We Must Meet FAA Safety Targets

The eternal frustration for anyone who has studied general aviation safety statistics is the complete lack of reliable data on exposure. We know with reasonable accuracy how many accidents occur each year, and we know with even better certainty how many of those wrecks cause a fatality. But how many hours were flown, how many airplanes were active, how many takeoffs and landings, or any other activity data for the general aviation fleet is a guess at best.

The accident rates – number of accidents per 100,000 hours of flying – that you see in reports from the FAA and NTSB are based on an annual general aviation activity survey the FAA conducts. The survey is now conducted primarily online instead of through the mail and it asks a selected minority of registered airplane owners how much they flew in the last year, under IFR, night, number of landings, and so on. The survey asks for answers to all of the questions I have, but I don’t believe in the results. 

After owning an airplane continuously for at least 25 years and never having been selected to participate in the activity survey, I have been selected each year for the past 10 years. I don’t know why that happened. Maybe because I have completed the survey each time I was asked that puts me into some sort of favored list of reliable responders. But if I’m answering the survey every year, and my patterns of flying vary little, that means other airplane owner-pilots are being left out.

I think the biggest problem with the survey is that it asks for “facts” that are part of an emotionally driven topic – how much you fly. Ask a person how much they drive each year and you get a pretty unemotional answer because nobody finds extra status in driving more or less. But ask a pilot how much he flies and you are way into status territory. You might as well ask us how much we weigh, or little we drink or smoke, or how big our, well, you-know-what is. How big is our hangar? What do you think I meant?

The FAA in its survey tries to eliminate the emotional component by instructing us to collect up log books and do the math before answering. But I confess, I don’t do that. I just wing it. I come close, I think, but I bet if I do err it’s on the side of flying more than I really do.

When all of those survey errors line up in the same direction the results are a number of hours flown that is inflated by who knows how much. I once did the math of how many total hours pilots reported they had flown and compared that to the number of hours the survey found the fleet of airplanes had flown. All I can say is that there are many pilots flying hours in something other than airplanes because the pilot hours totaled to a much larger number than the reported hours flown by airplanes.

The Nall report, published by the AOPA Air Safety Institute, looks at accident and safety trends among all categories of non-commercial aircraft

When it comes to the airlines the FAA and NTSB have very accurate records on the number of hours and departures flown so accident rates for the airlines are precise and reliable. Even in automotive safety data the results are reasonably reliable because the sample is so huge and exposure data is collected by many sources including insurance companies, state regulators, and manufacturers. But in general aviation we just don’t know with reasonable certainty how many accidents happen per unit of exposure.

A couple years ago the FAA acknowledged how unreliable its accident rate data is – particularly for experimental aircraft – and decided to change its focus to reducing the total number of accidents no matter what exposure may be. That makes perfect sense because information on how much experimental airplanes fly is the least reliable of all, but the count of fatal accidents is as accurate for experimentals as for any other category of airplanes.

Since 1989 the number of fatal accidents for all of general aviation has been in steady decline from 487 in 1989 to 268 last year. I believe there have been some improvements in GA safety over those years, but there has also been a very steep drop in flying activity. But nobody knows for sure how much activity dropped, but we do know there are almost half as many fatal accidents in all of GA compared to 20 years ago.

It is a very different picture for the experimental airplane fatal accident count. There were 57 fatal accidents of all types of experimental aircraft in 1989 but the total hit 88 in 2009. The fatal accidents were down to 65 last year, but for the 20-year period the number of fatal accidents involving experimentals has grown at least slightly while the total for all of GA has dropped significantly.

In an attempt to be fair to those flying experimental aircraft the FAA decided to set a metric – a numerical goal – based on fatal accidents without an attempt to guess at an accident rate. The baseline number of fatal crashes per year for all experimentals for the past five years is 73. To meet the FAA’s overall goal of a 5 percent annual improvement in safety the “not to exceed” fatal accident number for fatal accidents in experimentals for this year is 70.

The “year” is the federal government’s fiscal year that begins on October 1, so we have only a couple of weeks to go to the end of this year. The good news is that fatal experimental accidents are below the not to exceed total of 70, but just barely. I don’t have the latest count but a couple more accidents will put us over the goal.

Using all experimental aircraft to establish the safety metric is a bit unfair to amateur-built airplanes because there are accidents involving experimental exhibition airplanes and developmental airplanes from manufacturers. But the huge majority of accidents in the overall category are AB so that is where the risk lies and improvement must come.

