May 03, 2000
Of the total 2,139 work-related aircraft fatalities between 1992 and 1998, almost half—981—occurred in the national security, transportation by air, crop service, and educational services industries. Of these industries, national security was the highest with 405 fatalities.
The nature of the work in the national security industry is likely to be the primary cause of the large number of fatalities. The national security industry includes military aviators in all branches of the armed forces. Even in peace, workers in this industry participate in dangerous activities, such as difficult training missions.
Of the remaining industries, the nonscheduled air transportation industry, which includes airplane sightseeing services, air taxi services, and some helicopter passenger services, experienced 249 work-related aircraft fatalities from 1992 to 1998. The scheduled air transportation industry furnishes transportation over regular routes and on regular schedules—this industry had 154 work-related aircraft fatalities between 1992 and 1998.
The crop service industry lost 91 workers in aircraft fatalities, primarily a result of the many dangers that result from flying at low levels. The majority of the 82 fatalities from the schools and educational service industry involved workers employed as pilot instructors who taught students all aspects of flying; also, some of the aircraft fatalities in this industry involved teachers who were traveling by air while in work status.
Data on workplace fatalities are from the BLS Safety and Health Statistics program. To learn more about work-related aircraft fatalities, see "Flying Too High: Worker Fatalities in the Aeronautics Field" (PDF 25K), by Peggy Suarez, in Compensation and Working Conditions, Spring 2000.