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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1991 Sep;62(9 Pt 1):827-30.

Work-related aviation fatalities in Colorado 1982-1987.

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Tri-County Health Department, Englewood, CO 80111-1628.


On-the-job deaths related to aviation are the seventh leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States. In Colorado, they comprise 37% of all air transport deaths. A review of all occupational aviation-related fatalities in Colorado during 1982-1987 identified 86 deaths. Data sources were death certificates, Workers' Compensation records, and National Transportation Safety Board reports. Of the fatalities, 5 involved commercial air service, 16 were military personnel, and 65 (76%) were associated with general aviation. Non-military occupations included 21 pilots, 5 flight instructors, 4 crop sprayers, and 3 search and rescue workers or firefighters. There were 18 people going to or from work sites. The 15 weather cases, 7 aircraft malfunctions, and 4 power transmission wire strikes were the most significant factors in two-thirds of the crashes of civilian aircraft. Even experienced pilots exercised poor judgement. The prominence of general aviation in work-related aviation fatalities indicates a need for greater attention to the safety of workers whose jobs entail flying.

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