Fixed-Wing Motorized Aircraft Accidents: Analysis of Injury Severity and Concomitant Factors (2000-2019)

Felix liebold, Catherina Hippler, Jan Schmitz, Sirin Yücetepe, Markus Rothschild, Jochen Hinkelbein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: there is a paucity of research on general aviation accidents in Germany. the authorities investigate only a fraction of all national accidents. the current study analyzes existing accident reports and aims to identify injury severity in regard to concomitant risk factors. methods: Data of flight accidents was analyzed for aircraft of <5700 kg maximum takeoff weight (MtOW) over a 20-yr period. Besides descriptive data, concomitant factors (type and category of aircraft, date, occupants and outcome, flight phase, etc.) were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi-squared test. results: the authorities list 1595 aircraft accidents between 2000 and 2019, but only 17.9% of these were analyzed in detail. Accidents of aircraft of <2000 kg MtOW were over-represented between May and September and between Friday and Sunday. the fraction of fatal accidents was highest during cruise. During landing, significantly more mishaps of larger aircraft occurred. the number of seriously injured or deceased occupants was significantly higher for accidents involving private pilots. An occupancy rate of more than three persons on board correlated significantly with fewer number of deaths. conclusions: the annual count of aircraft accidents has almost halved during the previous 20 yr. Unfortunately, only a small number of mishaps were further investigated by authorities, which leads to a lack of evaluable data needed for in-depth investigations. the accumulation of larger aircraft mishaps in winter and the superior outcome of professional pilots in terms of safety, as well as the fewer number of mishaps in larger aircraft, should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • flight accidents
  • generalaviation
  • pilot license


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