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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)

Pilot Error43332529293432
Pilot Error (weather related)9181416211816
Pilot Error (mechanical related)7452555
Total Pilot Error58634457555753
Other Human Error2895866
Mechanical Failure19192021182220
Other Cause0221101



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 FlightFatalities 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 fatalityOdds 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
Survival rate of passengers on aircraft ditching during controlled flight53%

Source: PlaneCrashInfo.com accident database


Orlando, Volusia County and Flagler Plane Crash and Aviation Accident Attorneys for over 40 Years

For over 40 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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