LAWRENCE — The USA TODAY article “Unfit for Flight” should have pointed out that while the number of general aviation accidents is 40 times higher than airlines, there are 40 times more general aviation airplanes in the United States compared to the FAA Part 121 commercial airliners.
Also the fact that the United States has more general aviation accidents than other countries should not be a surprise. There are considerably more general aviation airplanes in the United States than in any other country.
The industry has not had the number or scale of recalls of a General Motors, but when parts do fail the consequences are more severe. Anything mechanical or electrical can fail. That is why some airplanes have multiple engines, multiple radios, multiple fuel pumps, etc.
There has never been a single incident when a general aviation airplane simply disappeared with hundreds of people on board like the recent Malaysian airliner.
As far as safety devices, general aviation led the way in promoting the GPS-based situation awareness systems long before they were available in commercial airliners.
The FAA and the aviation trade associations take safety seriously. There are many ongoing safety programs from these organizations that put serious effort into reducing accidents.