From Academic Kids
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.
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|
|Numbers of aircraft by type of flying|
|Numbers of pilots by certificate type|
Estimated total hours flown under General Aviation rules CFR.91: 29,000,000
|Numbers of accidents in 2001 by type of operation|
|Other General Aviation||1721|
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.