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The state of aviation safety in the United States

A number of high-profile international plane crashes have occurred in recent months. The causes of these crashes are numerous and some causes are still unknown. With so many tragic crashes being reported on by the media, it is understandable that many American travelers are questioning the current state of aviation in California, nationwide and abroad.

It is unfortunately true that a number of aviation accidents occur in the U.S. every year. Although large commercial crashes often make headlines, any number of smaller aircraft crash during the course of the year and are not reported on widely. On a single Saturday morning this month, three individuals were killed in a plane crash near Lake Placid, while three other fatal crashes occurred in Florida, Texas and Arizona. When four fatal aviation crashes occur in the U.S. during the course of a single day, something is undeniably amiss in terms of aviation safety in the U.S.

The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to release official data on the aviation crashes which occurred in the U.S. between 2009 and 2010. However, preliminary data from 2010 indicates that roughly 1,435 aviation accidents occurred in the U.S. during that year. As a result of those accidents, 450 individuals lost their lives.

Flying may indeed remain one of the safest ways to travel any substantial distance. But flying also remains a hazardous method of travel as well. The state of U.S. aviation safety may be hopeful, but it is far from perfectly safe. It must therefore be addressed with caution by travelers and urgency by federal regulators.

Source: WAMC, "A Look At General Aviation Safety," Pat Bradley, July 22, 2014

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