What happens if the fatal accident count by the end of September exceeds 70? Nothing specific, but you can be sure there will be more scrutiny of experimental flying and the potential for new regulation.

I think the safety metric based on accident count is reasonable and is at least definable, something missing in the past. While it would be great to eliminate accidents, the realistic goal is to show improvement. If the accident total trends the wrong way, it will be very difficult to defend.

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31 Responses to We Must Meet FAA Safety Targets

  1. Howard Alan Kave says:

    Years ago I read an article somewhere wherein the author suggested what seemed to me a foolproof method for the FAA to acquire accurate information about the number of hours flown by the entire GA fleet. The author suggested that, as all GA aircraft must undergo an annual mechanical inspection in order to maintain airworthiness, the A/I doing the work could simply be required to report the tach time (or Hobbs time I suppose) for the aircraft to the FAA, perhaps on a post card with the postage paid by the government. That would take care of the information gathering part of the task. Then, on the next annual, the total hours flown by that aircraft would be known with great precision…no estimating needed. Aircraft type, number of engines, undercarraige status, etc. would also be known if that data was required to be reported (and would be required only once for each tail number). There would be some analysis required by the FAA, but that would replace the fanciful speculation efforts desribed by you that is now the rule. The mechanics might grumble a bit, but how much time would it take to enter tail number, type, and hours on a postcard?
    I brought this idea to the attention of a very well known, and very saavy, national aviation leader. He smiled and asked me what I thought might be the headline in “USA Today” when the FAA released the new, revised accident rate statistics, if, as we both assumed, the fact was that the fleet flies a great deal less than the FAA now estimates. When our per hour accident rate doubled, overnight, we would be sorry to have such accurate data. I suspect that may be the real reason that we still guess at the denominator of the accident rate equation.

    • Mac says:

      Hi Howard,

      Aviation writer Richard Collins has long promoted the idea of making a flying hours report a part of each annual inspection. For the price of a postcard, as he has often written, the FAA and NTSB could know with good reliability how many hours were flown legally in general aviation airplanes. But as you say, the idea over many decades has gone nowhere.

      The FAA has taken a step somewhat in that direction with its requirement to re-register airplanes on a regular schedule. That process has just begun and will take a year to cycle through. Under the previous system an airplane remained registered until it was unregistered and I am certain many owners, or their family, never took the time to unregister an airplane once it was no longer active, or maybe even still existing. It will be interesting to see how much the registered fleet size shrinks when the re-registration is complete.

      Mac Mc

      • Howard Alan Kave says:

        Mac:
        Thanks so much for getting this monkey off my back.
        While I would have liked to have thought that the idea of requiring a report of hours at annual originated with me, given it’s brilliance, I know that it was someone else’s genius, not mine. I just could not ever remember whose.
        I was/am a regular subscriber of Flying and would always devour Dick’s columns, right after devouring yours.
        So it was Dick after all.
        Whatever, whomever….right is right.
        What, by the way, did/do you think of the idea and why do you beleive the FAA never picked up on it?

  2. Mac, is it my imagination, or does that accident graph show a significant surge of accidents coincident with AirVenture 2011?

    • Mac says:

      Hi Mike,

      All general aviation flying is seasonal, very seasonal compared to the airline and business fleet. So accident totals drop drastically in the winter and then jump in the summer months. The seasonality is more pronounced for A-B airplanes because many are not suited for cold weather flying, or IFR. There is probably a spike in accidents around AirVenture time because A-B flying is more concentrated then, but AirVenture also falls in the summer at the peak of the flying season so I would expect to see the most accidents in July and August in any case.

      Mac Mc

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  4. Jim Oeffinger says:

    With the rapid growth in the number of A-B aircraft flying, it is logical that the number of hours flown by A-B have also increased. It would be interesting to see statistics based on accidents per registered aircraft. Those numbers should be significantly more accurate than our estimated hours flown, and will get even better as the re-registration process continues. My guess is that it would show an improving trend. Of course there might be a little up tick as the non flying ones are removed from the registration list via the re-registration process. While not definitive, it would still be an indicator of safety trends.

  5. Mac says:

    Jeff,

    Your observation is correct. The number of registered A-B aircraft has increased dramatically over the period. And it does seem logical that more airplanes would increase exposure so the accident rate could actually improve even though the accident total increases.

