The Nall Report, aviation industry’s oldest quantitative safety analysis—28th Report and who was Joseph T. Nall

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Air Safety Institute releases favorable numbers of GA safety

28th Nall Report- oldest industry quantitative analysis?

Who was Joseph T. Nall? 

The Annual Nall Report is a fixture in Aviation Safety. For 28 years the AOPA Air Safety Institute has collected detailed information about GA accident data and most significantly, analyzed trends. It provides pilots with valuable insights how to improve their flying technique. Well before the FAA focused on retrospective data to project future tracks and then to identify quantitatively solutions to reduce risks, AOPA produced the Nall Report to guide its members.

First presented are a few articles which point to the highlights of this data cache. Then a little more information about the inspiration for the Report.

AOPA’s Nall Report: Genav Fatal Accidents Decline


The report provides a deeper dive into accidents to spotlight potential trends for fixed-wing aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less and helicopters. Nall cites preliminary data for 2017 but focuses on 2016 because it is the most recent year in which the National Transportation Safety Board has determined probable causes on at least 80 percent of the accidents.

In 2016, the number of general aviation accidents increased to 1,214 from 1,173 in 2015. But, correspondingly, flight hours grew to 24.65 million, up from 23.98 million. At the same time, though, fatal accidents declined 11.7 percent from 221 in 2015 to 195 in 2016.


Training Tip: Crunch numbers, not airplanes

A popular turn of flight-safety phraseology exhorts you not to become “a statistic.” A newly released report reveals what type of accidents occurred most in 2016.


AOPA Air Safety Institute Releases 28th Joseph T. Nall Report


The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute has released the 28th Joseph T. Nall Report for 2016 which reports that general aviation (GA) fatal accidents continued the previous year’s decline.

  • There were 64 total commercial fixed-wing GA accidents, of which 19 were fatal, marking a decrease in total accidents but a 10-year high in the fatal category.
  • The 40 accidents that occurred during Part 137 agricultural aircraft operations were the most in a commercial fixed-wing category, with maneuvering implicated in half the mishaps. Thirteen Part 137 accidents were fatal.
  • The 79 non-commercial GA helicopter accident total of 2016 established a 10-year low. The 17.7-percent fatal-accident rate (14 accidents) increased slightly from 2015.
  • There were 35 commercial helicopter accidents, of which three were fatal. The fatal accidents and their rate marked the lowest in 10 years, according to the report.


Joseph T. Nall Report

How is GA doing on the safety front? Get the details in the latest Joseph T. Nall Report.

28th Joseph T Nall Report

The news across GA is once again encouraging. For the third straight year, the overall GA fatal accident rate declined. Initial data from 2017 indicates that 2017 will reveal a fourth straight year. GA is benefiting from the combined impact of more activity and fewer numbers of fatal accidents, producing a substantial reduction in the overall fatal accident rate.  Such overall performance indicates the constant work by all in the GA industry to drive safety initiatives is producing results in preserving aircraft and saving lives.





Joseph T. Nall, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, was killed Monday in the crash of a small plane in Caracas, Venezuela, board officials said today.

The two pilots of the Cessna 402, operated by Cave Airlines, were also killed when the plane crashed while trying to land in dense fog at Charallave municipal airport. The plane was believed to have been chartered for a sightseeing expedition.

Safety board officials said the crash occurred when the plane hit the runway, broke its landing gear, flipped over and skidded upside down on the runway.

The plane’s four other passengers, including some Federal aviation and safety officials, were said to be injured, but not severely.


Passengers and Pilots Identified

The officials identified the passengers as Mr. Nall’s assistant, Kenneth Peppard; David Hanley, who worked at Washington National Airport for the Federal Aviation Administration; Jerri Alles of the F.A.A.’s international aviation office, and Kay Von Zerhusen, a producer for a Maryland Public Television program dealing with aviation weather.

The Associated Press said officials at the United States Embassy in Caracas identified the pilots as Dickson Naranjo and Jose Vargas.

Mr. Nall, who was 47 years old, was in Caracas to give a speech to the Venezuelan Aeronautical Congress.

The five-member safety board, which investigates air crashes and other transportation accidents, sent investigators to the scene of the crash. They were accompanied by the board’s acting chairman, James Kolstad. Named by Reagan in 1986

Mr. Nall, who was born in Atlanta on May 16, 1942, was appointed to the safety board by President Ronald Reagan on April 11, 1986. Mr. Nall’s term was to expire on Dec. 31, 1992.

Of the board’s five members, Mr. Nall was the one who was most intimately involved with aviation, and was particularly interested in safety issues in the use of small planes for business and pleasure.

He was an active pilot with private, commercial and instructional certificates, and had operated Nall Aviation Enterprises, a school at Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, N.C.

He earned a master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1964 and had preached at Baptist churches in Halifax, Va. He also earned a law degree at Wake Forest Law School in 1973 and had practiced law in North Carolina.

A version of this article appears in print on Nov. 29, 1989, Section A, Page 19 of the National edition with the headline: PLANE CRASH KILLS A SAFETY OFFICIAL.

GA poses a challenge to collect the same quality and quantity of data as the air carrier segment does. Individual pilots do not have the time to enter and submit the numbers required, although the Air Safety Foundation has initiated Scalable Safety Framework (SSF), which can be downloaded by aviation organizations like public benefit groups, flying clubs, and more  to help them formulate, implement, and sustain a safety culture that is geared and scaled to their specific organization. The data files accumulated under the name of the Nall Report will add a valuable retrospective.





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