In 2017, United Airlines forcibly ejected a man from his flight and an American Airlines attendant punched a woman for bringing her daughter’s stroller on board. Despite these instances, a report found last year to be the safest for commercial air travel in history.
The report found only 111 accidents and thirteen deaths worldwide. The thirteen deaths happened in two instances involving small regional planes. One flight, a Embraer Brasilia, lost control over Angola in October, and a Let 410 crashed during landing in Russia last November. The Netherlands-based aviation consultancy, To70, calculates that there were sixteen million flights for every one fatal accident last year.
To70 made clear in a statement that the record year is something of a calculated fluke. The aviation industry’s 3% growth last year pads these stats just a little. In its review, the consulting firm said that “there is no room for complacency. Civil aviation, whilst an industry with a very high level of safety, does still carry very large risks.”
The report, while glowing, does leave out some notable aviation failures from the past year. Planes below a certain size do not make it into these statistics, as well as planes that experienced failures on the ground. Thirty-five people died in Kyrgyzstan when a cargo plane failed to take off and instead plowed through a nearby village. A woman died from a jet blast while watching planes take off at Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten in July.
There were also several notable plane failures that did not result in any fatalities, like when an Air France flight on its way to Los Angeles had to emergency land in Newfoundland, Canada, after an engine failure.
While statistics help to track patterns throughout time, it is important to not read into them too closely and always be vigilant when it comes to matters as crucial as airplane safety.
[via USA Today]