General aviation still deadliest in U.S.

April 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- General aviation remains the deadliest form of air travel in the United States, statistics compiled by the federal government indicate.

The National Transportation Safety Board's annual review of aviation accidents says general aviation accounted for 495 of the 564 civil aviation fatalities that occurred last year, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Accidents on charter flights killed 66 people, the highest number since 2008. Fifteen of those deaths involved medical helicopters. Besides medical helicopters, the air charter category includes tour flights and air taxis.

Commuter airlines, which often fly smaller aircraft, recorded seven accidents but none resulted in fatalities.

Large commercial carriers had 20 accidents in 2008 but the safety board says there were no fatalities among the 750 million passengers who traveled commercially.

This year 64 people have died in aviation accidents.

A commuter turboprop crashed into a home outside Buffalo, N.Y., killed 50 people and a small plane crashed in Butte, Mont., resulting in 14 deaths.

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