The omminous 200 hour mark

Ever since I started flying, I’ve been hearing anecdotal evidence that the 200 hour mark is a pilots career is one of the most dangerous.

I’ve spent a few hours trying to find hard evidence of such and cant find any data that supports this claim.

Does anyone have any ideas where I can find information from reputable sources (NASA, TC, AOPA, COPA, etc..) that shows data and explains why 200 hours is such a precarious milestone in a pilots career? (I think there is another one at 1,500 hours too)

5 Responses

  1. Rolf Dawson says:

    Blake, have a look at The Killing Zone: How and Why Pilots Die, by Paul A. Craig, 2001. Lots of NTSB data covering the 1993-2000 timeframe.

  2. Blake Crosby says:

    I’ve been able to find stats from the NTSB here:

  3. Rick says:

    I think I can! I think I can! Ooops!
    A superior pilot uses his or her superior intellect to avoid a situation that requires his or her superior skill.
    The 200 hour barrier is where a pilot decides whether they do not have to follow the best practices that they have been taught.
    Do it right – the first time – you will be safe.
    Favourable tailwinds.

  4. WES says:

    My suspicion is that most of the 200 hour situations are more in the “this is really bad…” category with the potential to be fatal. You end up scaring yourself and/or your pax to death, but don’t end up as an official stat.
    Just because there is no hard data to support a claim, doesn’t mean its not real. I would recommend erring on the side of acting as if it is real so that you are alive to gripe about how it wasn’t.

  5. Blake Crosby says:

    There are indeed hard numbers to prove this. Take a look at the latest report from the NTSB:
    Page 24 (of the PDF) the majority of the accidents recorded where by pilots 0-200 hours. After 200 hours the accident rate decreases.