A Study Analyzing the Trends in Accidents and Fatalities in Large Transport Airplanes

Over the past forty years, many safety enhancements have been instituted resulting from advances in technology and by regulations derived from research aimed at improving aircraft safety by preventing accidents and enhancing occupant survivability. The Federal Aviation Administration has commissioned this study with the broad aim of identifying the degree of improvement in aircraft safety and occupant survivability that has been achieved. The intention is that the results of the study can help in the determination of the future direction of research and possibly subsequent regulatory activity—particularly in relation to occupant survivability. The
more significant findings of the study are contained within this report.

The study is based on accidents that occurred over the period 1968 to 2010, to large transport category turbojet and turboprop western-built airplanes operating in a passenger or passenger/cargo role. One thousand and eighty eight accidents were selected for analysis, of which seven hundred and six were categorized as survivable.

Over the study period, there has been a marked reduction in the total accident rate, both for the world fleet and the U.S. fleet. This reduction is apparent when the accident rate is measured on a per-flight, per-passenger, or per-revenue-passenger-mile basis.

The survivability of accidents has also shown a marked improvement over the study period with a greater proportion of accidents being survivable and the proportion of occupants surviving an accident increasing. These improvements are apparent in both the world fleet and the U.S. fleet.

Click here to download the report.