Some 708 aviation occurrences were reported in 2017 to the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which deployed investigators to 38 accident sites, including the sites of 16 fatal accidents, the AAIB said in a report released today.
The Annual Safety Review, 2017 said that the 16 accidents resulted in 28 fatalities.
Most of the fatal accidents involved general aviation aircraft, the report said, adding that the most frequently cited causal factors were loss of control–in flight (LOC-I) and weather-related issues.
The report noted the worldwide absence of fatal accidents involving passenger jet airliners in 2017, but Crispin Orr, the AAIB’s chief inspector of air accidents, cautioned that two fatal crashes in February of this year provided a “reality check” that fatal crashes “are not a thing of the past.”
Those two accidents were the Feb. 11 crash of a Saratov Airlines Antonov An-148 near Stepanovskoye, Russia, that killed all 71 occupants and the Feb. 18 crash of an Iran Aseman Airlines ATR 72 near Yasuj Airport in Iran that killed all 66 passengers and crew. The report was prepared before the March 12 crash of a US-Bangla Airlines de Havilland Canada Dash 8 in Kathmandu, Nepal, that killed 51 of the 71 people on board.
“The need to learn from accidents is as pressing as ever,” Orr said. “But so, too, is the need to learn from serious incidents (which, by definition, were nearly accidents) to establish why safety margins were compromised and promote action to address any weaknesses in the system.”