IT IS OFFICIAL: women pilots are safer then men. Initial results from a survey by the UK Civil Aviation Authority's General Aviation Safety Department (GASD) reveals that male general-aviation pilots in the UK are more than four times as likely to have a fatal accident as their female counterparts.

The survey of accident statistics for the past ten years by the CAA's Enforcement Branch also found that fewer than 1% of cases investigated during the past five years involved female pilots.

The GASD cautions, however, that the study is in its early stages, and says that female pilots constitute only 6% of UK general-aviation pilots, making them a statistically small sample. In the past ten years, however, there have been 138 general-aviation fatal accidents and only two involved women pilots.

The GASD had studied the figures for Second World War ferry pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary in an effort to find statistically firmer figures to test its hypothesis. Pilots usually flew solo and faced identical demands. More than 309,000 aircraft were ferried and women constituted about 20% of ferry pilots. The GASD, found that men were twice as likely as women, to suffer fatal accidents.

Source: Flight International