Commercial Aviation Safety Team: 2009 Statistics



 
 


PRE-AMBLE EXPLANATORY CONTENT PER “2009 CAST REPORT” LINK ABOVE…

The accident statistics presented in this summary are confined to worldwide commercial jet airplanes that are heavier than 60,000 pounds maximum gross weight. Within that set of airplanes, there are two groups excluded:

1) Airplanes manufactured in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) are excluded because of the lack of operational data; and

2) Commercial airplanes operated in military service. (However, if a military-owned commercial jet transport is used for civilian commercial service, those data will be included in this summary.)

The following airplanes are included in the statistics:

  • 717 DC-8 A300 BAe 146 F-28 Concorde L-1011 BAC 1-11 Comet 4
  • 707/720 DC-9 A300-600 Avro RJ-70/-85/-100 F-70 Trident
  • 727 DC-10/MD-10 A310 CRJ-700/-900 F-100 Caravelle
  • 737 MD-11 A320/321/319/318 EMB-170/-175/-190 Mercure
  • 747 MD-80/-90 A330 CV-880/-990
  • 757 A340 VC-10
  • 767 A380
  • 777

Flight operations data for Boeing airplanes are developed internally from airline operator reports. Flight operations data for non-Boeing airplanes are developed from two external sources, Client Aviation System Enquiry (CASE) published by Ascend, and AirCraft Analytical System (ACAS), published by The Flight Group. Accident data are obtained, when available, from government accident reports. Otherwise, information is from operators, manufacturers, various government and private information services, and press accounts.

Definitions related to development of statistics in this summary are primarily based on corresponding International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) terms as explained in the next section.

Definitions

Airplane Accident: An occurrence associated with the operation of an airplane that takes place between the time any person boards the airplane with the intention of flight and such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which:

• Death or serious injury results from:
– Being in the airplane; or
– Direct contact with the airplane or anything attached thereto; or
– Direct exposure to jet blast;

Excluding:

  • Fatal and nonfatal injuries from natural causes; and
  • Fatal and nonfatal self-inflicted injuries or injuries inflicted by other persons; and
  • Fatal and nonfatal injuries of stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew; and
  • Nonfatal injuries resulting from atmospheric turbulence, maneuvering, loose objects, boarding, disembarking, evacuation, and maintenance and servicing; and
  • Nonfatal injuries to persons not aboard the airplane; or
  • The airplane sustains substantial damage; or
  • The airplane is missing or is completely inaccessible.

The following occurrences are not considered airplane accidents – those that are the result of experimental test flights or the result of a hostile action, including sabotage, hijacking, terrorism, and military action. Note: This is generally consistent with the ICAO and the NTSB definition of an accident (see the Referenced ICAO and NTSB Definitions section). The differences are:

  1. The ICAO and NTSB references to “aircraft” were changed to “airplane” and references to propellers and rotors were eliminated; and
  2. This publication excludes events that result in nonfatal injuries from atmospheric turbulence, maneuvering, etc.; nonfatal injuries to persons not aboard the airplane; and any events that result from an experimental test flight or from hostile action, such as sabotage, hijacking, terrorism, and military action.

Note: Within this publication, the term “accident” is used interchangeably with “airplane accident.”

Destroyed: The estimated or likely cost of repairs would have exceeded 50 percent of the new value of the airplane had it still been in production at the time of the accident. Note: This definition is consistent with the FSF definition. The NTSB defines destroyed as damaged due to impact, fire, or in-flight failures to an extent not economically repairable.

Fatal Injury: Any injury that results in death within 30 days of the accident. Note: This is consistent with both the ICAO and the NTSB definition.

Major Accident: An accident in which any of three conditions is met:

  • The airplane was destroyed; or
  • There were multiple fatalities; or
  • There was one fatality and the airplane was substantially damaged.

Note: This definition is consistent with the NTSB definition. It is also generally consistent with FSF, except that FSF confines multiple fatalities to occupants. ICAO does not formally define the term major accident.

Serious Injury: An injury which is sustained by a person in an accident and which:

  • Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within seven days from the date the injury was received; or
  • Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); or
  • Involves lacerations which cause severe hemorrhage, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; or
  • Involves injury to any internal organ; or
  • Involves second or third degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface; or
  • Involves verified exposure to infectious substances or injurious radiation.

Note: This is consistent with the ICAO definition. It is also consistent with the NTSB’s except for the last bullet item, which is not included in the NTSB definition.

