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Aviation Accident Information

While many people have a fear of flying, airplanes are far safer than cars, and the likelihood of a plane crash is about 23 times less than the chance of an automobile accident. Nevertheless, aviation accidents do happen, and flying is a dangerous activity that requires a great deal of skill and training. Below are a few statistics about airplane accidents and some facts about airplane safety:

  • Between 1983 and 2000, 528 plane crashes occurred that had an 80-100 percent survival rate. 34 plane crashes showed a survival rate of 0-20 percent, while the number of plane crashes with survival rates between 20 and 80 percent was only 6.
  • In 2012, there were only 27 aviation accidents out of over 9,200,000 departures. This leaves a crash ratio of just under .29 crashes per 100,000 departures.
  • Also in 2012, there were no fatalities aboard commercial aircrafts.
  • Between 1975 and 1994, the chance of dying aboard an aircraft were 1 in 7 million. Since 1994, flight safety has improved that fact even further.
  • In 2012, flying accounted for the fewest deaths of any form of transportation. While the fatalities of commercial aircraft were zero, there were 432 deaths on privately flown planes, and 15 accident related deaths on air ambulances or cargo planes. This total of 449 is significantly less than the 706 deaths caused by marine travel, the 803 deaths caused by rail transportation, or the 33,561 deaths that occurred on the highway.
  • Airplane safety has improved consistently since 1970, with fewer accidents and fewer deaths almost every year. While accidents and crashes do occur, it is far more likely that a person will die in a car accident because than on a plane.

And so, while flying can be dangerous, it is undoubtedly the safest mode of transportation available to us.

*Statistics provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, except where noted.