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Why private planes crash more often than commercial ones

On Behalf of | May 31, 2022 | Small Airplane Crashes

When you take off somewhere on a private plane, your chance of finding yourself involved in a plane crash is higher than it would be on a traditional commercial flight. In general, aviation has become safer since the 1970s. Yet, private, domestic flights are still far more dangerous than commercial ones. Furthermore, some safety advocates believe that traveling in a private plane is even more dangerous than traveling in a vehicle.

Per Live Science, there has been little change in terms of plane crash rates over the past decade. While crash rates for some types of flights, such as corporate and business flights, actually decreased by about 20%, crash rates for private planes increased by about 25% within this same span.

Statistics on private plane crashes

Studies show that the fatality rate in general aviation is 1.05 deaths for every 100,000 hours flown. Meanwhile, the fatality rate on the nation’s roadways is 1.1 death for every 100 million miles traveled. When you compare the figures, it appears that traveling on a private plane is 19 times more dangerous than traveling by car.

Factors contributing to private plane crashes

The majority of today’s private plane crashes result from some type of pilot error, and many pilot errors arise from a pilot losing control of the aircraft. Sometimes, a pilot might misjudge how much room he or she needs to make a turn. Private plans also often lack the safety equipment that larger commercial flights have. Private pilots may, too, face weaker training and proficiency check standards than pilots on commercial flights.

While the fatality rate among private planes is still higher than you might hope, new and emerging technologies seek to make these smaller aircraft safer for passengers.