Substantial Damage: Damage or failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the airplane, and which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component.
Substantial damage is not considered to be:

  • Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged
  • Bent fairings or cowlings
  • Dents in the skin
  • Small puncture holes in the skin

Note 1. – This is generally consistent with the NTSB definition of substantial damage except: 1) It deletes reference to “puncture holes in the fabric” and “ground damage to rotor or propeller blades”; and 2) It deletes “damage to landing gear” from the list of items not considered to be substantial damage.
Note 2. – ICAO does not define the term substantial damage. Still, the above definition is generally consistent with the ICAO definition of structural damage contained within part b) of the ICAO accident definition.

  • Damage to wheels
  • Damage to tires
  • Damage to flaps
  • Damage to engine accessories
  • Damage to brakes
  • Damage to wingtips

Boeing Terms

The terms on this page were created by Boeing for this publication and do not have corresponding equivalents in ICAO, the NTSB, etc.

Accident Rates: In general, this expression is a measure of accidents per million departures. Departures (or flight cycles) are used as the basis for calculating rates, since there is a stronger statistical correlation between accidents and departures than there is between accidents and flight hours, or between accidents and the number of airplanes in service, or between accidents and passenger miles or freight miles. Airplane departures data are continually updated and revised as new information and estimating processes become available. These form the baseline for the measure of accident rates and, as a consequence, rates may vary between editions of this publication.

Airplane Collisions: Events involving two or more airplanes are counted as separate events, one for each airplane. For
example, destruction of two airplanes in a collision is considered to be two separate accidents.

Fatal Accident: An accident that results in fatal injury.

Hull Loss: Airplane totally destroyed or damaged and not repaired. Hull loss also includes but is not limited to events in which:

  • The airplane is missing; or
  • The search for the wreckage has been terminated without it being located; or
  • The airplane is completely inaccessible.

Note: Neither ICAO nor the NTSB has a definition for hull loss.

Exclusions
Certain airplanes and events are excluded from consideration as accidents in this summary. This is a complete list of those exclusions.

Excluded Airplanes
Airplanes manufactured in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) are excluded because of the lack of operational data. Commercial airplanes operated in military service are also excluded. (However, if a military-owned commercial jet transport is used for civilian commercial service, those data are included in this summary.)

Excluded Events

  • Fatal and nonfatal injuries from natural causes;
  • Fatal and nonfatal self-inflicted injuries or injuries inflicted by other persons;
  • Fatal and nonfatal injuries of stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew;
  • Nonfatal injuries resulting from atmospheric turbulence, maneuvering, loose objects, boarding, disembarking, evacuation, and maintenance and servicing;
  • Nonfatal injuries to persons not aboard the airplane;
  • Experimental test flights (However, maintenance test flights, ferry, positioning, training, and demonstration flights are not excluded events.);
  • Sabotage, hijacking, terrorism, and military action.

Referenced ICAO and NTSB Definitions

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) definitions are
included below for reference.

Accident ICAO defines an accident as follows:
An occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which:

a) a person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of:

  • Being in the aircraft, or
  • Direct contact with any part of the aircraft, including parts which have become detached from the aircraft, or
  • Direct exposure to jet blast,
    except when the injuries are from natural causes, self-inflicted or inflicted by other persons, or when the injuries are to
    stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew; or

b) the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which:

  • Adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and
  • Would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component,
    except for engine failure or damage, when the damage is limited to the engine, its cowlings or accessories; or for damage
    limited to propellers, wing tips, antennas, tires, brakes, fairings, small dents or puncture holes in the aircraft skin; or

c) The aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible.
The NTSB defines an aircraft accident as follows:
Aircraft accident means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.

Serious Injury

ICAO defines serious injury as follows:
An injury which is sustained by a person in an accident and which:
a) Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within seven days from the date the injury was received; or
b) Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); or
c) Involves lacerations which cause severe hemorrhage, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; or
d) Involves injury to any internal organ; or
e) Involves second or third degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface; or
f) Involves verified exposure to infectious substances or injurious radiation.
The NTSB defines serious injury as follows:

Serious injury means any injury which:
1) Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date the injury was received;
2) Results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose);
3) Causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage;
4) Involves any internal organ; or
5) Involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.

Substantial Damage

The NTSB defines substantial damage as follows:

Damage or failure that adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and that would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component. Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged, bent fairings or cowling, dented skin, small puncture holes in the skin or fabric, ground damage to rotor or propeller blades, and damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wingtips are not considered “substantial damage.” ICAO does not define the term substantial damage.

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