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Private aircraft are used far more than most people realize, so how safe are Cessna planes and where do they stack up against other aircraft?
You should not expect the same level of safety from private planes as a commercial flight provides. This scares many people, but Cessnas are extremely popular for private aviation and pilot training.
Cessna planes are considered to be the safest planes out of all the aircraft available. The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is regarded as the most used private plane and has a very low crash rate of 0.56 per 100,000 flight hours. They are made to be easy to fly, especially for beginner pilots.
The Cessna planes are generally safe for people to fly in, but you should never take risks when flying in an airplane. You should always follow the FAA safety rules and consider your surroundings. This guide explains the safety of Cessna planes and shows you the safest models and how they compare to other planes.
All data collected on these Cessna planes are public information by verified sources in the industry. Flights are carefully tracked even to the point where we know what percentage of crashes occurred by student pilots.
How Safe Are Cessna Planes?
Cessna planes are some of the most popular aircraft in the world. They are used for various purposes, including small planes, business jets, and private planes.
Cessna planes have been around for decades and have proven to be safe and reliable. Depending on the model, they are consistently ranked at the top of the list in safety and crash frequency for private aircraft.
Cessna significantly leads all other aircraft manufacturers in aviation crashes and fatalities, but they also significantly lead competitors in total planes built.
For example, the Cessna 172 ranks second in total crashes, but they have the lowest fatal accident percentage at 56 per 100,000 flight hours.
This shows you that even though the high crash figures compared to competitors, it is small when you factor in how many Cessna flights occur daily. The industry average is 1.2-1.4 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours.
Safety Track Record For Cessna Planes
Cessna planes lead the way in total crashes, so the initial thought must be they cannot possibly be safe. But an extremely low percentage of these crashes are fatal.
The percentage is even lower when you compare the crashes to total flights. It is worth mentioning that many of these Cessna planes are used to train student pilots too.
This inflates the number of crashes because of small errors by the pilot that causes an unexpected landing. None of these are ever fatal simply because the pilot is just starting and learning to fly.
The smaller the airplane, the lower the safety rating too. Single-engine planes will clearly have higher accident rates because there is less weight and fewer safety features.
Below is the breakdown of the primary Cessna model types and the total number of crashes they have been in through the years.
How Many Cessna Planes Have Crashed?
Over the past 75 years, there have been a total of 25,865 crashes involving Cessna planes. On the surface, this seems like a lot, but the number is low when compared to the total number of planes built and flights flown.
The Cessna plane with the most crashes is the Cessna 152. It has over 800 more documented crashes, despite being one of the safer planes.
This is because it's often used for students learning to fly. Not many of these accidents result in fatalities, meaning it can be attributed to pilot error.
What Are The Safest Cessna Planes?
Cessna has many safe planes, and it is rare to find one with a crash rate above the industry standard. But there are a few that rank highly in their respective categories.
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Cessna 150, Cessna 152, and Cessna Caravan Grand are three of the safest planes you will find.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk planes are some of the safest planes in the world. They are designed to minimize the chances of a crash and are considered to be one of the best aircraft in terms of safety.
These Cessna planes are widely used for commercial and private flights. They have been around for a long time and have proven to be reliable.
As we have mentioned, the industry's fatal crash rate of 0.56 per 100,000 flight hours is the lowest. It ranks not only as the safest Cessna but the safest plane in the world.
It is also one of the most flown planes because they rank second in total accidents for all types of planes. Despite this high usage, they still rank this low in terms of crashes and fatality rates.
Cessna 150/152 planes are considered to be safe. However, in the past, there have been incidents where these planes have crashed.
The thing to remember about both the 150 and 152 is how often this is the flight of choice for pilots in training, specifically the 150. There have been six times more flight instruction accidents than on a 152.
The 152 also had about 50 percent more accidents or crashes occur on personal flights than the 150. This is primarily due to the popularity of the 152, as it is the newer model with many more planes still being used today.
Both of these planes have seen a significant decrease in crashes over the past 30 years. Cessna has made it a point to address any mechanical issues to improve flight safety.
The Cessna Caravan is a slightly larger plane with a turboprop engine, meaning it is a bit more stable than both the 150/152 and 172 models.
A study discovered a total of 2,235,203 flights occurred between 2006 and 2020 with this aircraft. Of these flights, only 116 reported accidents happened.
This means the accident rate for the Cessna Caravan is only 0.0005%. Only 19 of these accidents resulted in fatalities.
However, the Cessna Grand Caravan does have its fair share of safety risks and potential dangers. Safety precautions should be taken when flying this aircraft.
Are Private Planes Dangerous?
Private planes are not inherently dangerous. If a private plane is flown properly and with the right precautions, it should be safe to use.
But, if a private plane is flown improperly and without the necessary safety measures, it can lead to disaster.
For example, there are 1.2-1.4 fatal flight accidents every 100,000 hours of flight time. There are also 2.3 fatalities per 100,000 flight hours.
If you compare this to commercial flights, it is much higher by almost 200%, but still, it is an extremely low probability.
We don’t believe you should feel like you are in danger on a private plane like a Cessna. Extended use slightly raises your risk of an accident happening, but the pilot has a bigger impact on your safety than the plane.