NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


March 2, 1999

Washington D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board reported today that for the first time since the NTSB has been compiling statistics, there were no passenger fatalities on scheduled U.S. airlines in 1998.

The Safety Board's aviation accident statistics report for 1998 shows that there were no passenger fatalities for scheduled airlines flying under both Part 121 (aircraft with ten or more seats) and Part 135 (less than ten seats). Although there have been previous years in which no Part 121 fatalities were reported, there has never been a year with no Part 135 scheduled passenger fatalities before 1998. (Before March 1997, Part 135 covered aircraft with up to twenty-nine passenger seats.)

The one 1998 fatality listed under the scheduled Part 121 carriers occurred in November when a ground crew worker inadvertently walked into the propeller of a Saab 340 in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to the absence of any passenger fatalities, the NTSB reported that there were no major accidents (as classified by the NTSB) in 1998 and no hull losses.

There were 41 accidents involving Part 121 scheduled carriers in 1998, down slightly from 44 in 1997. The accident rate per 100,000 departures fell from 0.444 to 0.413.

The Part 121 charter airlines had a total of seven accidents, up from five in 1997. However none of the 1998 accidents resulted in a fatal injury. The accident rate per 100,000 departures increased from 1.276 to 1.763.

Accident rates for scheduled commuter airlines also dropped in 1998. The accident rate per 100,000 departures under Part 135 dropped from 1.219 in 1997 to 1.011 in 1998.

Air taxi accident rates per 100,000 hours flown decreased in 1998 to 3.11, the lowest rate in at least seventeen years.

General aviation accidents in 1998 totaled 1,907, up from 1,858 accidents in 1997. Due to an increase in estimated flight hours, the overall general aviation accident rate per 100,000 flight hours appeared to decrease from 7.29 to 7.12, also the lowest general aviation accident rate in at least seventeen years. The fatal accident rate declined from 1.40 to 1.35 and is the lowest fatal accident rate in the period.

Foreign aircraft had eighteen accidents in the United States last year. Five of the eighteen accidents were fatal resulting in a total of ten fatalities.

Additional details on 1998 aviation accident rates, including NTSB tables 1-11, are available on the NTSB web

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.