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Plane Crash Statistics

The odds that any single person will be involved in a plane crash are about one-in-twenty thousand. However, more than fifteen thousand Americans will be involved in at least some type of aviation accident during their lifetime.  If you have been involved in a place accident, notify a personal injury lawyer or place crash attorney.

Approximately 80 percent of all plane crashes occur shortly before, after, or during takeoff or landing. While mid-flight disasters happen, they are rare.

An accident survey of 1,843 aircraft accidents (excluding military, private and charter aircraft) from 1950 through 2006 determined the causes were:

  • 53%: Pilot error
  • 21%: Mechanical failure
  • 11%: Weather
  • 8%: Other human error (air traffic controller error, improper loading of aircraft, improper maintenance, fuel contamination, language miscommunication etc.)
  • 6%: Sabotage (bombs, hijackings, shoot-downs)
  • 1%: Other causes

 

Causes of Fatal Accidents by Decade (percentage)

Cause

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

All

Pilot Error

43

33

25

29

29

34

32

Pilot Error (weather related)

9

18

14

16

21

18

16

Pilot Error (mechanical related)

7

4

5

2

5

5

5

Total Pilot Error

58

63

44

57

55

57

53

Other Human Error

2

8

9

5

8

6

6

Weather

15

12

14

14

8

6

12

Mechanical Failure

19

19

20

21

18

22

20

Sabotage

5

4

11

12

10

9

8

Other Cause

0

2

2

1

1

0

1

 

 

The table above is compiled from the PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database and represents 1,015 fatal accidents involving commercial aircraft, world-wide, from 1950 thru 2010 for which a specific cause is known. Aircraft with 18 or less people aboard, military aircraft, private aircraft and helicopters are not included.


“Pilot error (weather related)” represents accidents in which pilot error was the cause but brought about by weather related phenomena. “Pilot error (mechanical related)” represents accidents in which pilot error was the cause but brought about by some type of mechanical failure. “Other human error” includes air traffic controller errors, improper loading of aircraft, fuel contamination and improper maintenance procedures. Sabotage includes explosive devices, shoot downs and hijackings. “Total pilot error” is the total of all three types of pilot error (in yellow). Where there were multiple causes, the most prominent cause was used.  (Source: PlaneCrashInfo.com database)

 

Which type of flying is safer

Type of Flight

Fatalities per million flight hours

Airliner (Scheduled and nonscheduled Part 121)

4.03

Commuter Airline (Scheduled Part 135)

10.74

Commuter Plane (Nonscheduled Part 135 – Air taxi on demand)

12.24

General Aviation (Private Part 91)

22.43

 

Sources: NTSB Accidents and Accident Rates by NTSB Classification 1998-2007

 

Odds of being involved in a fatal accident

Odds of being on an airline flight which results in at least one fatality

Odds of being killed on a single airline flight

Top 39 airlines with the best accident rates
1 in 10.0 million

Top 39 airlines with the best accident rates
1 in 19.8 million

Bottom 39 with the worst accident rates
1 in 1.5 million

Bottom 39 with the worst accident rates
1 in 2.0 million

Source: OAG Aviation & PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database, 1993 – 2012

 

Survival rate of passengers on aircraft involved in fatal accidents
carrying 10+ passengers

Decade

% surviving

1930s

21

1940s

20

1950s

24

1960s

19

1970s

25

1980s

34

1990s

35

2000s

24

Survival rate of passengers on aircraft ditching during controlled flight

53%

Source: PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database

Orlando, Volusia County and Flagler Plane Crash and Aviation Accident Attorneys for over 30 Years

For over 30 Years, Rue & Ziffra Law Offices and Attorneys have provided legal expertise and results for those who have been affected by a Plane Crash or Aviation Accident in Bunnell, Daytona Beach, DeBary, DeLand, Deltona, Edgewater, Flagler Beach, New Smyrna, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Port Orange and Sanford.

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