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Aircraft Accident Rates: Conventional vs. Advanced Technology
Overview

Introduction

There is little doubt in the commercial aviation community that the addition of flight deck automation has made significant contributions to the safety and efficiency of operations. Accident records corroborate this point. Although it is risky to draw general conclusions from aircraft accident data due to the small numbers of accidents, the uniqueness of each accident, and the fact that we have less service experience with newer aircraft than with older aircraft, the hull loss accident rates for advanced technology (newer generation) aircraft are generally lower than those for comparable conventional (older generation) aircraft (see below).


Hull Loss Rates
Hull loss rates for conventional and comparable advanced technology aircraft, worldwide commercial jet fleet, through 1996. Hull loss accidents per million departures.

comparable aircraft:
conventional
advanced technology
conventional aircraft hull
loss rate
advanced technology aircraft
hull loss rate
A300-1/2/34

A300-600
1.18 1.33
B737-100/200

B737-300/400/500
1.20 0.43
B747-100/200/300

B747-400
1.79 0.77
DC9

MD80
1.28 0.40
DC10

MD11
2.67 0.00
Source: Boeing (1997)

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References

Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (1997). Statistical summary of commercial jet airplane accidents, worldwide operations, 1959-1996. Seattle, WA: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Airplane Safety Engineering.

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  Last update: 31 January 2007 Flight Deck Automation Issues Website  
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