Private-plane crashes on the increase
The last fatal airline crash killed 50 people when a Colgan Air flight slammed into a neighborhood near Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009. Private-plane wrecks since then have killed 30 times as many. The crash rate on private-pilot flights - up 20 percent since 2000 - contrasts with a roughly 85 percent drop in accidents on commercial jetliners, according to federal data. The disparity is a dark spot on decades of aviation-safety improvements, and the board is weighing how to make non-commercial flying less hazardous in a two-day forum.