    Here’s the problem. The number of conventional airplanes on the registration list also increased during the 20-year period, but the fatal accident count for those airplanes dropped a lot, almost half. The growth in the size of the overall fleet is small compared to the A-B list, but still, the question is does the number of registered airplanes indicate activity? If so, why the difference in accident trends?

    We all believe the number of flying hours for all of general aviation has declined over the past 20 years, but we have no solid data. If we choose to use fleet size to measure exposure to risk, then conventional airplanes are making great strides in safety because the registered fleet is not shrinking but fatal accident counts are. Clearly the number of registered airplanes–of either conventional or A-B–does not tell a complete or accurate story of risk exposure.

    Mac Mc

  6. Thomas Boyle says:

    If the accident number doesn’t come in below this target, FAA will make new regulation – based on what?

    • Mac says:

      Hi Thomas,

      I did not say the FAA will make regulatory changes if the safety goals are not met, I said that would lead to the potential for the FAA to make changes. Since both the FAA and NTSB have made improving general aviation safety–with an emphasis on A-B safety–a priority it’s impossible to know what rules changes could come out of a failure to meet safety improvement metrics. As for what any rule change would be based on, that’s easy–to make GA and A-B flying safer, and the FAA gets to determine what that is. Bottom line, who knows? But I hope we don’t find out.

      Mac Mc

      • Thomas Boyle says:

        “Based on admittedly no information, we have determined that we must do something.

        “This is something.

        “Therefore, this must be done.”

        I’ve long said that the FAA is a better class of regulator, for all its many excesses, and I’d hope it wouldn’t fall victim to this classic style of regulatory “logic.” It’s not far from this to “we must prevent aviation accidents; therefore, we must prevent aviation.”

        On the other hand, if there are higher rates of mechanical failures in E-AB, that might be a topic to attack, whether through regulation or persuasion/awareness.

  7. Ed says:

    So Mac, you’re writing about homebuilt safety. How many have you owned? Which ones? Which ones flown as PIC? Which ones have you taken a ride in? Take credit for your experience!

  8. Mac says:

    Hi Ed,

    This issue has nothing to do with me flying a homebuilt. It is only about a fatal accident total for all experimentals, including homebuilts. The FAA and NTSB have made reducing accidents in all of GA a priority. Everyone who flies a homebuilt faces the task of doing so more safely if the fatal accident total is going to drop.

    Mac Mc

  9. Jim Oeffinger says:

    Okay, I’ve never put much faith in these numbers in the first place and the more I think about them the less sense they make. Mac, speaking of the survey you say “…it asks a selected minority of registered airplane owners how much they flew in the last year…”. I have responded to this survey several times and right now I don’t recall if it asks about the hours the pilot flew or the aircraft flew. Since the referenced survey is directed to owners I’m thinking it is asking about the plane, not the pilot. Unless you fly only one plane and you are the only one flying that plane, it does make a difference, and it can be a very big difference. Also it seems that the total number of hours are figured by taking the average from the survey and multiplying it times the number of registered aircraft. If so then as the registration database is cleaned up we will end up with fewer aircraft and therefore fewer total hours flown. But the number of accidents will not have changed. So the rate will go up. If the survey was purely random, and everyone responded, these “bad registrations” would be accounted for as 0 hours per year planes. However, if the registration is not valid the “owner” isn’t going to respond is he? Also, total PIC hours should always exceed total aircraft hours. No plane flys without a PIC but more than one pilot can log PIC time for the same hour flown (e.g., a properly rated pilot and his/her instructor).

  10. Marc says:

    Mac,
    Give it up already! Mark Twain knew that there were only three kinds of lies: (plain) lies, damned lies, and statistics. Why base your stellar career on tweaking the latter of these three types? Reality Check indicates that reliable and tested stats are not, will not be, and cannot be, forthcoming with respect to A-B (even E or E/A-B) aircraft – as a subset of GA – no matter what heinous reporting requirements the “Admin’r” places upon us. I recommend you focus your retired efforts on advice to the masses of those of us less experienced than you to (a) build better airplanes, (b) be better pilots, and (c) communicate to the community that safety is not only everyone’s concern, it’s by far the primary concern for how we prepare our aircraft, ourselves, and our decision-making processes for each and every flight we undertake. Fly Safely!

