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Participation in GA Pilot Survey Can Affect Accident Rates

June 23, 2011 – Each year the FAA conducts the General Aviation Pilot Survey, sending a questionnaire to all aircraft owners and operators of GA aircraft. It is used for planning of FAA operations, evaluation of safety programs, impacts of regulations, and assessment of safety of the GA community. The survey is one of the only ways the FAA can measure how aircraft are flown and its results, combined with known GA accidents in a given year, help the FAA determine the GA accident rate. That rate can be affected by low participation by aircraft owners.

The survey, which was mailed to owners in April, tracks utilization of aircraft: how it was used, how often it was flown in various applications, weather conditions, and type of avionics, gear system, fuel, and burn rate. Even owners who did not fly their aircraft in 2010, sold it, or whose aircraft is in non-airworthy condition are encouraged to participate in the survey.

The survey results are also used by aviation businesses, organizations, and researchers to inform their own research and conclusions.  In 2009, 27 percent of GA aircraft participated in the survey with fixed-wing participating at a 13 percent rate, experimental aircraft at 25 percent, and light-sport at 49 percent.

EAA encourages all GA aircraft owners to participate in this annual survey and provide the most complete information possible.

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