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Tri-state plane crash numbers mount with recent fatalities

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jun 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-18 16:13:00-04

NEW YORK (PIX11)– While the National Transportation Safety Board investigates its second plane crash in the tri-state area in less than a week, the total is on pace to meet last year’s numbers, according to its federal database.

NTSB, a federal agency that investigates every civil aviation accident in the U.S., has already moved in to determine what brought down the aircrafts.  However, recent plane crashes throughout the nation have sparked an overall interest in aviation safety.

RELATED: 1 dead after small plane crashes in Long Island backyard

USA Today published a three-part story  on Wednesday investigating the hidden defects linked to small-aircraft crashes over last five decades. The investigation shows private airplanes and helicopters to be almost nine times deadlier than commercial flights across the U.S.  Additionally, the paper questioned the validity of federal probes on general aviation accidents and the role manufacturers play during crash investigations.

According to the report, the FAA counted nearly 45,000 deaths as a result of general aviation crashes compared to 5,158 deaths from commercial-flight accidents.

An Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association spokesman said the story is “extremely flawed” because it fails to mention the  total number of operations and flight hours.  General Aviation Manufacturers Association president deemed the piece to be “sensationalist.”  The NTSB has yet to comment on the USA Today report.

Locally, from the start of January 2014 until June 18,  NTSB database lists four non-fatal aviation accidents in New York, excluding the two fatal incidents under investigation. In New Jersey, there were nine accidents, two of them fatal.  No planes have crashed in Connecticut this year, according NTSB records.

Comparatively, in the same period in 2013, there were 10 airplane accidents  in New York , two of them fatal. New Jersey and Connecticut combined had eight accidents, one resulting in a fatality.

Statistics show that 2014’s total number of crashes (15) and cases of fatalities (4) have nearly equaled last year’s period (18 accidents and 3 cases of fatalities) and is on pace to meet last year’s total of 41 accidents and six cases of fatalities in the tri-state area.

RELATED: Rockefeller great-grandson dies in small plane crash near SUNY

Looking at the overall picture since June 18, 2004, there have been 297 cases of crashes in New York investigated by the NTSB. Out of this group, 56 cases led to fatalities.  In New Jersey, 211 accidents resulted into 36 cases of deaths while in Connecticut, 63 accidents resulted into 11 during the ten-year same period.

On Tuesday morning, the pilot of a small plane coming in from Farmingdale crashed into an East Patchogue backyard and died.  On Friday, the great-grandson of business magnate John D. Rockefeller was killed after he hit trees near the Westchester County Airport.