The dgac has recently published the accidents for GA accidents in 2018 involving French registered a/c and foreign registered a/c in French airspace and territory.
Sadly it shows a marked increase in accident levels, particularly fatal accidents over the previous 2 years.
It’s a 64 page document so I’ll only pick out some of the salient details here.
There were 48 fatal accidents identified in 2018 which led to 72 deaths both on board and on the ground.Suprisingly IMHO the majority were down to “loss of control in flight” Although the majority of deaths was recorded as undetermined.
203 non fatal accidents were also identified. A significant proportion of these are linked to abnormal contact with the runway or ground and/or leaving the runway through loss of control.
28 of the accidents concerned a/c registered outside France in which 11 people died.
An interesting statistic is that between 2004 and 2018 in France in all categories of a/c at least 120 accidents were the result of pilots taking unnecessary risks whilst carrying out unnecessary manouvers (eg buzzing friends’ houses).Among these at least 70 were fatal with the deaths pf 120 people. This amounts to 13.5% of recorded light aviation deaths over that period.
Are any other CAA’s producing such safety reports, it would be interesting to know the figures for Europe as a whole.
Meanwhile if you are thinking of flying to or over France in the future please take care.
Yes it is a sad summary that DGAC gives every year.
One of the problem I see, is that DGAC and BEA do not have/put the means to investigate in depth those accidents to truly make lessons from them. Accidents reports are usually a very precise description of what happened, with a smallish analysis at the end.
The other issue is that people are afraid to report missed crashes, I mean incidents that ended well but could have been catastrophic. These are a great source of safety improvements. DGAC encourage those reports (they are even 3 safety pireps database here in France now) but they admitted that a) EASA evaluates NAA on the number of reports (database filling kind-of-strategy) and b) the writer is tracable. And in most incidents, there is some deviation from the regulations. So nobody would report anything significant. And the database is full of human errors (‘I forgot to close the fuel cap, I should pay more attention’), which does not give usable info for safety studies.
But as long as we don’t infringe, we are good, aren’t we ?
Those stats are horrible.
Are there estimates how many ga flights took place in total vs number of accidents?
Loss of control in flight meaning VFR into IMC ?
Not only VFR into IMC, but all loss of control : stalls, unintentional spins, etc…
Which tends to show a decrease in handling or risk management skills.
The general lack of proficiency (about 15h/year on average) among private pilots has a cost. I must add that many pilots keep their ratings with a low level of airmanship, because clubs can’t exclude too many members and these members wouldn’t pay for re-training and stop flying. Even some instructors I know are really not great pilots. And they set the standard for other pilots. Fortunately, the vast majority risk compensate a lot (which to even less flying).
Then, I think a bit more pilots tend to use their plane as their car (I mean get-there-itis), but without the experience (no license teach you to fly A to B, as we know) and the equipment (like ADL) required.
We must create a culture of proficiency, like in the US. We must all seek to be the best pilots around. Even when we can’t fly, we must read, learn, talk, get better at it (which we do here), share flights, talk about what we should improve etc…
I suggested the guy who leads my company’s « pilot group » to do aviation afterworks, to talk and improve. He told me « we are not instructors, we don’t have to give advice to another pilot. If he crashes etc…. ». Just a shame.
Your thoughts are welcome
I must add that many pilots keep their ratings with a low level of airmanship, because clubs can’t exclude too many members and these members wouldn’t pay for re-training and stop flying.
It would be of interest if the mentioned victims of 2018 where club members, charterer or owners. And how many hours these victims had flown per year.
Thanks for sharing, could you please share a link to the doc?
It would be of interest if the mentioned victims of 2018 where club members, charterer or owners. And how many hours these victims had flown per year
I looked at the FAA data in details for US flying while ago: CFIT tend to be very experienced and current GA pilots and human errors (e.g. fatigue, loss of situational awareness…) while most of LOC accidents in the US were mostly polluted by experienced owners flying experimental types
I don’t think you will be able to link it to proficiency/mission, lot of it relates to planning/flying as expected and limits, take two pilots with same experience (say non-IR PPL) one intentionally fly in a challenging mission and one get caught in the same mission (say VFR in IMC weather), which one goes down first? note that the same can be said for two IR-rated pilots…
“I looked at the FAA data in details for US flying while ago: CFIT tend to be very experienced and current GA pilots and human errors (e.g. fatigue, loss of situational awareness…) while most of LOC accidents in the US were mostly polluted by experienced owners flying experimental types.”
It would be interesting to know how many of the “experienced” and “current” pilots had the accident doing something wit which they were neither experienced nor current.
We must create a culture of proficiency, like in the US
I could not agree more! We cannot rely on the authorities or regulation to assist here, but that is a longer story.
We , as a community, must work much harder in creating a safety culture where proficiency is one of the top priorities.
ILAFFT-style tools are most useful along that line.
high on my to-do list : hold an experience-share session with the local flyer-gang