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Rate of fatal accidents in Mooneys over time


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I thought this would be an interesting albeit somewhat grim graph for discussion.  I tabulated the number of fatal accidents in Mooneys per year globally, averaging over 5 year intervals to help smooth out the data.  Obviously there's many factors here impacting these stats other than safety of operation, such as fleet size and number of hours flown.  There is still some interpretable information here.  We are certainly doing better than the peak of 30 (!) fatal accidents in '1968, which seems staggering to me given the relatively small size of the fleet at the time.  However improvement over the last two decades is hard to discern despite the vastly improved resources in terms of flight planning, training, maintenance, avionics reliability, and cockpit data that became available during that period.  

Improvements in rescue, trauma/critical care and thus survivability may also contribute to the favorable trend slightly.

 

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Edited by DXB
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@dxb , this is an interesting discussion. When you researched this info, did you come across the registered number of Mooney's per year? The fleet is most likely decreasing in size over the last five years.

Thanks for posting!

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29 minutes ago, irishpilot said:

@dxb , this is an interesting discussion. When you researched this info, did you come across the registered number of Mooney's per year? The fleet is most likely decreasing in size over the last five years.

Thanks for posting!

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I did not - I just used this data https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/type/M20P

I'd be happy to repost with data normalized by registered fleet size if someone has that data handy, though that information may still be confounded by the unknown true number of operational aircraft and the number of hours flown.

*I also just realized the graph I posted misses all the turbo aircraft - which is here https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/type/M20T/3

Adding those stats increases fatal accident rates from 1980 onward:


 

image.png.9afe2bdbff34bc1736e264e480b7174b.png

Edited by DXB
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I did not - I just used this data https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/type/M20P
I'd be happy to repost with data normalized by registered fleet size if someone has that data handy, though that information may still be confounded by the unknown true number of operational aircraft and the number of hours flown.
I wasn't able to find a reliable source of registered Mooney's by year.

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Very interesting.  I’m guessing there’s a good mix of factors helping us improve… probably decreased total hours flown being a big part.  Improved weather and flight planning -1990s on.  Improved airborne situational awareness ~2014 on (adsb in).  Maybe improved training and recurrent training mixed in there from ~1995 onwards.

Someone should pull the most recent Nall report graph for all of GA and compare.  I think it looks similar. Definitely an interesting graph, thanks!

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Add in the variable of continuous education…. And enhanced knowledge about your flying machine…

Members of local community flying groups, and MSers, must have some level of improvement in safety…

This is a great way to know what you are missing…. Before that missing item shows up in flight…. :)

 

Fortunately, there isn’t enough accident data to go on…. Most days…  (all due respect to the latest lost Mooney airmen in the Ontario area… recently reported around here)

Best regards,

-a-

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Nice work Dev.

Numerous confounding effects I suppose.  The effects of several eras appear on this plot:

1961-1975- Growth of the fleet.   As you make more planes, flown by more new pilots inexperienced in the M20 plus the common bravado/machismo back then, makes for a lot of twisted metal.

1976-1985: Survival of the fittest.  the Mooney pilots that didn't get killed between 1961-1976 were actually a pretty good group, but they flew a lot and continued to take too many unnecessary risks..

1986- present: Era of increased costs, improved training, aging fleet, aging owners.  Sum it all up, annual flight hours per airframe are coming down.  Fewer fatal accidents are mostly caused by poor decision making, which can never be eliminated.  That explains why the graph is coming down to a plateau at about five per year.  Here's a link to a similar thread from earlier this year.

14 hours ago, DXB said:

I

 

image.png.21e39dccd87eb4c5ac0a96d7c49552cc.png

 

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16 hours ago, irishpilot said:

I wasn't able to find a reliable source of registered Mooney's by year.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
 

You won’t either, possibly now that the FAA is requiring renewal,but before that it was a mess.

I tried as a manufacturer to contact owners ref an upcoming AD, and well less than maybe half of the registered owners still owned the airplane. that was Ag and GA is surely better, but still it wasn’t even close.

I also gathered accident data and in truth there was no way to determine actual fleet size either.

‘Total accident rate isn’t really very informative, you need accident rate per 100,000 hours etc, but how do you determine that?

I don’t think we are much safer, just less of us flying fewer hours.

 

I believe and may be wrong but it’s my opinion that the wing leveler on all Mooney’s probably did more to save more people than any other safety enhancement. At least I think the wing leveler was standard for several years?

Edited by A64Pilot
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