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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Commercial Airplane Accidents

Boeing released a Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents for Worldwide Operations from 1959 through 2016 in 2017. It analyzed airplane accidents involving commercial jet airplanes that were heavier than 60,000 pounds. Airplanes operated in military service were excluded. In addition, airplanes that were manufactured for the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) were excluded because of the lack of available a data.

1. There are more commercial airplanes in service in 2016 than any other year since 1997.

In 1997, less than 15,000 commercial jet airplanes in service worldwide. As of 2016, there were 25,722 commercial jet airplanes in service worldwide.

2. Thirty (30) airline accidents occurred in 2016.

According to the information, 30 airplane accidents occurred in 2016 (excluding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370) resulting in 139 fatalities.

3. There were four (4) fatal airplane accidents worldwide during 2016.

Of those four flights, one accident involved an external fatality, and one flight resulted in the death of all those aboard. The other two fatal flights claimed almost everyone on board (71/77 and 5/6).

4. Landings were the most common phase of flight for airplane accidents in 2016.

Over one-half (18) of the 30 airplane accidents during 2016 took place during the landing phase. Five (5) accidents occurred during takeoff.

5. Almost 30 percent of fatal airplane accidents were North American operators.

U.S. and Canadian operators report 182 fatal airplane accidents from 1959 through 2016 compared to 441 fatal accidents in the rest of the world. This is roughly the same percentage of all accidents during the same period (577 in the U.S. and Canadian operators versus 1,371 worldwide).

6. The majority of fatal airplane accidents were passenger flights.

Of the 623 fatal airplane accidents worldwide between 1959 and 2016, 498 of those flights were passenger flights, including both scheduled and chartered flights. There were also 81 fatal cargo flights and 44 “other” fatal flights (i.e. maintenance test, training, demonstration, etc.).

7. Non-fatal airplane accidents made up 68 percent of the total airplane accidents.

Of the 1,948 airplane accidents worldwide from 1959 through 2016, approximately 68 percent or 1,325 did not result in any deaths.

8. The majority of accidents occurred during the final phases of flight.

From 2007 through 2016 for worldwide accidents, 24 percent of the fatal accidents occurred during the final approach and 24 percent of fatal accidents occurred during landing.

9. The second most dangerous phase for fatal airplane accidents was takeoff and initial climb.

During the same 10-year period for worldwide airplane accidents, 13 percent of the fatal airplane flights occurred during takeoff and initial climb.

10. Loss of Control is blamed for the highest number of deaths in fatal airplane accidents.

From 2007 through 2016, airplane accidents caused 2,936 deaths worldwide. Approximately 46 percent of those deaths (1,347) were blamed on “loss of control – in flight.”

Talk With A Texas Aviation Lawyer

Anyone who is injured on an airplane is encouraged to seek legal counsel. Our Texas personal injury attorneys can explain your legal rights regarding an injury sustained in an airplane accident.

Schedule a consult with a Texas aviation accident lawyer today.


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