• 2019 was a safe aviation year

    From Aviation HQ@2:292/854 to All on Thu Jan 2 13:15:57 2020
    Aviation was considerably safer in 2019 than one year previously. In the area of flight safety the past year was dominated by the perils of the Boeing 737 MAX, but the number of accidents and fatalities was relatively low across the board. This is evident from the Civil Aviation Safety Review of aviation consultancy firm To70.

    In 2019 a total of 86 aircraft accidents occurred, eight of which were fatal. A total of 257 people died. In 2018, there were 160 accidents and 534 fatalities. The best year ever in terms of flight safety is still 2017, when only thirteen people died in a total of two accidents.

    To70 comes to an accident rate of 0.18 for 2019. That amounts to one fatal accident per every 5.58 million passenger flights. The accident rate in 2018 was still 0.20.

    The biggest accident occurred last year on March 13, when a Boeing 737 MAX 8 from Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after departure from Addis Ababa airport due to problems with the new MCAS system. All 157 passengers were killed. That much-discussed accident, the second within five months with a plane of this type, led to the worldwide flight ban for the 737 MAX.

    On May 5, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 caught fire after a hard landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport. A total of 41 people died in the sea of flames. The number of deaths was higher because some passengers in the front part of the aircraft delayed the evacuation by disembarking with their luggage.

    Three other crashes resulted in a total of 55 casualties. On March 9, 14 people died in Colombia in an accident with an antique Douglas DC-3. On 24 November a Dornier 228 crashed in a residential area in the Congo, killing 29 people (ten of them on the ground). In the accident with a Fokker 100 of Bek Air in Kazakhstan on December 27, 12 people were mourned.

    Despite the positive figures for 2019, To70 emphasizes that a number of important questions still need to be answered about the Boeing 737 MAX. In particular, the agency refers to the responsibility that aviation authorities place on aircraft builders, and the provision of information and training procedures when introducing new systems. According to To70, the question must also be asked whether the Boeing 737 MAX is not a too far development of the 737 concept.

    "We expect these questions to be answered and the 737 MAX is likely to return to service in 2020," said Adrian Young of To70 in the Civil Aviation Safety Review.

    --- D'Bridge 3.99
    * Origin: AVIATION ECHO HQ (2:292/854)