A State-based Approach for Modeling General Aviation Fixed-wing Accidents

Neelakshi Majumdar
General Aviation (GA) is a category of aircraft operations, exclusive of all military and commercial operations. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), fixed-wing aircraft (also known as airplanes) account for 76.2% of all the estimated registered GA fleet in the United States. Out of all the GA accidents that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated in 2017, 87.7% of the accidents involved fixed-wing aircraft. The NTSB reports on all GA accidents and records
more » ... ents and records the accident details in their database. The NTSB database has an abundance of accident data, but the data is not always logically complete and has missing information. Many researchers have conducted several studies to provide GA fixed-wing accident causation using the NTSB accident data. The quantitative analyses conducted by the researchers focused on a chain of events approach and identified the most frequent events in accidents. However, these studies provided little insight into why the events in the accidents happened. In contrast, the qualitative analyses conducted an in-depth study of limited accidents from the NTSB database. This approach helps in providing new findings but is difficult to apply to large scale datasets. Therefore, our understanding of GA fixed-wing accident causation is limited. This research uses a state-based approach, developed by Rao (2016), to provide a potentially better understanding of causes for GA fixed-wing accidents. I analyzed 10,500 fixed-wing accidents in 1982–2017 that involved inflight loss of control (LOC-I) using the state-based approach. I investigated the causes of LOC-I using both a conventional approach and a state-based approach. I analyzed fatal, non-fatal and overall LOC-I accidents in three timeframes: 1989–1998, 1999–2008 and 2008–2017. This multi-year analysis helped in discerning changes in the causation trends in the last three decades. A mapping of the LOC-I state definition to the NTSB codes helped in identifying 2350 more accidents in the database that were not disce [...]
doi:10.25394/pgs.7436528.v1 fatcat:p47vtfmj7vgjhplblef723hcny