Air Safety Dips in 2009 Despite Decline in Fatalities

5 January 2010 (Last Updated January 5th, 2010 18:30)

According to a new study by the Aviation Safety Network and Flight Safety Foundation, air travel safety dipped in 2009 despite a decrease in aircraft accidents throughout the year. During 2009, there were 30 fatal air accidents resulting in 757 casualties and one ground fatality, which

According to a new study by the Aviation Safety Network and Flight Safety Foundation, air travel safety dipped in 2009 despite a decrease in aircraft accidents throughout the year.

During 2009, there were 30 fatal air accidents resulting in 757 casualties and one ground fatality, which is lower than the ten-year average of 802 fatalities.

About 11 of the total accidents involved, however, were commercial passenger flights, while the rest were air freighters or military aircraft.

The foundation believes these type of accidents indicate a decline in air safety and in particular points to the forced landing by a US Airways plane in the Hudson River due to a engine shut-off caused by bird ingestion, and the runway over-run and crash landing by an American Airlines plane in bad weather in Jamaica.

A global trend also shows that there has been a steady stream of accidents since 2005 in which pilots lost control of mechanically well-functioning aircraft due a computer problem or pilot confusion over automated flight control systems.