Analysis of General Aviation fixed-wing aircraft accidents involving inflight loss of control using a state-based approach

    Neelakshi Majumdar   Affiliation
    ; Karen Marais   Affiliation
    ; Arjun Rao   Affiliation


Inflight loss of control (LOC-I) is a significant cause of General Aviation (GA) fixed-wing aircraft accidents. The United States National Transportation Safety Board’s database provides a rich source of accident data, but conventional analyses of the database yield limited insights to LOC-I. We investigate the causes of 5,726 LOC-I fixed‑wing GA aircraft accidents in the United States in 1999–2008 and 2009–2017 using a state-based modeling approach. The multi-year analysis helps discern changes in causation trends over the last two decades. Our analysis highlights LOC-I causes such as pilot actions and mechanical issues that were not discernible in previous research efforts. The logic rules in the state-based approach help infer missing information from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident reports. We inferred that 4.84% (1999–2008) and 7.46% (2009–2017) of LOC-I accidents involved a preflight hazardous aircraft condition. We also inferred that 20.11% (1999–2008) and 19.59% (2009–2017) of LOC-I accidents happened because the aircraft hit an object or terrain. By removing redundant coding and identifying when codes are missing, the state-based approach potentially provides a more consistent way of coding accidents compared to the current coding system.

Keyword : General Aviation safety, General Aviation accidents, loss of control, accident modeling, NTSB database

How to Cite
Majumdar, N., Marais, K., & Rao, A. (2021). Analysis of General Aviation fixed-wing aircraft accidents involving inflight loss of control using a state-based approach. Aviation, 25(4), 283-294.
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Dec 21, 2021
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