

Category: Accident News

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.