Aviation Statistics - 2007

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Statistical Summary Aviation Occurrences 2007

Foreword

This document provides users of Canadian aviation safety data with an annual summary of selected statistics on aviation occurrences. Information in this summary is also posted on the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) website at www.bst-tsb.gc.ca.

Users of these statistics are advised that, in a live database, the occurrence data are constantly being updated. Consequently, the statistics can change slightly over time. Further, as many occurrences are not formally investigated, information recorded on some occurrences may not have been verified. Therefore, caution should be used when utilizing these statistics. The 2007 statistics presented here reflect the TSB database updated as of 16 June 2008.

To enhance awareness and increase the safety value of the material presented in the TSB Statistical Summary, Aviation Occurrences 2007, readers are encouraged to copy or reprint the data presented, in whole or in part, for further distribution (with acknowledgements of the source).

The TSB is an independent agency operating under its own Act of Parliament. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety.

Comments on this document can be forwarded to the following address:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Communications Division
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage
4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Telephone: 819-994-3741
Facsimile: 819-997-2239
E-mail: communications@bst-tsb.gc.ca

© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2008
Cat. No. TU1-3/2007
ISBN 978-0-662-05709-3

Aviation Occurences in 2007

Accidents

Overview of Accidents and Fatalities (Tables 1, 2, 3 and 8)

In 2007, a total of 324 aviation accidents were reported to the TSB. Of this number, 284 involved Canadian-registered aircraft (excluding ultralights), an 8.4% increase from 2006 (Figure 1).

Although flying activity increased from last year, the accident rate also increased to 6.5 accidents per 100 000 flying hours from the 2006 accident rate of 6.3 accidents per 100 000 flying hours. Nevertheless, statistical analysis using linear regression indicates a significant downward trend (p<0.001)1 in accident rates over the past 10 years.

The 287 accident-involved Canadian-registered aircraft (excluding ultralights) included 237 aeroplanes2 (59 of which were commercially operated) and 46 helicopters. The remaining 4 were balloons, gliders or gyrocopters.

Figure 1-Accidents and Accident Rates,3 1998-2007 [D]
Figure 1-Accidents and Accident Rates, 1998-2007

Of the 59 commercial aeroplanes (5 airliners, 4 commuter aircraft, 39 air taxi and 11 aerial work) involved in accidents in 2007 (Figure 2), 5 air taxi aircraft, 1 commuter aircraft and 1 aerial work aircraft were involved in fatal accidents. One corporate aircraft was involved in a fatal accident. There were no fatal accidents involving airliners or state aircraft.

A total of 177 private/corporate/other aeroplanes were involved in accidents, 17% higher than the five-year average of 151. In 2007, 18 such accidents resulted in fatalities, up from 16 in 2006 and up from the five-year average of 15.

Figure 2-Canadian-Registered Aircraft Involved in Accidents by Aircraft Type, 2007 [D]
Figure 2-Canadian-Registered Aircraft Involved in Accidents by Aircraft Type, 2007

In 2007, Canadian-registered aircraft, excluding ultralights, were involved in 33 fatal accidents (Figure 3), 6% higher than last year's total of 31 and 9% higher than the 2002-2006 average of 30. The number of fatalities (49) decreased from the five-year average (50), but the number of serious injuries (56) increased from the five-year average (38). Passenger fatalities accounted for 33% of aeroplane fatalities in 2007, and crew member fatalities accounted for 67% (excluding fatalities from ultralight accidents).

Figure 3-Fatalities and Fatal Accidents, 1998-2007 [D]
Figure 3-Fatalities and Fatal Accidents, 1998-2007

Aeroplanes operated by the state (that is, operated by federal or provincial governments) were involved in 1 accident in 2007 with no fatalities.

In 2007, there were 46 helicopter accidents, a 7% decrease from the five-year average of 49. Of the 46 helicopter accidents, 7 were fatal, resulting in 7 fatalities. Over the past 10 years, the highest proportion of helicopter accidents occurred during air transport operations (31%) and training (12%).

In 2007, 30 ultralight aircraft were involved in accidents in Canada, with 5 accidents resulting in 6 fatalities. Ten foreign-registered ultralight aircraft were involved in accidents in Canada, with no fatalities.

Accidents by Selected Categories

Province (Table 3): In 2007, Ontario accounted for 25% of Canadian-registered aircraft accidents, while Quebec and British Columbia accounted for 21% and 13% respectively. Canadian-registered aircraft accidents were lower than the five-year average in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, and higher than the five-year average in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario and the Territories (Figure 4).

Figure 4-Canadian-Registered Aircraft Involved in Accidents by Province, 2007 [D]
Figure 4-Canadian-Registered Aircraft Involved in Accidents by Province, 2007

Events and Phases (Tables 4 to 7): Accidents are frequently classified according to the first event (or abnormal condition) in the sequence of events that led to the occurrence. This classification serves to demonstrate the nature and distribution of safety-significant events, and how these events shift over time. However, the first event should not be construed to be the cause of the accident.

In 2007, the most common first event in aeroplane accidents was a take-off/landing event (27%). Collision with object (11%) and collision with terrain (11%) were the next most common first events. In helicopter accidents, power loss (17%), collision with terrain (15%), collision with object (13%), and control loss (11%) were the most common first events.

The 1998-2007 statistics show that the first event leading to an accident varies substantially according to the flight phase of the aircraft involved. For aeroplanes, accidents during the landing phase account for about 37% of total accidents. The most common first events in such accidents were landing (such as nose over, tire blow-out, etc.) and control loss. Approximately 22% of aeroplane accidents occur during the take-off phase; in these accidents, power loss and control loss were the most common first events. The en-route phase accounted for about 14% of aeroplane accidents, with power loss being the most common first event in that flight phase.

The approach/landing phase accounted for 31% of helicopter accidents, with the most common first events being collision with object, power loss and control loss. The en-route phase (17%) had power loss and collision with terrain as the most common first events. The manoeuvring phase (16%) had collision with object and power loss as the most common first events. About 13% of helicopter accidents occurred in the take-off phase, with collision with object being a common first event.

Operation Type (Table 8): In 2007, aeroplane accidents occurred mainly on recreational flights (51%), followed by air transport (17%) and training flights (14%). Helicopter accidents occurred mainly on air transport flights (35%).

Incidents

Overview of Incidents (Tables 1, 9 and 10)

Pursuant to TSB mandatory incident reporting requirements, 895 incidents were reported in 2007, 691 of which involved Canadian-registered aircraft.

In 2007, the most frequent incident types were declared emergency (27%), risk of collision or loss of separation (22%), engine failure (16%), and smoke/fire incidents (15%), as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5-Reportable Incidents by Type, 2007 [D]
Figure 5-Reportable Incidents by Type, 2007

Over the past five years, the first event in declared emergency incidents on Canadian-registered aircraft usually involved component failures, the most common of which were landing gear or hydraulic system failures.

The majority of risk of collision incidents involving Canadian-registered aircraft had air traffic services (ATS)-related or air proximity events4 as their first event.

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  1. It is agreed by convention that, for a result to be considered statistically significant, its probability must be lower than 1 in 20 (that is, p<0.05). 
  2. As some occurrences involve more than one aircraft, users are cautioned to note differences between the number of occurrences and the number of aircraft involved in occurrences. All tables except Table 1 exclude ultralight aircraft; all tables except tables 1 and 4 also exclude balloons, gliders and gyrocopters. 
  3. Canadian-registered aircraft (excluding ultralights) 
  4. Refer to the definitions in Appendix B for explanations for ATS-related and air proximity events.