AUSTIN, Texas — Last week, the pilot of a single-engine plane died after crashing just outside of Fredericksburg.

According to the NTSB, in 2017 alone there were more than 1,200 general aviation -- that means non-commercial aircraft -- crashes across the U.S. More than 200 of those crashes were fatal.

But does that mean flying recreational is unsafe?

John Craparo, a pilot of 40 years with primarily general aviation aircraft, said it's definitely still safe. 


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"It's excitement ... once you get up into the sky, it's a pretty big highway out there," said Craparo.

But that big highway can sometimes be dangerous. Craparo said most of the time crashes are caused by pilot error. 

"They happen so quickly many times that the pilot may not be able to react to what that is," said Craparo. 

He also said he understands every situation is very different and knows many pilots are very experienced. While there are times where complete engine and aircraft failure are the cause, most times it's the result of pilot error.

“We have very specific training that we go through to know what to do in an emergency," said Craparo.


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But that doesn't mean flying isn't safe. 

"Flying is a lot of fun and flying is very safe in general ... but you have to give a bunch of care ... we have checklists for airplanes, and we go through checklists every time we start out on a flight," said Craparo.

He also said if you have a friend that's taking you flying, there's not much to worry about. 

"Individuals flying with experienced pilots shouldn't have many fears ... but should they be cautious? Absolutely," said Craparo.