PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A series of recent aviation safety issues, including two close calls within a week of each other at Logan International Airport, has federal regulators scrambling to review safety protocols across the country.

A Target 12 review of incident data reported to federal regulators over the past decade shows on average there have been about four aircraft mishaps in Rhode Island per year during that time.

In most cases, private and commercial pilots and companies are required to report incidents, mechanical malfunctions, near misses and other hazardous events to either the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board, depending on the severity.

In Rhode Island, there have been 43 accidents or incidents reported to the two federal agencies since 2013, according to review of the data. Nobody died as a result of the accidents, according to reports reviewed by Target 12. NTSB data shows at least 33 people were injured as a result of the incidents during that period.

The most recent fatal airplane crash in Rhode Island happened in July 2008 when a Piper PA 28-161 carrying a flight instructor, a student and the student’s wife went down in Middletown, according to a review of a crash report. The instructor and the student’s wife died in the crash; the student was seriously injured and died roughly two months later, according to the report.

In a limited number of cases, such as a 2014 aborted takeoff, along with a 2020 hard landing — both on Block Island — the issues are reported to both the FAA and NTSB. But in most cases, the FAA examines a broader category of aviation incidents while the NTSB looks at more severe cases.

According to the most recently available data, the NTSB reported a July 2021 botched takeoff on Block Island where the private pilot failed to lock his baggage door. While on the runway, federal regulators said the pilot feared his dogs sitting in the back of the Mooney M20K would fall out, so “he decided to abort the takeoff.”

“The airplane departed the end of the runway, through the overrun, and down an embankment before colliding with a perimeter fence, resulting in substantial damage to the right wing,” according to the NTSB.

The FAA's most recently available incident happened at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport roughly a year ago. While taxiing, a commercial pilot flying a Cessna 2008, with three people aboard, was unable to stop the airplane with brakes. The aircraft "veered toward the right and made impact with the taxiway edge light," and regulators said the aircraft didn't have clearance to enter the runway.

"This event resulted in a damaged propeller and damage to taxiway edge light," FAA regulators wrote in a report. "Crew was unaware of damage and departed airport to destination. Crew noticed damage to propeller after landing at destination. Upon further investigation, data provided by airport showed damage to taxiway edge light."

On Monday, the wings of two planes clipped each other at Logan Airport in Boston. The incident happened one week after a different plane taking off had a "close call" with a second plane that was preparing to land, according to FAA officials.

The incidents come in the wake of FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen calling for a review of the country's "aerospace system's structure, culture, processes, systems and integration of safety efforts," according to a memo he sent to the FAA Management Board on Feb. 14.

The examination will look in part at whether recent incidents resemble one another and to see "if there are indicators of emerging trends so we can focus on resources to address now."

"We are experiencing the safest period in aviation history, but we cannot take this for granted. Recent events remind us that we must not become complacent," Nolen wrote. "Now is the time to stare into the data and ask hard questions."

Eli Sherman ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.