On behalf of the more than 10,000 member companies of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) that use general aviation as a safe mode of transportation across the country and around the globe, I find your recent piece on small-aircraft safety (“Investigation: Post-crash fires in small planes cost 600 lives”) unfortunate as it paints a very unfair and inaccurate portrait of our industry.
First, it is particularly unsettling that the report was published without any reference to the most recent data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published last month that showed that general aviation safety is, in fact, the strongest it has ever been.
The industry has invested significantly in a host of new safety technologies over the past 20 years, including digital avionics and engine-monitoring systems, affordable and easy-to-install angle of attack (AOA) indicators, GPS-based navigational technologies used by pilots and air traffic controllers, to aircraft parachutes and more.
Furthermore, these technologies — and the aircraft they are installed in — must adhere to rigorous government certification standards under constant review by the FAA, as well as increasingly advanced and thorough training requirements for pilots.
Improving post-impact fire safety is a top priority for our industry. However, rather than promoting an effective discussion on an important safety matter, the story’s author has given an incomplete and negative image about general aviation across the U.S.
This is a tremendous disservice to your readership, as well as to the hundreds of thousands of aviation professionals nationwide working diligently to continually improve the safety of every aspect of this vital American industry.
Ed Bolen President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association