NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


March 18, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- The National Transportation Safety Board today released preliminary aviation accident statistics for 2002 showing no fatal accidents involving airlines or commuters.

Thirty-four accidents were recorded for scheduled airlines in 2002, all non-fatal. Additionally, there were no fatalities to persons on the ground during the year. In 2001 there were 531 fatalities involving U.S. airlines. It should be noted that half of these fatalities resulted from the September 11 hijackings.

The 2002 statistics also show a decline in the accident rate on U.S. scheduled airlines. The 34 accidents involving scheduled airlines resulted in a preliminary accident rate of .337 per 100,000 departures (or 3.37 per million). This represents an 11 percent decrease from the 2001 rate of .379 accidents per 100,000 departures.

While departures decreased for U.S. scheduled airlines in 2002, nonscheduled 14 CFR 121 and scheduled 14 CFR 135 (fewer than 10 seats) operations increased. The nonscheduled Part 121 operations accident rate increased from 1.248 accidents per 100,000 departures in 2001 to 2.333 in 2002. The accident rate for scheduled Part 135 operators increased from 1.251 per 100,000 departures in 2001 to 1.575 in 2002.

Air taxis reported 58 accidents in 2002, down from 72 in 2001. The accident rate decreased from 2.27 per 100,000 flight hours in 2001 to 1.90 in 2002, and total fatalities decreased from 60 to 33.

The number of general aviation accidents decreased slightly from 1,726 in 2001 to 1,714 in 2002. Fatal accidents increased in 2002 to 343 compared with 325 in 2001. Despite reporting fewer accidents in 2002, the accident rate for general aviation aircraft increased slightly from 6.28 per 100,000 flight hours in 2001 to 6.56 in 2002.

Tables 1-12 providing additional statistics are available at http://www.ntsb.gov/Aviation/stats.htm.

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.