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Work-related aviation fatalities in Colorado 1982-1987.

Wiant CJ; Baker SP; Marine WM; Vancil R; Keefer SM
Aviat Space Environ Med 1991 Sep; 62(9):827-830
A study of occupationally related aviation deaths in Colorado was conducted. Workers' Compensation record files for the State of Colorado and death certificates for the period 1982 through 1987 were reviewed to determine all occupationally related deaths occurring in commercial, military, and general aviation. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tapes and accident summaries were examined to obtain more information about all identified crashes. Eighty six occupationally related aviation deaths associated with 50 accidents were identified. Forty eight accidents were crashes. The crash of a scheduled airliner at Stapleton Airport caused 28 deaths, four of which were occupationally related. An air taxi crashed into a cloud obscured mountain, killing the pilot. There was a fatal military parachuting accident and a fatality resulting from contact with a propeller. Sixteen military personnel were killed in nine accidents. Sixty five deaths resulted from 39 general aviation accidents. Among the nonmilitary occupations, the fatalities included 21 pilots, five flight instructors, four crop sprayers, and three search and rescue workers or firefighters. Eighteen victims were persons traveling to from work sites. The 86 deaths involved 73 males and 13 females. Sixty one fatalities were Colorado residents. The aircraft consisted of 38 fixed wing airplanes, ten helicopters, and two ultralights. Bad weather, mechanical malfunction, striking wires, stalls, crashing into mountains in clear weather, and midair collisions were the major causes of the accidents accounting for 40.7, 9.3, 8.1, 3.5, 2.3, and 2.3% of the total, respectively. Two pilots were positive for blood alcohol. The flying time of the pilots ranged from 90 to 23,000 hours, median 2000 hours. Poor judgment appeared to be more important for the pilot fatalities than hours of flying experience. The authors conclude that the large number of fatalities occurring in general aviation indicate that more attention should be given to the safety of workers whose jobs involve flying.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Traumatic-injuries; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Occupational-accidents; Accident-analysis; Firemen; Air-transportation; Mortality-data; Aircrews; Military-personnel; Climatic-factors
None Colorado Dept of Health 4210 East 11Th Avenue Denver, CO 80220
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
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Issue of Publication
Source Name
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
Performing Organization
Colorado State Dept of Health, Denver, Colorado
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division