Private plane crash cases are complex and challenging. Private aircraft do not have the “black boxes” which commercial planes do. In addition, regulation and enforcement of maintenance and certification procedures are not nearly as rigorous for private aircraft as for commercial aircraft.
General aviation refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and cargo flights. The majority of air traffic in the United States falls into this category. Most of the airports in the United States, around 5,300, serve general aviation exclusively. According to the NTSB, in 2009 over twenty million flight hours were flown by general aviation aircraft such as private planes, business jets and chartered aircraft. In that same year, 1,474 accidents were reported involving general aviation aircraft.