  11. Hi Mac,
    Maybe you can help me out. I would like to know where I could find the stats for the primary cause of accidents for the experimental guys. I perform about 40 AB certifications a year and would use the data to concentrate on when I inspect the aircraft. Since 2003, when achieving the DAR status, I have lost one soul- due to a medical problem he had, specifically a aortal stint, unknown to me at certification. I still have episodes of “how could I have prevented this loss”. My personal #1 regimen when I inspect an AB is the fuel system. Did he flush the system at least 4-5 times? Did he examine/change the filter? Did he blow out the fuel lines? Are the lines secure? I just recently smelled fuel and dicovered cracked sealent around a fuel tank connecting feed line of an AB. No amount of FAA paperwork will keep an airplane from falling out of the sky.

    • Robert Miller says:

      Hello,
      My are we big Boys, I haven’t heard of what info is taken from an ACCEDENT REPORT. Don’t that report give the aircraft time flown, Pilot time in same aircraft. Piilot All Time Flown, Type of airplane,etc. etc.etc. Does this info exclude the hundreds and seperate type of flight tipe of pilot LOw Time , or Low extra small aircraft flown by a JJET MAN.>> I believe this info should be used. and keep those goobs of pilots that FLY GREAT< and SAFTLY OUT OF THE MIX. In Auto acc. the drunks get into problems, the young go to fast. The most people hear is that those people cause most of the problems taken from groupping them together, and that isn't fare either as mechanial, Weather, total cars in that area at that time,congestion day/night. The best anyone can do is to report bad people, help out those that don't do to good , and push SAFTY Everywhere WE as a single personal one on one make the best practices work. Take the KEYS Away from those who can't or will not obay. good SaFTY.
      Thanks
      crazybob

    • Mac says:

      Hi Frank,

      There is not a data base that tracks the typical cause of an A-B accident. You can search the NTSB data base of accident reports for causes but it is not very successful. The data base does not do a consistent job of identifying A-B, particularl in pulling A-B out of the overall experimental category.

      The AOPA Nall report relies mostly on computer searches of the NTSB data base and you can look at it for some guidance. However, the only really reliable method is to go to the NTSB monthly file of accident reports and start looking at reports from at least a year ago to find final reports that contain a probable cause. Then you have to at least skim through each report to find the circumstances around the accident.

      Even when you do that the results are often frustrating because the probable cause is usually “pilot lost control for undetermined reasons” or “engine failed for undetermined reasons” and the always common contributing factor is “terrain and trees.”

      Loss of power is alarmingly common in A-B accidents, but documented structural failure is not. But what if any role flying qualities played in all of those “loss of control” accidents is impossible to know, but it certainly must be part of the cause.

      Without voice and data recorders, and usually without reliable witnesses, the investigators are typically left with nothing but wreckage to examine. Wreckage can often reveal the failure of the airplane, but wreckage almost never tells us what the pilot did or didn’t do.

      Bests,

      Mac Mc

  12. William Crowl says:

    Trying to use a dimensionless number (absolute number of accidents) to evaluate safety is like trying to measure how big your (hanger) is with a rubber band. The only way accidents make sense in a safety context is when measured as a rate.

    The overwhelming majority of civil aviation accidents are pilot related and the pilot is where the solution lies so the rate statistic should measure something useful as it relates to the cause. For civil aviation (notice I did not say “General Aviation”, “Corporate Aviation”, or “Transport Aviation”) the only statistic that makes sense is ‘pilot flight cycles’ per accident (The number of times a given pilot took off and landed per measurement unit, in this case “annually recorded” so per year). It’s easilly tracked (pilots log landings), credible (nobody has to fudge), and meaningful (most civil accidents happen during take off and landing, not when the Hobbs meter ticks over or when we turn the page on the calendar, and it can be broken down by individual pilot in the case of an accident to draw a meaningful conclusion related to cause).

    ‘Pilot flight cycles’ doesn’t match off against accident rates measured in other branches of aviation but it is meaningful information in the context of the activity of civil aviation. Trying to evaluate civil aviation safety by flight hour doesn’t work, it doesn’t measure anything useful, it is difficult to measure accurately even if just from the point of view of internal consistency, and it is designed to make civil aviation look bad relative to other forms of aviation that have far fewer flight cycles per flight hour.

    It’s my opinion that the EAA would do well to stop playing along with a government body that has always sought to make general aviation look bad relative to commercial aviation and seeks to do all the more so in the era of “homeland security”. The EAA should insist on meaningful safety statistics, particularly as they relate to Experimental aircraft because meaningless statistics facilitate meaningless conclusions which is where this initiative appears to be headed.

