Just How Safe is Airline Travel, Coming and Going?

by nph | April 2nd, 2012

April 2, 2012

USA Today Travel asks an aviation captain: What’s more dangerous: takeoff or landing?

According to Captain John Cox, the last two years have been the safest years in aviation history.

In 2011, 2.8 billion people flew in 38 million airline flights. In Western-built jets, there were 11 hull loss accidents, with five accidents involving fatalities. The fatality rate was 0.07 per million passengers.

Of the 2.8 billion passengers, 486 were fatally injured on all types of aircraft. This statistic dropped down from 786 in 2010–that‘s 300 fewer fatalities.

But to answer the question about the relative risk between take-off and landing, according to the Boeing Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents, Worldwide Operations 2001 to 2010, 17 percent of accidents occur in the takeoff phase (10 percent on takeoff and 7 percent on initial climb) accounting for 25 percent of the fatalities.

36 percent of accidents happen during the landing phase (14 percent during the final approach and 22% during landing), accounting for 24 percent of the fatalities.

These statistics mean that there is a greater chance of being in an accident during the landing phase, but the likelihood of being a fatality is approximately the same.

Read more.

If you are someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private airline, the aviation accident attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.