FAA Accidents and Incidents
|Source||Federal Aviation Administration|
|Dates Covered||Entire United States, 1973-present, updated weekly.|
This database is currently undergoing some maintenance and is unavailable for purchase. Call (573) 882-1982 if you have any questions.
This dataset consists of information on aviation accidents and incidents reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. NICAR has records for accidents occurring between 1973 to the present (although there will be some delay between when an accident happens and when the data is entered).
Unfortunately the data as it currently stands from the FAA is very dirty and missing a lot of information, particularly in the location fields that identify where the accident / incident happened. Give us a call (573-884-7711) if you want to know more about what kinds of questions you can safely address with this database.
NICAR provides the data in two ways: As a one-time purchase or by one-year subscription, (updated weekly). Please note that the FAA does not post new data immediatley; they have not yet posted data for 2015.
The database goes beyond the NTSB accident database in that it also includes incidents, which are defined as “events that do not meet the aircraft damage or person injury thresholds contained in the NTSB definition of an accident.” For example, the database contains reports of collisions between aircraft and birds while on approach to or departure from an airport. “Aircraft accident” means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and until all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.
Record layouts and samples of this database
|Main documentation (README.TXT)||12.3 KB|
|Aircraft table sample (aircraft.xls)||25.5 KB|
|Casualty table sample (casualty.xls)||32.8 KB|
|Entry data table sample (entrydat.xls)||12.5 KB|
|Main table sample (main.xls)||49.6 KB|
|Text table sample (text.xls)||60.0 KB|
|Location table sample (location.xls)||41.6 KB|
|Tech table sample (tech.xls)||26.7 KB|
|Remarks table sample (remarks.xls)||20.5 KB|
|Pilot table sample (pilot.xls)||29.5 KB|
|Layouts documentation (LAYOUTS.TXT)||12.8 KB|
- Covering a Plane Crash
Great source of information when trying to cover a plane crash. Includes what to do when it’s a small crash compared to a major crash. Also included is a list of sources around the country and on the internet. A story which is not available for download concerning the crash investigation of flight 427 is also provided.
- Polk Seminar on Public Safety
This 11-point tip sheet offers helpful advice on how and when to use data in the event of an airline crash, how to prepare the newsroom, which agencies are helpful sources of information.
- Below the Radar: FAA Data Deficiencies Hamper Effort to Spot Airline Safety Hazards
The Wall Street Journal reports that “Incomplete incident reports allow patterns to escape the agency’s attention..A string of engine failures… Backed by powerful computers, mountains of data and a small army of inspectors, the Federal Aviation Administration is supposed to spot and investigate … patterns…To detect such trouble, the FAA increasingly relies on computers and databases of incident reports file by the carriers. But a review of those pivotal incident reports by the Wall Street Journal indicates that many are entered into the system with crucial data missing, and some are miscoded.”
- Fear of Flying; Unfit to Fly
Dateline NBC conducted a computer analysis of commuter airline safety and found widespread problems, including pilots falling asleep at the controls, and the FAA reduced the fines it imposed against commuter airlines. The series also investigated the differences in safety regulation between commuter planes and major airlines, showing how these can have an impact on safety, Nov. 15, 21, 1994.