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Flight instructor: 'Aviation is safe'

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Collapsed landing gear forced a pilot to divert from Tuskegee to Montgomery Regional Airport late Saturday night.

It was a much different scene near Birmingham Friday as a Mississippi couple's Cessna 210 crashed in Jefferson County killing both of them.

Box Aviation President William Box says perception isn't reality with regards to what seems to be an increase in the number of private aircraft crashes.

"It's hard to counteract that at times. Aviation is safe, it's always been safe," Box said.

Box argues the FAA requires 40 hours of training and a check flight before pilots can leave the runway on a solo flight. For those who don't fly frequently, another plan to combat a pilot's lapse in skill set.

"It gives a bad taste to general aviation, general aviation overall is extremely safe way to travel. It's safer than cars in a lot of ways and it gives a bad light," Box said.

Box is fighting the image issue by training future pilots, putting a strong emphasis on pre-flight checks and working through emergency scenarios. That's why he's praising the efforts of the pilot diverted to Montgomery on Saturday.

"Everyone walked away injury free, everything went as planned," Box said.

Box encourages those who are apprehensive of flying with private pilots to inquire about their total number of flight hours and credentials to make the best decision.

The NTSB is currently investigating the fatal flight that crashed in Jefferson County on Friday.

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