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General aviation

From Academic Kids

de:Allgemeine Luftfahrt

General aviation (GA) encompasses all aviation other than scheduled airline flights and military aviation.

It includes everything from a privately-owned light single-engine aircraft to business jets, news gathering, police, pipeline patrol, emergency medical flights, crop-dusting, rotocraft, sport ballooning and many other aerial activities.

A general aviation scene at Kemble airfield, England. The aircraft in the foreground is a
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A general aviation scene at Kemble airfield, England. The aircraft in the foreground is a homebuilt Vans RV-4

Much of the traffic in general aviation is flown under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) in contrast to airline traffic which is nearly always flown by reference to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) wherever ground facilities adequately support that type of navigation. The ground facilities needed for most general aviation flights are generally less sophisticated than those required by the armed forces or airlines operating scheduled flights, but there are many differences between the smaller grass aerodromes and those capable of accepting the larger corporate aircraft on international flights. Some of these differences simply reflect the different speeds and capabilities of aircraft types in common use, whilst others reflect regulations imposed to safeguard the safety of pilots, passengers and nearby communities.

All public-use airports, including airports which are served by commercial carriers, have some general aviation traffic, although GA users in the United States are sometimes subject to user fees at the larger airports.

The following statistics are from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Factbook of 2001:

Numbers of aircraft by type
Piston 170,500
Turboprop 5,800
Jet 7,000
Total 183,300
Numbers of aircraft by type of flying
Corporate 11,000
Business 25,200
Personal 148,200
Instructional 14,900
Flight 4,300
Aerial observation 5,100
External load 200
Other work 1,800
Siteseeing 900
Air tour 300
Air taxi 3,700
Air medical 900
Other 1,000
Total 217,500
Numbers of pilots by certificate type
Private 243,823
Commercial 12,502
ATP 144,702
Total 401,027

Estimated total hours flown under General Aviation rules CFR.91: 29,000,000

Numbers of accidents in 2001 by type of operation
Air Taxi 72
Other General Aviation 1721
Total 1793

Further information can be found in the "Aviation Safety Foundation Nall Report" which is released each year by the Aviation Safety Foundation (ASF) based on data from National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports.

See also



Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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