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Thu, Sep 07, 2017

U.S. Senator 'Demands' FAA Safety Action

Senator Blumenthal Writes Letter To The FAA Following A Perceived Rise In Small Aircraft Accidents In Connecticut

In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for stronger safety measures to curb what he says is a deadly trend in small aircraft accidents. Connecticut has seen eight small aircraft accidents and six fatalities in 2017, he says on track to be the worst year for plane accidents in over a decade.

The letter urges the FAA to investigate training, medical vetting, maintenance, safety regulations and resources to determine how to prevent future tragedy.

“Our commercial aviation sector is among the safest in world. It has been over eight years since we witnessed a fatal crash involving a commercial airline in this country – a testament to the training, vetting, and oversight of commercial aviation. General aviation, however, presents a troubling tale that consists of hundreds of deadly crashes each year – including half a dozen in Connecticut in recent months. It is imperative that we bring the same level of safety that exists in commercial aviation to the general aviation sector,” Blumenthal said.

In his letter, Blumenthal says Connecticut has already seen "as many crashes as Connecticut endured in all of 2016 and more deaths than any year since 2005, according to statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board. If this trend continues, 2017 could end up being the state’s deadliest year in decades. I write with grave concerns about this matter, demanding to know what actions you are taking to stem the tide of aviation fatalities and crashes."

However, NTSB statistics for 2015, the last year for which full data is available, shows that the number of GA accidents nationwide has been in steady decline. Then-NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said at the time the data was released that improving GA safety continued to be on the board's "Most Wanted List". Full statistics for 2016 will likely be released later this month.

(Source: Senator Blumenthal news release. Image from file)

FMI: Full Letter Text

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