    • Mac says:

      Hi William,

      The EAA constantly points out that A-B aircraft fly very different flight cycles and patterns that conventional airplanes do. A typical A-B aircraft makes more takeoffs and landings per hour than does, say, a business jet so that makes the safety exposure different, for example. Because of differences such as takeoff and landing frequency an hour of flight in various types of GA airplanes, including A-B, add up to different risk exposure. So, even if we knew the exact number of hours each type of GA airplane was flying, the risk exposure would not be the same per hour for all types.

      The FAA is searching for a way to account for those differences when it sets a safety metric. Using total fatal accidents as the safety goal this year is an interim step on the way to a more refined and meaningful metric. I don’t know what type of exposure measurement will eventually be devised, but it will be difficult to establish. So for now the objective is to have fewer fatal accidents, and who can argue against that?

      Mac Mc

  13. Mike says:

    I wonder what the data would show if the GA pilots, flying production aircraft, were only allowed to fly aircraft they had never flown before on their own.(usually high performance). Can you say test pilot. Hopefully, the new policy on letters of deviation will help. In the end its all about training and check outs when it comes to AB an accidents.

    • William Crowl says:

      Excellent point! There is very little difference between a landing accident involving an ATP rated pilot flying a type certified tail wheel aircraft recently purchased vs a landing accident involving a PP rated pilot flying an E-AB certified tail wheel aircraft recently built (and tailwheel landing accidents are often fatal).

      If the ‘pilot flight cycle’ metric were applied both accidents would rise to the top of a quick quantified search. But, what might be more revealing is that because of their relatively small representation in the currently operational fleet and very limited utilization rate type certified tail wheel airplanes might very well be revealed as less safe than E-AB certified tail wheel airplanes.

      That however might spoil some conventional preconceptions of safe vs unsafe which I believe is why this metric is scrupulously avoided.

  14. James Butler says:

    It seems the FAA is including the initial flight phase for E-AB aircraft along with the rest of the life history of the airplane. To have a valid comparison, shouldn’t they then also include the flight testing period from the first flight of all type certified aircraft as well? By definition, each experimental aircraft is a new design, each with modifications by the builder that may or may not be aeronautically wise. However, historically, that is how great strides in aviation have been made.

    Wouldn’t a better comparison be gained by evaluating the flight time after the initial flight testing has been flown off, as well as the time after a modification to the experimental as compared to the flight time of a type certified aircraft?

    To my way of thinking, including the initial flights of an experimental is an unfair comparrison and will not bring much value to the discussion.

  15. Mac says:

    Hi James,

    Actually, the FAA safety metric includes all experimental airplanes, not just A-B. So prototype testing by manufacturers or modifiers is also included along with A-B. There are few crashes of developmental airplanes by manufacturers, but this year there was a major loss when a prototype of the extremely long range new Gulfstream G650 crashed during engine-out takeoff performance testing.

    Mac Mc

  16. Mike says:

    Using nonsensical data to provide graphical images does not advance the safety of aviation. Again we are comparing apples to oranges. Unless the situation is exactly the same between the experimental flight and the general aviation flight, which it cannot be, then the discussion should be based on total accidents within general aviation, and no merit given to the difference between experimental and production aircraft.
    The only numbers that matter in this report is the target number provided. But that target number again should include general aviation. We would all be happy to see an overall decline in the number of accidents in general aviation.
    We can’t go to an airport and rent a complex airplane without a checked out. So why do we insist on flying a brand-new experimental aircraft with the same complexities without training.
    Most pilots average 50 hours per year if they are lucky. This is not nearly enough flying to stay current much less expect to be able to to deal with unexpected complexities of flying an experimental aircraft that has never been flown and has unknown flying qualities.
    So once again I will say, this statistical data means little given its development. What we need to lower of that annual accident rate number, is more training and checkouts for our home builders. As I stated before, hopefully the new policy on issuing letters of deviation for home built aircraft will allow for this training and reduced this number.
    Mike

  17. Mike says:

    Oh and by the way, prototype testing by manufacturers or people modifying certified designs, should definitely not be included in those experimental numbers if that in fact is the way the FAA is going to do those numbers. The reason is this. For the most part those folks don’t have to live with the regulation changes pertaining to amateur built aircraft when those numbers have a bearing or could have a bearing on change in regulation for this group.

