Is Florida more prone to plane accidents?

Is Florida more prone to plane accidents?

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – There have been 16 airplane accidents in Florida this year alone, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

WPTV Senior Investigator Jamie Ostroff looked into whether Florida is more prone to airplane accidents than other parts of the country and how officials are working to lower those numbers in our area.

On February 1, a single-engine personal plane taking off from Vero Beach crashed into two homes in Clearwater. The accident occurred moments after the pilot reported via radio that there was a fire, according to the preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The pilot and two people on the ground were killed.

state

3 people were killed after a plane leaving Vero Beach collided with mobile homes

10:55 PM, February 1, 2024

Eight days later, pilots on a charter plane returning from a flight to Ohio reported that both engines had failed and they needed to make an emergency landing. The plane crashed on Interstate 75, near the runway at Naples Airport, and burst into flames.

According to the initial report on that incident, the plane was deemed airworthy by federal inspection only one month before the crash.

Both pilots on board were killed. Four others were injured.

Travel

Two people were killed in a fiery plane crash on I-75 in Florida

04:08 PM, February 09, 2024

These are two of 16 aviation accidents that occurred in Florida this year that are currently under investigation by the NTSB.

According to the agency, the full investigation could take one to two years to complete.

“When a plane flies out of the sky, it’s a big event. When you hear about five or 10 crashes on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County, which probably happen…close to every day, you don’t think about anything. It’s just routine,” J. Peter Reed, president of Reed Aero, an aviation consulting firm that also sells planes.

Reid started flying at the age of 14, and has no doubt that flying is safe.

“You have to look at the numbers,” Reid said. “You have a greater chance of having a mishap upon arrival at the airport than you do on an average flight.”

G. Peter Reed shares his thoughts with WPTV Chief Investigative Reporter Jimmy Ostroff on the recent plane crashes in Florida.

WPTV

G. Peter Reed shares his thoughts with WPTV Chief Investigative Reporter Jimmy Ostroff on the recent plane crashes in Florida.

WPTV analyzed nationwide crash data from the NTSB, licensing data from the Federal Aviation Administration and demographic data tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of all 50 states over the past 10 years, Florida has had the third-highest number of fatal plane crashes, according to NTSB data.

California and Texas are the only states that have more. These are the only two states with larger populations than Florida.

Florida also has the eighth highest percentage of its population licensed to fly an airplane.

“It’s warm weather and beautiful skies most of the time,” Reid said. “So we have a large number of people here who love to fly, and they have access to airplanes, you know, from very small airplanes to larger airplanes.”

When compared to the state’s population, fatal airplane accidents occur less frequently in Florida than in 19 other states.

However, the FAA is working on some changes to better manage air traffic and make the skies safer over South Florida.

G. Peter Reed showed WPTV senior investigative reporter Jimmy Ostroff the checklist pilots go through before takeoff.

WPTV

G. Peter Reed showed WPTV senior investigative reporter Jimmy Ostroff the checklist pilots go through before takeoff.

“In December 2023, the FAA submitted to local aviation stakeholders a preliminary proposal to modify the Class C airspace controlled by the West Palm Beach Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), and the airspace it controls, “Daytona Beach (DAB) ATCT and TRACON,” an agency spokesperson told WPTV in an emailed statement.

Reed is part of a committee studying the airspace to help with the proposed changes.

While air traffic around large airports is tracked by radar and an air traffic controller in the tower, smaller airports — such as Lantana and North Palm Beach — are not monitored, he explained. This means that pilots rely on each other to communicate their positions via radio to avoid collisions.

“What they’re trying to do is make sure that as the traffic increases, the airspace they control is adequate to handle the increased traffic in the airport flow,” Reid said.

“Air traffic operations in DAB and PBI airspace have increased significantly due to the growth of flight schools and increased air traffic operations at other airports within the airspace,” the FAA statement continued. “The proposed changes will enhance the overall safety of the airspace and improve arrival and departure procedures for specific airports.”

Ultimately, Reed said, safety is the responsibility of the person flying the plane.

“The key to safety in aviation is training and procedures,” Reed said, presenting the aircraft’s 48-point checklist that pilots must follow before taking off.

Eric Ahrens is a flight instructor who shared his thoughts on plane accidents in Florida.

WPTV

Eric Ahrens is a flight instructor who shared his thoughts on plane accidents in Florida.

It’s a lesson the pilots say was instilled in them as students, before their first flight.

Eric Ahrens, chief flight instructor at Sky Blue Aviation, said the most important value he tries to convey is avoiding complacency.

“No one ever starts plane crashes,” Arens said. “Can (plane crashes) be prevented? Sometimes I think so.” “When something happens… like a whole bunch of geese crashing into your car’s engines. How preventable is that?”

    (Tags for translation)FAA

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