The United States maintains one of the largest and most diverse general aviation (GA) industries. However, GA results in hundreds of fatalities each year; thus, increasing safety and preventing accidents are the core values of the GA industry. This research lays the foundation for more work to be completed in order for GA to remain safe, efficient and have their needs met. The findings explain the current trends of GA accidents compared to commercial aviation, the differences in operational strategies between the two types, efforts that have been made by the Federal Aviation Administration (and others) to improve GA, and finally, recommended alternatives for improving GA safety using commercial aviation operational strategies. As a result of this study, recommendations to the stakeholders in the GA community include: (1) embracing in-cockpit technology to not only enable safer operations in crowded skies, but also permit reliable data collection on GA trends for data-driven decision making; (2) offering valuable incentives for pilots to undergo quality recurrent and safety training, while also eliminating loopholes or incentives that compromise safety; and (3) instituting a system of checks and balances to ensure pilots have a sufficient safety net from human error.
general aviation, accident
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