Press release: “The state of civil aviation safety continued to improve in 2006, according to statistics released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. The number of accidents in all segments of civil aviation in 2006 were less than in 2005, with general aviation recording the lowest number of accidents and fatal accidents in the 40 years of NTSB record keeping…Major air carriers who operate larger aircraft and carry passengers and cargo between major airports continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. These commercial carriers, who are officially classified by federal regulations as operating under 14 CFR Part 121, carried 750 million passengers more than 8 billion miles while logging more than 19 million flight hours in 2006. At the same time, these carriers had 31 accidents, down more than 20 percent from 2005. Only 2 of the 31 accidents were fatal, resulting in 50 fatalities. Over the years, the number of major air carrier accidents has increased, primarily due to a substantial increase in flight activity. The number of flight hours logged by air carriers has almost doubled since 1987 and the number of departures has increased by 50 percent. Major air carriers experienced in 2006, on average, only 1 accident every 266 million miles, 630,000 hours flown, or 368,000 departures. Fatal accidents are rare events, occurring only .01 accidents per 100,000 flight hours or .018 accidents per 100,000 departures.”
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