Safest GA Airplane?

Curious to find out if anyone has come across this question…and has found the answer or can point to a good reference. When it comes to GA fixed wing singles w/ 6 seats or less, which aircraft has come out ahead with the least amount of incidences…or more importantly, least amount of fatalities? To be fair for each type, looking back say, 20 years to the present. And no…Google is not my freind on this one. So my fellow aviators,… and aspirers, what say you? My guess, without any research would be the 172, for its forgiving nature…

It’s the pilot, not the plane.

If you market a plane towards newbies and you’re going to have more accidents with or without a parachute.

Frank Holbert

So your saying… that not one particular aircraft has the least amount of fatalities? There has to be one. Granted, I get what your saying, and I agree. But there has to be that one a/c, be it a piper tomahawk, musketeer,or a centurion from Cessna, that for one reason or another, a young or seasoned pilot, regardless of certififcation…comes ahead. You remember the so-called Dr killer rumored back in the 60s and 70s, the Vtailed bonanza. There was nothing wrong her, damn stout little plane, I’ve got 55 hours in one. But she’ll get away from you if you dont watch it…as opposed to say the 172, take your hands of the yoke and flies itself. But you get where I’m going with this…I suppose more like, pilot freindly, if will, outside visibility, panel layout, handling qualities which contribute to a pilot ability to make the difference between “eventful and uneventful”.

I think in GA most people crash airplanes because of pilot error.

Poor pilot skills.
Poor decision making.
Poor preflight.
Poor fuel planning.

If we could remove those items from aviation our insurance rates would be cut into 1/4. I read the accident reports EVERY morning and I tell you there is a lot of dumb stuff going on.

Lets look at todays!

10 accidents total.
~~6 of them lost control on landing.
~~2 of them hit something on takeoff
~~2 of them lost power. (Guaranteed at least one was fuel management.)

If we remove stupid from the picture there should have been one accident yesterday.

Here is the strange part. I’m no smarter than these people but I do learn from the accident reports where things go wrong.

Frank Holbert

On this one google ain’t your friend so google ain’t my friend… I think possibly a DA-40?

Spoken like a true aviator. I couldnt agree more. And from looking at the NTSB as well, they were all avoidable. And a little shocking to see. But take stupidity out of the equation…you dont think theres one out there that has a better crashworthiness rating better than the other? Visibility? Landing characteristics, etc that would keep a pilot from a fatality listing when dumbass-itis kicks in?

This is interesting…which very well means it falls back on us…more or less. … stics.html

But from a human factors perspective, a well-designed system will support the pilot in making everything turn out right. You all know the machine and avionics can work with you or against you, in the sense that it can invite and compound mental mistakes or make them less likely and more forgiving. No question that training can surmount such challenges, and even a well-designed system requires training. But the airplane can make a difference in a given pilot’s safety. The V-tail story is just one example; it can be flown safely, but it can also bite you in the butt.

thats easy, the one that never takes off.

The FAA ranks planes based on accidents per 100,000 hours of flight.
They break the accidents into groups, ie engine failure, structure failure, stall spin, etc. 172’s are ranked at the top of the list in almost all groups for safety.

AOPA has great stats on this which they get from the NTSB.
You can plug in make/model, year, state etc. on their accident data base. I think you can find fatal accidents per flight hours there too. I can’t look right now but I bet the 172 is the safest re fatals. Maybe more incidents because of training, but I also recall that low timers are less prone to stall/spin because the training is so fresh.

Exactly what I was trying to convey.

“Maybe more incidents because of training, but I also recall that low timers are less prone to stall/spin because the training is so fresh.”

I concur. Thier confidence level isnt blurred with complacency yet. Just my opinion…I could be wrong.

Oh I don’t think so.

As it’s already been pointed out the Stats show the 172 being the safest light single.

But as Einstein theorized every thing is relative.

There are now considerations for factors such as primary mission and region the aircraft is used in. The 172 will have a great record when used for training and probable a poor one if used for freight in Canada or Alaska.

It’s up to us pilots to make sure we don’t try to do a job with the wrong aircraft, it’s bad for our health & the industry.

pic is almost always in control of the safe outcome of the flight, so in most cases a good pilot equals a safe airplane. there are exceptions based on the forgiving and no so forgiving characteristics of some airplanes. the da-40 has good stats, but i suspect that is only because it appeals to very cautious conservative pilots. its not marketed as a speed demon (cirrus tends to do that), but markets itself as a safe, smart, efficient airplane (the volvo of airplanes). i think that makes a difference in regards to what type of pilot will buy/fly this airplane.

good point.

the 172 has alot of hours with alot of inexperianced pilots, and put thru alot more hoops than most other planes, so you would expect its numbers to be poor. while some expensive planes with all the extra safety margins build in and flown by experianced pilots, you would think they would be safer. if in light of this the 172 ranks high, its doing so with the deck stacked against it. but just because its safe doesnt mean its fun to fly. i would be willing to give up a little safety and pick up some speed or sexyness.

Theres something about that post that doesnt seem to gel…just cant put my finger on it. :confused:

If it ever does, you should “ground yourself” voluntarily or check with your local AME and insure the safety of you and others around you. :stuck_out_tongue:

And I would agree with you!

meaning id rather fly a fast low wing plane than a slow a 172