The USA Today investigative report “Unfit for flight” (Gazette, June 23) presents a greatly distorted view of general aviation.
The story cites 44,407 general aviation deaths in 50 years, and the claim of “carnage” and a “massive and growing death toll.”
The report declines to note that more than half of those deaths happened more than 30 years ago. In fact, National Transportation Safety Board figures show that there has actually been a 75 percent decrease in fatalities from 1973 to today. In 2012 alone, general aviation aircraft flew nearly 25 million flight hours. General aviation — and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association — have been aggressive in pressing the FAA to make it easier and more affordable for new technology and safety equipment to be installed in the existing fleet of general aviation aircraft.
The results can be seen in a safety record that has greatly improved over time, which your articles simply ignored. USA Today’s snapshots of court cases and inflammatory headlines frankly do nothing to improve aviation safety. They only distort the true picture.
President, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Frederick, Md.