STATISTICS

   



Causes of Fatal Accidents by Decade

The first table below was complied from the PlaneCrashInfo.com database, representing 1,085 accidents where a cause could be determined .

The following accident records qualified:
    - Dates from 1/1/1950 to 6/30/2019
    - Aircraft capable of carrying at least 19 passengers
    - Accidents with at least 2 fatalities
    - Military, helicopters and private aircraft excluded

The cause of  accidents were broken down into five categories: Pilot Error, Mechanical, Weather, Sabotage and Other. Some examples of each category can be found below. Since most aviation accidents are caused by multiple causes the primary or initiating cause was choosen.

PILOT ERROR MECHANICIAL WEATHER SABOTAGE OTHER
Improper procedure Engine failure Severe turbulence Hijacking ATC error
Flying VFR into IFR conditions Equipment failure Windshear Shot down Ground crew error
Controlled flight into terrain Structural failure Mountain wave Explosive device aboard Overloaded
Descending below minima Design flaw Poor visibility Pilot suicide Improperly loaded cargo
Spatial disorientation   Heavy rain   Bird strike
Premature descent   Severe winds   Fuel contamination
Excessive landing speed   Icing   Pilot incapacitation
Missed runway   Thunderstorms   Obstruction on runway
Fuel starvation   Lightning strike   Midair collision caused by other aircraft
Navigation error       Fire/smoke in flight (cabin, cockpit, cargo hold)
Wrong runway takeoff/landing       Maintenance error
Midair collision caused by primary pilot        


CAUSES OF FATAL ACCIDENTS BY DECADE
 DECADE 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s All
 Pilot Error 50% 53% 49% 42% 49% 50% 57% 49%
 Mechanical 26% 27% 19% 22% 22% 23% 21% 23%
 Weather 15% 7% 10% 14% 7% 8% 10% 10%
 Sabotage 4% 4% 9% 12% 8% 9% 8% 8%
 Other 5% 9% 13% 10% 14% 10% 4% 10%


RAW DATA
 Cause 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s All
 Pilot Error 82 119 112 67 77 48 28 533
 Mechanical 43 62 45 36 35 22 10 253
 Weather 25 15 22 22 10 8 5 107
 Sabotage 6 9 20 20 13 9 4 81
 Other 9 21 31 16 22 10 2 111
  165 226 230 161 157 97 49 1,085

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: PlaneCrashinfo.com

 

 

Source PlaneCrashInfo.com

 

 



Source: PlaneCrashinfo.com

 



Fatalities by Phase of Flight

Source: Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents, 1959 - 2008, Boeing



Which type of flying is safer

Type of Flight Fatalities per million flight hours
Airliner (Scheduled and nonscheduled Part 121) 0.00597
Commuter Airline (Scheduled Part 135) 6.10
General Aviation (private Part 91) 11.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

 


Odds of being involved in a fatal accident

  Odds of being on a fight that results in at least one fatality Odds being killed on a single flight
Flying on airlines with good safety records
1 in 10 million
1 in 19.8 million
Flying on airlines with poor safety records
1 in 1.5 million
1 in 2.0 million

Source: OAG Aviation & PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database, 20 years of data (1993 - 2012)

 




Survival rate of passengers on aircraft involved in fatal accidents
carrying 19+ passengers

Decade % surviving
1940s 24
1950s 25
1960s 21
1970s 25
1980s 36
1990s 39
2000s 28
2010s 27

Survival rate of passengers on aircraft ditching in controlled flight 42%

Source: PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database

 


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