29 Mar 2024

The AAIB received 790 occurrence notifications (compared to 778 in 2022) and opened 25 field investigations. A further 80 investigations were opened by correspondence.
The AAIB provided support to 48 new overseas investigations where there was a UK interest.
There were 10 investigations into fatal accidents which involved 11 deaths. All involved General Aviation (seven light aircraft, two gliders and one hot air balloon).
In 2023, the AAIB published two special bulletins, two formal reports, 25 field investigation reports and 63 correspondence investigations.
The Branch made 40 Safety Recommendations and 99 significant Safety Actions were taken proactively by the industry in 2023 as a direct result of AAIB investigations.
Crispin Orr, Chief Inspector of Air Accidents said “In 2023 there were 10 fatal air accidents in the UK resulting in 11 deaths. All involved General Aviation. Whilst this number of fatal accidents was not unusual, they all occurred in the summer months and the fatal glider mid-air collision was the first for nine years. Loss of control in flight continues to be the prevalent cause of fatal accidents. The key safety messages to avoid loss of control have been reinforced in revised promotional materials published by the Civil Aviation Authority.

“Accidents involving Commercial Air Transport (CAT) continue to be rare with non-fatal runway excursions, ground collisions and tail-strikes being the most common types of occurrences in the UK and globally. Serious incidents rarely attract much media attention but are a valuable opportunity to identify safety issues before they become manifest in an accident. Over the last 20 years, two-thirds of the CAT field investigations conducted by the AAIB were into Incidents and Serious Incidents rather than Accidents, with a high proportion yielding Safety Recommendations that have proved to be highly significant in further improving air transport safety.”

The Annual Safety Review contains articles on mid-air collision statistics and the importance of investigating serious incidents.

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Published 28 March 2024