  18. BILL Marcy says:

    Only 73 fatalities and the FAA has arbitrarily decided there must be an annual reduction of 5 percent or they must take a hand? This is insanity! No, it is empire building in the name of safety – several man years will be spent to set up an office, establish files, monitor progress, report regularly to the media, intimidate as many people (preferably not enough to influence an election, though) as possible, and so on ad infinitum.

    To begin with, aviation involving A-B aircraft is primarily a sport, not a commercial activity, and its statistics and regulation should be comparable to other sports such as motorcycling, boating, auto racing, as well as non-motor sports like skiing, swimming, baseball, basketball, football, and so on. FAA is supposed to monitor commercial activity, not sports! And in any case, to focus attention on an activity that kills only 70-75 persons a year is a total waste of time – better to focus on lightning strikes, drowning, skiing accidents and such if reduction of fatalities is the objective.

    We are spending entirely too much time emphasizing safety, safety, safety. The boating, cycling, skiing, and other sports industries are not continually hawking safety – they are hawking the fun, excitement, entertainment, and physical values of their sports. Small wonder there are 6 million small boats and an equal number of ATVs being used in this country, and not even close to a million airplanes! And it seems to me the reason for the emphasis on aviation safety is that aviation accidents are NEWS, and NEWS sells advertisements (which makes publishing it profitable) as well as frightening the public at large and inducing them to demand (we think) that such NEWS be diminished. Only not to zero, because that would diminish the NEWS and therefore the profits to be made from publishing and broadcasting. Phooey!

  19. Mac says:

    Hi Bill,

    The safety goal is actually the number of accidents that cause a fatality, not the number of fatalities. Since most experimental airplanes carry few, if any, passengers, the total loss of life is not a great deal larger than the number of fatal accidents, but it is larger.

    Mac Mc

    • Jim Oeffinger says:

      Come on Mac, I expect much better than that form you. While technically correct, you aren’t addressing the topic or the response. It is more like criticizing a grammar or spelling error, or typo. Bill has done a great job of putting it in perspective. I have no practical idea of how to fix the problem, given all the political issues involved. But maybe the best defense would be a good offense and start publicly using some of Bills comparisons. It might scare some of those who participate in these other activities into supporting us by awaking them to their vulnerabilities. Once the government has killed our sport who will they go after?

  20. Mac says:

    Hi Jim,

    The government has gone “after” most forms of transportation already. The list of required safety equipment in cars is incredibly long. And it has worked. The number of highway auto deaths is way down in total despite huge increases in the number of cars and drivers. State governments, at least, have addressed motorcycle safety with operator licenses and helmet requirements in some states. Many states now require boating education and an operator’s license, and water cops enforce rules requiring speed limits and safety equipment. It is a regulatory process that has been underway for decades.

    Who knows if this is a good thing or not, but parents of young children would be deemed uncaring if they allowed their kids to ride a bike without a helmet. Or if a pregnant woman took a drink. Or if anybody smokes anywhere. But only a few years ago none of those were the norm. Society has demanded, or at least gone along with, ever higher safety standards for just about any activity I can think of. And we pilots are on that list, too.

    The best way to keep regulation to a minimum to is show improvement in safety and that is a goal I think we all share.

    Bests,

    Mac Mc

  21. Michael Hongisto says:

    Bill Marcy’s comments put the risk of operating experimental aircraft into perspective. Do we really want the Feds spending our limited tax dollars on an attempt to save 3.5 lives per year (reduce the 73 deaths per year by 5%)? Save 3.5 lives out of the 300 million U.S. population? This is what our government chooses to focus on?

    Toasters, bath tubs, stairs, bicycles, and swimming pools individually kill more people each year than aircraft. Smoking kills about 1,000 people per day. More people die each year falling off furniture than from airplane accidents (http://danger.mongabay.com/injury_death.htm)! All of these deaths are preventable. Since a zero death rate in these categories will never be obtained does this imply we need a Federal crackdown and new regulations?

    Why is dying in an airplane accident any more tragic than dying from the misuse of a toaster? Dead is dead.

    Dumb ideas need to be recognized as such. Have we and the media lost our critical thinking skills? Are dumb ideas promoted as safety or security enhancements no longer dumb ideas? Is our Government really proposing to use its limited resources to save 3.5 lives per year? We’re okay with this?

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