Descriptive epidemiology of 2007 homebuilt aircraft accidents and accident and fatality rates
Abstract: Homebuilt aircraft are those that the builder has completed at least 51% of the construction themselves. From 1993 National Transportation and Safety Board data, homebuilt aircraft made up only 3% of the flying hours but were involved in 10% of the general aviation accidents in the United States. This research investigates if and how these rates have changed over the past 15 years. The National Transportation and Safety Board Aviation Accident Database and Synopses website was queried for all types of United States homebuilt accidents during 2007. Select variables were used to compare homebuilt accidents and fatality rates with non-homebuilt aircraft rates. Human and mechanical errors were implicated in homebuilt accidents similar to non-homebuilt general aviation accidents. Homebuilt accident rates per 100,000 flight hours are significantly higher than non-homebuilt accident rates (26.44 +3.36 vs. 4.89 + 0.29, p<0.001) Homebuilt fatality rates per 100,000 flight hours are also significantly higher (8.67 + 1.92 versus 1.56 + 0.16, p<0.001). Safety efforts that focus on human and mechanical factors may reduce overall accident rates of both homebuilt and non-homebuilt aircraft.